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Thread: Parametric Conveyor Array - Angled for Slope (Challenging)

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    Parametric Conveyor Array - Angled for Slope (Challenging)

    I've been doing a lot with conveyors lately...and trying to create parametric, line-based families to make modeling large areas faster.

    I successfully created a line-based roller conveyor, but it's set to go on a reference plane (i.e. a flat surface). Some of the conveyors need to be gravity-fed and must be at a slight (1-3 degree) angle. I'm trying to figure out the best way to go from 'starting height' to 'ending height' for the conveyor using either the height values or by entering a degree of slope parameter...
    ...here's the kicker...I also need to make the parametrically arrayed legs shorten as they hit the ground so it doesn't look ridiculous...oh, and not perpendicular to the conveyor, but angle down the same amount so they stay vertical. =)

    I was thinking about using a void along the bottom edge of the reference plane their tops attach to, but I also don't want to bloat the file size ridiculously.


    Family is and image explanation of what I'm going for is attached...any thoughts?
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    1. Unless you get in to adaptive components (which would be a huge mistake for a conveyor) you cant have the legs be arrayed AND change heights. Simply cant. But you can have them set up throughout the conveyor, and have the angles work, if you embed the trig in to the formulas. But youll have to decide between parametric array, or heights that change. Even with a void (or a void family), the moment you put it in the array group, that stuff will all break apart. The way to fix that is a nested component (which is better), but then you cant array it with different parameter values.

    Simply put: If thats a requirement, you may consider making the supports and the conveyor itself a different component.

    2. I wouldnt make this component line based at all, honestly. I would go back to strictly unhosted, and allow the slope angle to be an input value. Then there is more control over the angle constraints you need. Line based is also essentially Work Plane Based, and without Dynamo, you arent getting access to the angle of that Work Plane. Our conveyors are all unhosted, and they work like champs.

    3. I cant tell if your Object Style for Reference Lines looks just like the one i use for Reference Planes, or if all of those references are Planes, in Elevation/Section view: Anything that involves rotations, should be reference lines, not reference planes. Or youll hit a wall of hurt later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool
    ...you cant have the legs be arrayed AND change heights...
    The solid legs can't vary in height in an array but a void creating legs from a single solid could make it look like they do. I wrote about in an Old Blog Post. I'm sure there are more subtleties that might rule it out too, just thought I'd toss it in...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Parametric Conveyor Array - Angled for Slope (Challenging)-voidarrayslats.jpg  
    elton williams likes this.

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve_Stafford View Post
    The solid legs can't vary in height in an array but a void creating legs from a single solid could make it look like they do. I wrote about in an Old Blog Post. I'm sure there are more subtleties that might rule it out too, just thought I'd toss it in...
    DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU DE. Thats sick!

    I love it when im wrong. It means i learned something new!
    Steve_Stafford likes this.

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    A thing to keep in mind about this, too.

    If you end up using face-based nested voids, the face-based element needs to be able to contain the extents of the void array. If the void ends up outside of the face-based element, it might not array properly.

    This is at least the case with double-nested arrayed voids. Might not have the same issue if the void element is loaded right into the family to array it.

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