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Autodesk Inventor ™

Getting Started

5
20805-010000-5000a July 17, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Autodesk, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
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AUTODESK, INC. MAKES NO WARRANTY, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED
WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, REGARDING THESE MATERIALS AND MAKES
SUCH MATERIALS AVAILABLE SOLELY ON AN “AS-IS” BASIS.
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DAMAGES IN CONNECTION WITH OR ARISING OUT OF PURCHASE OR USE OF THESE MATERIALS. THE SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE
LIABILITY TO AUTODESK, INC., REGARDLESS OF THE FORM OF ACTION, SHALL NOT EXCEED THE PURCHASE PRICE OF THE
MATERIALS DESCRIBED HEREIN.
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time of its publication, and may not reflect the product at all times in the future.
Autodesk Trademarks
The following are registered trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries: 3D Plan, 3D Props, 3D Studio, 3D Studio
MAX, 3D Studio VIZ, 3DSurfer, ActiveShapes, ActiveShapes (logo), Actrix, ADE, ADI, Advanced Modeling Extension, AEC Authority (logo),
AEC-X, AME, Animator Pro, Animator Studio, ATC, AUGI, AutoCAD, AutoCAD Data Extension, AutoCAD Development System, AutoCAD
LT, AutoCAD Map, Autodesk, Autodesk Animator, Autodesk (logo), Autodesk MapGuide, Autodesk University, Autodesk View, Autodesk
WalkThrough, Autodesk World, AutoLISP, AutoShade, AutoSketch, AutoSurf, AutoVision, Biped, bringing information down to earth, CAD
Overlay, Character Studio, Design Companion, Design Your World, Design Your World (logo), Drafix, Education by Design, Generic,
Generic 3D Drafting, Generic CADD, Generic Software, Geodyssey, Heidi, HOOPS, Hyperwire, Inside Track, Kinetix, MaterialSpec,
Mechanical Desktop, Multimedia Explorer, NAAUG, ObjectARX, Office Series, Opus, PeopleTracker, Physique, Planix, Powered with
Autodesk Technology, Powered with Autodesk Technology (logo), RadioRay, Rastation, Softdesk, Softdesk (logo), Solution 3000, Texture
Universe, The AEC Authority, The Auto Architect, TinkerTech, VISION*, WHIP!, WHIP! (logo), Woodbourne, WorkCenter, and World-
Creating Toolkit.
The following are trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., in the USA and/or other countries: 3D on the PC, 3ds max, ACAD, Advanced User Interface,
AME Link, Animation Partner, Animation Player, Animation Pro Player, A Studio in Every Computer, ATLAST, Auto-Architect, AutoCAD
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Assistance, AutoCAD Simulator, AutoCAD SQL Extension, AutoCAD SQL Interface, Autodesk Animator Clips, Autodesk Animator Theatre,
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DesignProf, DesignServer, DWG Linking, DXF, Extending the Design Team, FLI, FLIC, GDX Driver, Generic 3D, gmax, Heads-up Design,
Home Series, i-drop, Kinetix (logo), ObjectDBX, onscreen onair online, Ooga-Chaka, Photo Landscape, Photoscape, Plasma, Plugs and
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Sparks, Suddenly Everything Clicks, Supportdesk, The Dancing Baby, Transform Ideas Into Reality, Visual LISP, Visual Syllabus, VIZable,
Volo, and Where Design Connects.
Third Party Software Credits
2000 Wise Solutions Inc. © All rights reserved.
ACIS® Copyright © 1989-2001 Spatial Corp. All rights reserved.
Anderson, et. al. LAPACK Users’ Guide, Third Edition. Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, 1999.
COPRA MetalBender © 1989-2000 data M Software GmbH. All rights reserved.
dBASE is a registered trademark of Ksoft, Inc.
Portions licensed from D-Cubed Ltd. DCM-2D and CDM are trademarks of D-Cubed Ltd. DCM-2D Copyright D-Cubed Ltd. 1989-
2001. CDM Copyright D-Cubed Ltd. 1999-2001.
Portions of this software are based on the work of the Independent JPEG Group.
Licensing Technology Copyright © C-Dilla Ltd. UK 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000.
MD5C.C - RSA Data Security, Inc., MD5 message-digest algorithm Copyright © 1991-1992, RSA Data Security, Inc. Created
1991. All rights reserved.
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Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5 Copyright © Microsoft Corporation 1995-1999. All rights reserved.
Microsoft® Windows® NetMeeting® Copyright © Microsoft Corporation 1996-1999. All rights reserved.
Objective Grid ©, Stingray Software a division of Rogue Wave Software, Inc.
SMSLib © 1998-2001, IntegrityWare, Inc., GeomWare, Inc. and Solid Modeling Solutions, Inc.
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TList™ 5 Active X control, Bennet-Tec Information Systems.
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uuencode/uudecode Copyright © 1983 Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Visual Basic® and Visual Basic logo (graphic only) Copyright © 2001 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.
GOVERNMENT USE
Use, duplication, or disclosure by the U. S. Government is subject to restrictions as set forth in FAR 12.212 (Commercial Computer
Software-Restricted Rights) and DFAR 227.7202 (Rights in Technical Data and Computer Software), as applicable.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Contents

Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Introducing Autodesk Inventor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Who should use Autodesk Inventor? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
What’s in this manual? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Key Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Information Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
User Interface. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Tools and Commands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Context Menus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Sketch and Select Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Cursor Symbols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
File Templates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Projects in Autodesk Inventor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Creating New Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Opening Existing Projects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Specifying Path Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Finding Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
Importing and Exporting Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
AutoCAD Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Autodesk Mechanical Desktop Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
SAT Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
STEP Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
IGES Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Design Support System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
Learning Autodesk Inventor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Where to Go for Additional Help and Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

iii
Chapter 1 Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
What is a sketch? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Why create sketches? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
When do I use the sketch environment? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Where do I find sketches?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Key Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Sketching Shapes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Sketch Geometry Styles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Entering Precise Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Modifying Sketches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Adding or Removing Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Placing Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Sketching Tools and Symbols. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Sketching Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Constraint Symbols. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Efficient Sketching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Shortcuts for Sketching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Shortcuts for Refining the Geometry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Advanced Constraint Techniques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37

Chapter 2 3D Sketches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Why use the 3D sketch environment? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Where do I find a 3D sketch? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Key Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Planning Your Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Sketching 3D Paths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Creating Bends in 3D Paths . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Positioning 3D Paths. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
3D Sketching Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Chapter 3 Part Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
How do I create a 3D part model? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
What is a feature? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46
When do I use the part modeling environment?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Where do I find a part model? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

iv | Contents
Key Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Planning Your Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Creating New Parts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Creating Base Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Creating Work Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Viewing Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Modifying Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Adding Sketched Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
Adding Placed Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
Creating Patterns of Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Splitting Faces or Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
Part Modeling Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Feature Creation Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Viewing Tools. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Chapter 4 Base Solids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
When do I use the solid modeling environment?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
What can I do with solid models? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Where do I find a solid model? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Key Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Planning Your Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Importing Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Editing Base Solids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
Solids Editing Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

Chapter 5 Sheet Metal Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
How do part modeling and sheet metal differ?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
What makes sheet metal a design environment? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
How do I create a flat pattern?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
How can I create stamped features?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Key Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Planning Your Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Changing to the Sheet Metal Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Setting Sheet Metal Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
Creating Faces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Creating Punches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

Contents | v
Creating Cuts and Holes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68
Creating Flanges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69
Creating Bends and Seams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70
Creating Flat Patterns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70
Sheet Metal Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74

Chapter 6 Assemblies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
What are assemblies? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
When do I use the assembly environment? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
What are adaptive assemblies and parts? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
How do I design parts in-place? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
What are derived parts? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
What are derived assemblies? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
What are iMates?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
Key Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
Planning Your Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
Creating or Placing the First Component. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
Positioning Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80
Adding Components. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Creating Patterns. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82
Replacing Components. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82
Adding Constraints to Components. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83
Using Drive Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86
Adding Constraints to Adaptive Parts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86
Creating 2D Layouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88
Checking for Interference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89
Creating Design Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90
Restructuring Assemblies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
Producing Bills of Material . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92
Packaging Assemblies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92
Assembly Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
Loading and Updating Components Faster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
Managing Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
Using Efficient File Structures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
Managing Assembly Constraints . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96
Navigating with the Browser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96

vi | Contents
Chapter 7 iFeatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
What is an iFeature?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Why use iFeatures?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Where can I use iFeatures?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Key Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Planning Your Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Creating iFeatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Viewing the Catalog of iFeatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Inserting iFeatures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Chapter 8 Presentation Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
What are presentation documents?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
How many views can I have?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
How can I show partial assemblies?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
How can I animate the exploded view?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Key Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Creating Presentation Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105
Changing View Vectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Tweaking Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Editing Tweaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Editing Trails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Animating Tweaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Presentation Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110

