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Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Sum of its Parts - Adding Column Values in Autodesk Inventor

“Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.”
Jose Ortega y Gasset

One of the questions that came up not that long ago was; "How do I add up the mass values for a component in a part list?  I want to show the total mass for several components,  instead of the mass for just one."

How to I get here?  Where the total mass of multiple components is shown.

It's not very difficult, but you do have to know where to look.  I still remember thinking, "That's it?!?" when I first saw. it.

But like so many things, you just have to know where to look.  So guess what I did?

If you're reading this, you probably can guess the answer. 

I created a video, and blogged about it.

So take a look at the video.  As always, I hope it's helpful.

And this tip doesn't just apply to Mass.  It applies to any field that might need summing up!

And before you take a look at the video, there's one more tip.  If you want to make this setting (or any parts list setting), part of your default, remember that you can add them to your Styles Library.

Perhaps I'll create a video for that as well, but that's for a later week.



  1. Ok Jonathan, I knew how to create the sum for each part, but how do I display the total of ALL columns?

    ilogic maybe?

    Look foreard to your response on your GREATTTTTT site.



  2. Mike,

    You may not be able to do it "in the part list". But you can insert the mass field into a text box. That would give the total mass for an assembly.

  3. Okay Jonathan,

    I'll give it a try.


  4. Mike,

    Could you 'Roll up' the parts list to get the values you are after?

    Here's an example from the CAD Geeks:
    Tata Technologies Autodesk CAD Geek Speak » Blog Archive » Total Material Utilization – Inventor Parts List Roll-Up

  5. Thanks, Paul!

    I'll have to check that out myself! :-)

  6. This video was helpful but only partially helps me with my problem, might you be able to tell me how to sum up an entire columns values? I am trying to find the total weight of my total assembly.

  7. DreamCharger,

    Have you tried inserting the iProperty for mass from the assembly onto the drawing? That would get that value.

    Paul from "The CAD Setter Out" had a suggestion from the blog post above.

  8. Make an Iproperty Mass total from data exported from a parts list to an excel spreadsheet? Is that what youre saying I should do?

  9. Yes I watched that video and tried that method, it made a total mass from the total number of parts used in each row.

  10. This came from autodesk, i tried it, instruction# 2 was a bit unclear to me, i typed and pasted mass roll up in each row, and ultimately had no result.

    Adding total Mass to the partslist in Inventor

    How to add total mass of the entire assembly including the parts in the partslist of Inventor.

    To create a total mass for an assembly in the partslist.

    1. Open the BOM.

    2. Right click any column to customize. Add Category and Mass as an additional columns and then add "mass roll up" as value in the entire Category column.

    3. Create a partslist with Category and Mass column added to the partslist.

    4. Edit Partslist and select group settings. Select Category as the First Key. Click Ok.

    5. Right click on the Mass and choose Format Column.

    6. Under Substitution tab - Enable Value Substitution - Select Mass under use the value column.

    7. Under values used - select Sum of values.

    8. Select Apply unit formatting and Click ok.

    9. Total Mass of the assembly is added to the Partslist.

    Is this the correct proccess for me to add total mass in an entire column?

  11. Dreamcharger, look at the post dated 11-March-2012. At the request of a few I created a video showing how to place the total weight on the drawing. It's not in the Parts List directly but it can be placed on the sheet with it.

    Also, it appears that the directions from the Autodesk website are the textural instructions for the summing each row of the BOM. Similar to what's shown in the video on the post.

  12. So i got the above mass roll up to work but only if I delete my w flange 12x30 beam from my assembly. And its a standard library part, additionally I have nuts from the library that wont participate in the mass roll up. have before and after dual monitor screenshots.

    1. DreamCharger, I'm sorry but I didn't see this post (It's not always easy for me to keep up with blog comments).

      You might check the grouping settings, similar to Mark below:

  13. This looks very close to something I'm having trouble with. If I was for example going to build a play house for my kids, how do I get the parts list to display a total length for each material used? Example:

    1 56 plank 100x15
    Pos. Qty. Description

    where 56m of this plank needs to be purchased for the cabin, regardless if it was used for the walls and floor, maybe the ceiling or roof

    1. Bah, all the spaces got wiped out, but I'm sure you know how the parts list was supposed to look like...

    2. ...and I forgot to mention that I would make user defined templates for each profile, end extrude as necessary. The info for the parts list would show the cross-section dimensions and add the total lengths of all extrusions from the chosen template file. All help much appreciated :)

    3. It looks grouping, you can choose, or create a common parameter that would "collect" similar components.

      There's a link at wikihelp here.

      As for your templates. You would create the "base" shape and save it in your template directory.

      The Geeks at ECAD Inc have a nice video that shows how to add the parameters to the file and the part list.

    4. One last thought on grouping (had an idea "spark"). If you're grouping walls, floors, etc. by subassembly, you might try placing a "parts only" parts list.

      It would also collect like components.

    5. We're getting close here! I haven't had too much time to play around with it, but I'm nearer now than I have been. I think I will play with the value "pos 1" has in the parts list to a property (maybe custom and exported) to add up all the lengths? Ex. pos 1 could be a 100x10mm plank, 1m long AND a 100x10 plank 50cm long? As long as the parts property for pos 1 = 100x10mm. Would probably not be a bad idea to create an additional parts list, one showing the individual lengths for cutting and another to show total running lengths of different sections for purchase purposes...Hmmmm
      And if I drink enough coffee I could probaly get it to calculate the purchase prices for all the materials, divide it by a reasonable hourly rate and get the kids out cutting the grass and washing the car to pay for it? ;)
      Great site, a thousand thanks for helping the likes of me get a little smarter!