Tube & Pipe Grounding

Originally Published 5/20/2013



So have you ever spent any amount of time working on an Inventor ® Tube & Pipe assembly, with multiple sub-assemblies… getting everything just perfect, only to return to the top level assembly and accidentally click and drag your tube & pipe runs?  They move!  Freely!  They move, and all of your careful, hard work explodes before your very eyes.  After thanking your deity of choice for the existence of an Undo button, try this:

When you create your first T&P run in an assembly, Inventor creates a top level sub-assembly beneath which all of your pipe runs will reside called Tube & Pipe Runs:

Tube & Pipe Model Tree

As soon as this is created (along with your first run), return to the top level of your assembly.  Use mate and align constraints to constrain Tube & Pipe Runs.iam to the top level; origin plane to origin plane using all three origin planes.  Then for each individual pipe run sub-assembly you create, constrain that to Tube & Pip Runs.iam…. origin plane to origin plane, just like you did to the top level.  Do this before you place any fittings or sketch any routes.  Now your runs will stay put where you modeled them, as if they were grounded.

This doesn’t seem like much, but if you remember to do it before you start running pipe or adding fittings, it can make life a whole lot nicer!


“Autodesk® screen shots reprinted with the permission of Autodesk, Inc.  Autodesk ® , AutoCAD ® , DWG, the DWG logo, Vault®, Autocad Electrical® and Inventor® are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and other countries.” 


CAD Department Supervisor at Powell Fabrication & Manufacturing, Inc. CAD Designer & Detailer specializing in Inventor Tube & Pipe, Frame Generator, Content Center, Vault Professional. Autodesk Expert Elite member. Blogger. Autodesk University Speaker 2014-2018. Husband and father. Photographer.

Posted in Autodesk Inventor, Inventor Tube & Pipe, Show All
5 comments on “Tube & Pipe Grounding
  1. Alex says:

    Im unable to use this method, I’m trying to constraint Tube & Pipe Runs.iam to the other runs but its just not working? Any ideas?


    • cgbenner says:

      Hi there… can you describe the workflow you are using? Do you have the master run (tube & pipe runs.iam) constrained to the parent assembly? Also, make sure there are no other conflicting constraints on the pipe runs, this may prevent constrianing to the master run. SOmetimes, depending on design intent, you may need to use constraints other than those I have described.


  2. Alex says:

    I was able to constrain the tube & pipe runs.iam to the parent assembly; the rest was not possible. Ive deleted all constraints in all assemblies, and made sure that there’s no grounded component’s, but still didn’t have success. I don’t get any error its just the second work planes that im selecting give me grey “option 2” in the constraints dialog box


  3. Alex says:

    Excuse me for my misunderstanding, maybe you mean that each run should be constraint to the main assembly origin planes ?? (what I’ve tried until now is to constrain runs to tube&pipe.iam assembly )


    • cgbenner says:

      What I di is constrain the tube & pipe runs.iam to the parent level assembly. Then I activate tube & pipe runs, and constrain the pipe runs to that. If you can, please post a question in the Inventor forums, and include some screen shots of how you are doing this. That way I can try to figure out what’s preventing it from working. Video would be even better. Try Autodesk Screencast… it’s great.


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