Chapter 9 Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
When can I create a drawing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
When do I use the drawing environment? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
How do I revise a part from the drawing? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Key Features. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
Work Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Creating Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Customizing Drawings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Creating Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Contents | vii
Rotating Views . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
Adding Sheets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
Using Model Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117
Creating Dimensions in Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117
Changing Dimensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118
Annotating Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
Hole Tables in Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
Parts Lists in Drawings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
Creating Sketch Overlays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
Printing and Plotting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
Drawing Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121
Drawing Management Toolbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121
Drawing Annotation Toolbar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122
Sketch Toolbar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127

Chapter 10 Collaboration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129


Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
What is collaboration? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
What is the Engineer’s Notebook? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
What is Design Assistant? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
Key Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131
Collaborative Environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132
Using Microsoft Windows NetMeeting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132
Accessing Assemblies Concurrently . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133
Reserving Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133
Prioritizing Paths in Project Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
Engineer’s Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
Creating Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
Opening Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Organizing Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Design Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136
Design Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
Creating Reports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
Tracking Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138
Design Assistant Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139
Working Smarter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140
Engineer’s Notebook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140
Design Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .140

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141

viii | Contents
Introduction

In This Chapter

Autodesk Inventor™ software is a 3D mechanical design ■ Introduction to Autodesk


Inventor
system built with adaptive technology and solid
■ User Interface
modeling capabilities. It provides all of the tools you ■ Projects
■ Design Assistant
need to execute design projects, from the first sketch to
■ Importing and exporting data
the final drawings, whether you are a single designer or ■ Design support system

a member of a collaborative design team. ■ Learning Autodesk Inventor

This chapter provides information to help you get

started using Autodesk Inventor 5 software. Subsequent

chapters provide overviews of the Autodesk Inventor

work environments and functionality. References to

specific information in Help are provided throughout

the manual.

1
Introducing Autodesk Inventor
The Autodesk Inventor software includes features for 3D modeling,
information management, collaboration, and technical support. With
Autodesk Inventor, you can
■ Create 3D models and 2D manufacturing drawings.
■ Create adaptive features, parts, and subassemblies.
■ Manage thousands of parts and large assemblies.
■ Use third-party applications, with an Application Program Interface (API).
■ Use VBA to access the Autodesk Inventor API. Create programs to
automate repetitive tasks. From the Help menu, choose Programmer Help.
■ Import SAT, STEP, and AutoCAD® and Autodesk® Mechanical Desktop®
(DWG) files for use in Autodesk Inventor. Export Autodesk Inventor files
to AutoCAD, Autodesk Mechanical Desktop, and IGES formats.
■ Collaborate with multiple designers in the modeling process.
■ Link to Web tools to access industry resources, share data, and
communicate with colleagues.
■ Use the integrated Design Support System (DSS) for help as you work.

Who should use Autodesk Inventor?


Autodesk Inventor is a feature-based, solid modeling tool for designers who
create mechanical models in a 3D environment.

What’s in this manual?


This manual presents information about the Autodesk Inventor work
environments. Each chapter is built on four categories of information:
Key Features An overview of the unique features of the environment.
Work Flow An overview of the functionality within a particular work
environment, along with references to exact locations of
detailed information and instructions in Help.
Tools and Illustrations and explanations of the toolbuttons and
Symbols symbols particular to the environment.
Working Tips to help increase your productivity.
Smarter

2 | Introduction
Key Features
Autodesk Inventor software integrates functionality for 3D modeling,
information management, and support.

