allowing the attributed title block, notes and BOM
tables (exported from Inventor) to be created/inserted using our existing AutoCAD resources. This 3D Inventor to 2D AutoCAD workflow required all information to come from the 3D model, which has always been an
Ampirical 3D modeling standard. In this workflow, we ensure that the overall design has undergone the proper design checks and is constructible down to the hardware connections before anything gets added or updated in the drawings. This process has yielded higher accuracies and greatly reduced any construction issues in our 12 years of experience using 3D design methods.
DESIGN CHECKING AND BOM
Our next step after laying out our preliminary design was to run design clearance checks; both electrical and physical. For our physical clearance checks, such as in the case of high voltage breakers, we create obstruction volumes in the part file that represent the cabinet door swing, SF6 tank removal, conduit penetrations, and brushing removal.
After verifying that all physical clearances have been met, we perform an electrical clearance check.
All Ampirical Inventor parts are required to have certain custom attributes, point and planes in order to work properly within the Substation Designer System (from Automation Force). A couple of these requirements are the identification of live parts and phasing which are then reference by the Design Checker per a specified voltage and minimum clearances.
The engineer or designer will run reports for both the phase to phase and phase to ground clearances from live parts. In the case of the Hydroelectric Dam Project, Design Checker indicated that we were outside our phase to ground clearance tolerance going from a 230kV breaker to high switch, So 24" outriggers were added and verified to be within tolerance.
A complete Bill of Materials report was exported from our inventor master assembly. In addition to saving time, this BOM report is highly accurate because the itemized list is produced directly from the model, eliminating the chance for human error in counting or listing the required components.
CONCEPTUAL RENDERS AND 3D DESIGN REVIEWS
During the initial stages of the project, Ampirical used 3ds Max (Mental Ray) to generate several high definition renderings in addition to 2D drawings out of Inventor. These images allowed a clear picture of the overall final design product that both technical and non-technical stakeholders could immediately understand.
Since the Hydroelectric Dam project began, Ampirical has expanded its use of Inventor 2012 to incorporate customized Inventor tool sets, such as Substation Designer to speed up design workflows, and AutoCAD WS for design and teaching presentations.