Tube & Pipe Style – Can’t Find Fittings


Have you ever been working on creating a new Tube & Pipe style in Inventor, only to have the fittings you know you just published not show up in the library browser for the style?  Me too.  It can be very annoying, but there is usually a pretty simple explanation.

Once you have verified that the fittings were published properly and can be inserted into an assembly from the Content Center by normal means, take a look at the units of the fittings and the pipe conduit you are assigning to the Style in question.  usually this type of issue is linked to the size parameters on the pipe or fitting not matching just right.

For example:  I have a pipe conduit part that has Imperial sizes of 1 thru 12 inches, expressed in the Family Table under the ND column (nominal diameter) as 1, 2, 3 etc.  I assign that pipe to a Tube & Pipe style, and look for the fittings to go with it.  The elbow that I want to use is also Imperial sizes 1 thru 12 inches, but in the family table under whatever column calls out the nominal size they are listed as 1 in, 2 in, 3 in etc.  More than likely your fitting is not going to show up in the library browser.  But if you edit that family table so that the units match the pipe conduit… lo and behold, there it is.

Another example:  Same pipe conduit as above, but now you’ve selected pipe size 2 1/2.  If the elbow family table does not contain a 2 1/2 size, it will not even show up as a choice in the library browser.

I guess the best advice here is to choose one method of expressing your units and make it the same across the board.  this is especially difficult when publishing fittings that may come form older iParts.  It means double checking the ipart table before publishing or, if already published, editing the family table in the Content Center Editor.

Incidentally, did you know that Content Center tables may be edited using Microsoft Excel?  Look in the upper left corner of the editor toolbar….


Pick that button and your family table opens in Excel, where you can use tools such as find/replace to make quick changes in large tables.

Also, note in this table that in my Size column, I have mixed fractional and decimal units.  I left these as such to illustrate that this is another potential mismatch with the pipe, and could cause the T&P Style editor to not see this fitting as a valid match.

I’ve put forth yet another Inventor Idea Station Idea, with suggested changes to the Tube & Pipe Style Editor.  Please feel free to give it your Kudos, or add any suggestions of your own to the idea.


“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.”  Programs and programmers’ information used with permission.  Thanks guys!


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.

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3 comments on “Tube & Pipe Style – Can’t Find Fittings
  1. Thanks for the tip Chris,

    I was wondering if you have much experience using Design Review? It seems to be the black sheep of the Autodesk family as there is very little about it published. We decided we wanted to go to a paperless (for the most part) environment recently and wanted to use it to check our Inventor models (another big subject) and documentation.

    Essentially, we create a .dwf of the Inventor .dwg and mark it up. It is checked into Vault and then retrieved later by the detailer who makes the corrections to the original drawing and then checks it and the drawing back into Vault for back checking. I noticed that Inventor allows the .dwf to overlay onto the original document and it has a “mark up” browser as well. Do you know how this interaction is designed to work. Haven’t found out anything about this feature on the web.

    Thanks and keep the posts coming…….



    • cgbenner says:

      We use Design Review in conjunction with Vault Professional and the ECO process. I have a post in my blog related to this as well:
      The built in markup tools in Vault are…. lacking, so we use ADR to create the markups. I’m not using the overlay so I’m not sure how that is supposed to work. We also built in some symbol libraries for our 2D markups:
      ADR’s future was put into doubt a few years ago, and has not been updated since 2012. I know there are some things being looked at to address visualizations and markups in Vault, but I have no idea what the plan will be for the future.


      • Thanks again for the quick reply.

        Since we only have Vault Basic, we are simply checking in and checking out the dwf’s. similar to an excel or any other unlinked file. However, when opening the .dwf file from Inventor, we then get the link(?) or overlay that has the choice of browser options (Model, Vault, Markups).

        Although I know the .dwf is not linked to the Inventor .dwg, it acts like it is and there must be some reason for this feature other than making it easier for the detailer to see and make changes on the same screen. Maybe the “Compare Sheets” under the tools tab works with it?

        Thanks for the tip on creating symbols…I will use it now. Sorry you had to go to so much trouble to figure it out. I have had simliar experiences with Inventor since we first implemented it in 2010. One of the biggest issues we have currently is “how to check” in Inventor. Both models and drawings and have developed a couple of procedures. There are a few tools like Interference Analyzer, but the “Inspect” tab is one that could use a lot of attention. It is pretty barren right now.

        If you have any thoughts or experience on checking workflows, I would love to hear it. Definitely would be a good topic at AU as I have heard from other users and managers who wrestle with this VERY IMPORTANT aspect of 3D modeling and documentation.

        Have a great weekend.

        Mike Bruce
        DIS-TRAN Packaged Substations, LLC


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