Modeling
The following are key features for modeling in Autodesk Inventor 5.
Derived parts Create parts from other parts. Use derived parts to explore
alternative designs and manufacturing processes. See
chapter 3, “Part Models.”
Solid modeling Integrate surfaces with solids to create complex shapes.
Autodesk Inventor uses the latest version of Spatial
Technologies ACIS™ geometric modeler. See chapter 3,
“Part Models.”
Sheet metal Create sheet metal parts and features using both part
modeling and sheet metal tools. See chapter 5, “Sheet
Metal Design.”
Adaptive Use work features (planes, axes, and points) to assemble 2D
layout “parts” associatively in Autodesk Inventor. Use an
adaptive layout to optimize an assembly by focusing on
function before form. See chapter 6, “Assemblies.”
Adaptive parts Make parts and assembly components adaptive. Adaptive
and assemblies parts change in response to changes in other parts. Edit
parts anywhere in a model in any order. See chapter 6,
“Assemblies.”
iFeatures Create features, sketches, or subassemblies, and save them
as iFeatures in a catalog for reuse. Place, size, and modify
these features later. See chapter 7, “iFeatures.”
iMates Define and reuse constraint pairs called iMates to specify
how parts connect in an assembly. See chapter 6,
“Assemblies.”
Collaborative Use the Projects, Engineer’s Notebook, and Design
engineering Assistant tools in an environment where multiple users
work simultaneously in the context of the same assembly
and share information. See chapter 10, “Collaboration.”

Key Features | 3
Information Management
The following are key features for information management and
communication in Autodesk Inventor 5.
Projects Organize your work into projects before you start so that
Autodesk Inventor can always find files and referenced
files, and you can share files with a workgroup. See
“Projects in Autodesk Inventor” on page 11.
Drawing Use a template for drawings or customize your drawings
Manager to document your work. Add multiple sheets, and create
views, annotations, and tables. Drawing Manager
includes ANSI, BSI, DIN, GB, ISO, JIS, and custom
standards. See chapter 9, “Drawings.”
Design Search for and manage part files using properties such as
Assistant part number, material, and cost center. Create reports,
such as Hierarchy or Design Properties. See “Design
Assistant” on page 136.
Engineer’s Capture and annotate design data and attach “notes” to
Notebook help communicate the details and history of your design.
See “Engineer’s Notebook” on page 134.

Support
The Design Support System (DSS) in Autodesk Inventor 5 provides several
types of support. See “Design Support System” on page 19 for information
about Help, online Getting Started, What’s New, Visual Syllabus™, Design
Doctor™, and online Tutorials in the DSS.
The Inventor Support Assistance Help, available from the Help menu,
provides a database of technical support information in an issue and solution
format.
Autodesk Online, available from the Help menu, provides Web links to the
the Autodesk Inventor Home Page, Autodesk® Point A, Autodesk
Streamline™, RedSpark™, and Big Fix. Big Fix is the Point A pro-active
support service for Autodesk Inventor. For more information, see “Autodesk
Streamline,” “Autodesk Point A,” and “RedSpark” on page 21.

4 | Introduction
User Interface
The standards in Autodesk Inventor are like those in Microsoft® Windows®.
The user interface elements in Autodesk Inventor are common to most
Windows-based applications.
There are two main elements in the user interface for Autodesk Inventor.
Application Displayed when you open Autodesk Inventor.
Window
Graphics Displayed for each open file. When multiple files are
Window open, the graphics window you are working in is called
the active window.
This illustration shows the application window with a standard part file
template displayed in the graphics window.

Visual Syllabus Autodesk Point A


Standard toolbar Autodesk Streamline
Command bar

Panel bar in Sketch mode

Browser toolbar

Browser

Status bar

User Interface | 5
Browser
The browser shows the structure of parts, assemblies, or drawings in the
active file. It is unique to each environment. This illustration shows the
browser and the browser toolbar in the assembly environment.
Design View button

Filter button Browser toolbar

You can drag the browser to a new location.

Tools and Commands


Autodesk Inventor uses Windows-style toolbars and the Autodesk Inventor
panel bar. The panel bar is displayed above the browser by default. You can
display Windows-style toolbars, the Autodesk Inventor panel bar, or a
combination of the two. The toolbars are dockable, which means that you can
drag them to different locations. Toolbars are displayed at the location in
your window where you last used them.
Autodesk Inventor displays only the toolbars that are relevant to the active
graphics window and environment. For example, if you are in an assembly and
you activate a part, Autodesk Inventor switches from the assembly toolbars to
the appropriate part modeling toolbars. Each environment shares common
buttons and tools, like New or Help, but also has its own unique tool set.
The following example is the Features toolbar that is displayed in the part
modeling environment.

You can drag a toolbar to any location on the application window. You can
drag the corner of a toolbar in the application window to change its shape.
You can use the View menu to turn toolbars on and off.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Using Inventor ➤ Set up your work


environment

Help Index browser ➤ assembly ➤ Change the display of the assembly


browser
toolbars ➤ Set up and use toolbars and menus

6 | Introduction
Autodesk Inventor tools open dialog boxes when necessary. For example,
when you click a sketch tool you can draw without additional steps, and
when you click a feature modeling tool a dialog box is displayed. Dialog
boxes open on your window at the location where they were last used.
Click a sketch tool... Click a feature tool, and provide information

...and start drawing

When you work in Autodesk Inventor, you can usually select either an object
first and then click the tool to perform an action, or select the tool first and
then the object.
Select the action... OR Select the object...

...and then the object ...and then the action

User Interface | 7
Context Menus
Context menus are displayed when you right-click the mouse. The options
displayed in context menus are specific to the task you are performing.

Help Index context menus ➤ To use context menus

Sketch and Select Modes


Autodesk Inventor uses the Select and Sketch modes to tell the system when
you want to sketch or select objects. When you first open a part file, Autodesk
Inventor automatically activates the Select and Sketch modes.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Creating parts ➤ Create a sketch ➤ About


the sketch environment

You can control the Sketch and Select modes using the buttons on the
Command bar, as shown in the following illustration.

Sketch mode button Expanded Select mode button expanded

8 | Introduction
Cursor Symbols
As you use Autodesk Inventor, small symbols are often displayed beside the
cursor. These symbols are cues indicating that you can do something in your
model or perform a related operation.
For example, this parallel symbol is displayed when you sketch parallel lines.
See “Constraint Symbols” on page 35.

File Templates
Templates are provided for five of the file types you can use in Autodesk
Inventor. You can identify each file type by its icon and file extension.

Sheet Metal.ipt Standard.iam Standard.ipn Standard.idw Standard.ipt


(sheet metal) (assembly) (presentation) (drawing) (part)

Part files are also used for catalog parts.


You can create your own templates with your corporate standards, geometry,
file properties, or other basic information.

Help Index Templates ➤ Create assembly templates


Templates ➤ Create drawing templates
Templates ➤ Create part templates
Templates ➤ Create presentation templates
Templates ➤ Create sheet metal templates

User Interface | 9
When you click the option to open a new file, templates for the different file
types are displayed in the Open dialog box. The Default, English, and Metric
tabs contain file templates that use appropriate units and drafting standards.
The units and drafting standards in the Default tab are those you select when
you install Autodesk Inventor.

Autodesk Inventor New File Templates


Location of template Template name Description of template file

Default tab Sheet Metal.ipt Default sheet metal part

Standard.iam Default assembly

Standard.idw Default drawing

Standard.ipn Default presentation

Standard.ipt Default part

English tab ANSI (in).idw Drawing using inches

Catalog (in).ipt Part Catalog using inches

Sheet Metal (in).ipt Sheet metal part using inches

Standard (in).iam Assembly using inches

Standard(in).ipt Standard part using inches

Standard.ipn Presentation using inches

Metric tab BSI.idw Drawing using BSI standard

Catalog(mm).ipt Part Catalog using metrics

DIN.idw Drawing using DIN standard

GB.idw Drawing using GB standard

ISO.idw Drawing using ISO standard

JIS.idw Drawing using JIS standard

Sheet Metal(mm).ipt Sheet metal part using metrics

Standard(mm).iam Assembly using metrics

Standard(mm).ipt Part using metrics

Standard.ipn Presentation using metrics

10 | Introduction
Projects in Autodesk Inventor
In Autodesk Inventor 5, a system of Projects is used to manage files. You
create projects before you begin working. When your files are organized into
projects, Autodesk Inventor always knows where to find files and referenced
files, and they can be shared among multiple designers. Using Projects, you
can

■ Share standard and custom libraries.


■ Share files with a workgroup.
■ Work on different aspects of the same assembly at the same time.

A project consists of the following:


Projects folder Contains shortcuts to all of your project home folders.
You have only one Projects folder.
project home Contains one file (.ipj) that specifies paths to folders
folder containing all the files that are connected to the project.
You have a project home folder for each project you set
up. Shortcuts to these project home folders are stored in
the Projects folder.
workspace A specified primary location where you work on the
project. Each project has one workspace. You usually save
new files in your workspace.
files connected Can be local or network files connected to or referenced
to a project to a project. Paths to these files are stored in the .ipj file in
the project home folder.
Although you can create files without setting up projects, it is recommended
that you set up projects first. Set the location for the Projects folder, and then
set up the project. After you set the location and create a Projects folder, you
do not change its location.

Projects in Autodesk Inventor | 11


Creating New Projects
To create a new project, you use the Projects window. When you open an
Autodesk Inventor session, the startup dialog box provides the Projects
option. When you click Projects, the Projects - Select a project file window
opens. You can also choose File ➤ Projects to open the Projects window. From
a right-click menu in the Projects window, you select New, or click the New
button. The Inventor project wizard guides you through the process to create
a new project.

NOTE The Inventor project wizard dialog box opens only if all Autodesk
Inventor files are closed.

When you create a new project, you specify:

■ Whether the project is new, or a private workspace for an existing group


project.
■ Whether the project uses existing files, or files that are not yet created.
■ Project name.
■ Location of the project home folder.
■ File location for the workspace.
■ Group project file location, if it is a group project.
■ Standard and custom libraries included in the project.

Shortcut paths to your project (.ipj) files are automatically stored in their
project home folder.
Your new project is automatically listed in the Projects - Select a project file
window.
You can set up your projects to recognize either relative paths or absolute
paths. In Autodesk Inventor 5, project files recognize relative paths by
default. Project files created prior to this version of Autodesk Inventor
required absolute paths. You can use the option in the lower window of the
Projects dialog box to switch between relative and absolute.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Using Autodesk Inventor ➤ Work with


projects

Help Index projects

12 | Introduction
Opening Existing Projects
You use the Select a project file window to open existing projects. When you
open an Autodesk Inventor session, the startup dialog box provides the
Projects option to open the Select a project file window.
The upper area of the Projects window lists your existing projects folders,
from which you make your selection.
The lower window contains search path information for the project selected
in the upper window. Here you can select a search path type to change the
paths, add new paths, or delete paths.

To change projects, in the Select a project file window, select a different


project. The information in the lower window changes accordingly. You
cannot change the project if a file is open.

Projects in Autodesk Inventor | 13


Specifying Path Types
Autodesk Inventor uses path shortcuts in the Projects folder to locate and
activate your personal project files. When you open a project (.ipj) file,
Autodesk Inventor uses the search paths specified in that active project file
to find the component files. For each component file, the system goes
through the search paths until it finds the file. If there are copies of the file
in multiple locations, the system uses the first copy it finds. You can
prioritize search paths to speed up the process of finding files.
A project file can specify four types of search paths: workspace, local,
workgroup, and library. A project file must specify your workspace search path
and may specify paths for some or all of the other search path types.
Workspace The default location for files. If all the files for the project
are located in one place, this may be the only entry in the
project file. If you are working on a design team, the
Workspace identifies your personal work area.
Local Additional file locations. The locations can be on your
machine or on a network.
Workgroup Shared network locations for referenced files. Workgroup
locations are used mainly when you are working in design
teams.
Library Locations for standard parts, or other named libraries.
This path is the first searched by Autodesk Inventor.
Standard parts, such as cap screws or purchased parts, can make up 50-60%
of an assembly. You can store these parts in libraries. The file location for a
library part is specified as a library path. Assembly files record the location of
a library part when you place it in the assembly so the part can be recalled
the next time the assembly file is opened. If the system can’t find the file, it
displays the Resolve Link dialog box so you can browse for the file. Since the
system checks library locations first, you can speed up the file opening
process by referencing standard parts to library paths.

14 | Introduction
If a part is not found in the library paths, the system checks the workspace
next, then local paths, then workgroup paths. If the file is not found in any
of the specified locations, Autodesk Inventor searches the folder that
contains the parent file, then displays the Resolve Link dialog box so you can
browse for the file.

Finding Files
The Resolve Link dialog box has a field that displays the defined search paths.
When you browse for a file, click the path name, and the file location is
entered in the Look In field. If you can’t find the file, click Skip to continue
loading the assembly. If you click Skip All, the system loads the assembly
without trying to resolve any missing files

Projects in Autodesk Inventor | 15


Importing and Exporting Data
You can import SAT, STEP, IGES and AutoCAD and Autodesk Mechanical
Desktop (DWG) files for use in Autodesk Inventor. You can save Autodesk
Inventor parts and assemblies in a number of file formats, and you can save
Autodesk Inventor drawings as DXF or AutoCAD drawing (DWG) files.
The options for opening AutoCAD files in Autodesk Inventor are:

■ Layer mapping
■ Selection of an AutoCAD template
■ Support for DFX files back to version 12
■ Creation of AutoCAD Mechanical files, if AutoCAD Mechanical is
installed

NOTE Mechanical Desktop files can be linked to assemblies without importing.

AutoCAD Files
You can open AutoCAD (DWG or DXF) files back to version 12. When you
open an AutoCAD file in Autodesk Inventor, you can specify the AutoCAD
data to translate. You can select:

■ Model space, a single layout in paper space, or 3D solids


■ One or more layers

You can also place 2D translated data:

■ On a sketch in a new or existing drawing


■ As a title block in a new drawing
■ As a sketched symbol in a new drawing
■ On a sketch in a new or existing part

If you translate 3D solids, each solid becomes a part file containing an ACIS
solid body.
When you import AutoCAD (DWG) drawings into a part sketch, a drawing,
or a drawing sketch overlay, the converter takes the entities from the XY
plane of model space and places them on the sketch. In a drawing, certain
entities, such as splines, cannot be converted.

16 | Introduction
Autodesk Mechanical Desktop Files
When you export Autodesk Inventor drawings into AutoCAD, you get an
editable drawing. The converter creates a new AutoCAD drawing and places
everything into paper space in the DWG file. If there are multiple sheets in
the Autodesk Inventor drawing, each sheet is saved as a separate DWG file.
The exported entities become AutoCAD entities, including dimensions.
Autodesk Inventor can translate Autodesk Mechanical Desktop parts and
assemblies so the design intent is retained. You can import a Mechanical
Desktop file as either an ACIS body or a full conversion. In order to import
model data from a Mechanical Desktop part or assembly, Mechanical
Desktop must be installed and running on your system. Features that are
supported in Autodesk Inventor are converted. Features that are not
supported are not translated. If Autodesk Inventor can’t translate a feature it
skips that feature, places a note in the browser, and then completes the
translation.

Help Contents Help for AutoCAD users ➤ Use AutoCAD data


Using other file types ➤ How to... Open Files ➤ Open files from
other CAD systems
Using other file types ➤ Reference... Open files ➤ Open DWG
File Options reference
Using other file types ➤ How to...Save files to other formats

Help Index AutoCAD files ➤ open

SAT Files
SAT (*.sat) files contain nonparametric solids. They may be Boolean solids or
parametric solids with the relationships removed. An SAT file can be used in
an assembly. You can add parametric features to the base solid.
When you import an SAT file, if it contains a single body it produces an
Autodesk Inventor part file with a single part. If it contains multiple bodies,
it produces an assembly with multiple parts.

Help Contents Using other file types ➤ How to... Open files ➤ Open files from
other CAD systems
Using other files types ➤ Reference... Open files ➤ SAT File
Open Options reference
Using other file types ➤ How to... Save files to other formats

Help Index SAT files

Importing and Exporting Data | 17


STEP Files
STEP files are the international format developed to overcome some of the
limitations of data conversion standards. Past efforts in developing standards
have resulted in localized formats such as IGES (U.S.), VDAFS (Germany), or
IDF (for circuit boards). Those standards do not address many developments
in CAD systems. The STEP converter for Autodesk Inventor is designed for
effective communication and reliable interchange with other CAD systems.
When you import a STEP (*.stp, *.ste, *.step) file, only 3D solid, part, and
assembly data are converted. Drafting, text, wireframe, and surface data are
not processed by the STEP converter. If a STEP file contains one part, it
produces an Autodesk Inventor part file. If it contains assembly data, it
produces an assembly with multiple parts.

Help Contents Using other file types ➤ How to... Open files ➤ Open files from
other CAD systems
Using other files types ➤ Reference ➤ Open files ➤ STEP File
Open Options reference
Using other file types ➤ How to...Save files to other formats

Help Index STEP files

IGES Files
IGES (*.igs, *.ige, *.iges) files are a standard in the United States. Many
NC/CAM software packages require files in IGES format. Autodesk Inventor
imports and exports IGES files.

Help Contents Using other file types ➤ How to... Open Files ➤ Open files from
other CAD systems
Using other file types ➤ How to...Save files to other formats

Help Index IGES files ➤ IGES File Open Options reference

18 | Introduction
Design Support System
The Design Support System (DSS) is a combination of information and
interactive support tools. You can get the latest version of Autodesk Inventor
Help and other DSS components from the Autodesk Inventor Updates Web
page using the direct link in Help.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Using Autodesk Inventor ➤ Get Help


Getting Started ➤ Using Autodesk Inventor ➤ Get Help ➤
Autodesk Inventor Updates

Help Index Getting Started


Design Doctor
Visual Syllabus

Design Support System Components

Support tool Use to... Looks like...

Help
Contents Look up How To, Learn About, and
Reference information for any
operation.
Get AutoCAD user assistance.
Get Power user help.
Index Enter a key word and select a topic.
Search Enter words or a phrase.

Where to find...
Help menu
Button on toolbar
Press F1
How To option on context menu

Getting Started Link to information to help you get


started using Autodesk Inventor.

Where to find...
From the Help home page, select
Getting Started.

Design Support System | 19


Design Support System Components (continued)

Support tool Use to... Looks like...

What’s New Select a topic and learn about new


or improved features in this release.
Learn to use the Development API to
create programs that automate
repetitive tasks.
Where to find...
Help menu
From the File menu, select Getting
Started ➤ See “What’s New” in
this release
Context menu in Help topics

Visual Syllabus Click an object to see an animation


of the process to create it.

Where to find...
Button on Standard toolbar

Design Doctor Diagnose and repair part or


assembly modeling problems.

Where to find...
Button on Standard toolbar
available when an error is
underlined in red on your screen.
Browser context menu

Tutorials Follow step-by-step instructions


with animated illustrations to create
example parts, assemblies, and
drawings.

Where to find...
Help menu
Context menu in Help topics

20 | Introduction
Design Support System Components (continued)

Support tool Use to... Looks like...

Autodesk Collaborate by sharing design data


Streamline and other documents instantly.
Perform design reviews by using the
markup facility. Manage and access
projects in one centralized location.

Where to find...
Button on Standard toolbar
From the Help menu, choose
Autodesk online ➤ Autodesk
Streamline
From the File menu, choose Getting
Started ➤ Autodesk Streamline
Button on Help system navigation
bar

Autodesk Locate design resources and stay


Point A connected with your professional
colleagues. Link to internet
information, support, and learning
resources.

Where to find...
Button on Standard toolbar
From the Help menu, choose
Autodesk online ➤ Autodesk
Point A
From the File menu, choose Getting
Started ➤ Autodesk Point A

RedSpark Manage outsourced manufacturing


interactively.

Where to find...
From the Help menu, choose
Autodesk online ➤ RedSpark
From the File menu, choose Getting
Started ➤ RedSpark

Design Support System | 21


Learning Autodesk Inventor
The following are suggestions for learning Autodesk Inventor using a
structured approach for your particular experience level.

Suggested Learning Approaches

If you are... Recommended Steps

Familiar with 2D CAD Read this manual. Pay particular attention to the Work Flow
program, but new section in each chapter.
to 3D
From the Help menu, select:
What’s New See what’s new in this release.
Tutorials Review step-by-step instructions to create parts,
assemblies, and drawings.
Select File ➤ Getting Started. From the Getting Started page,
review the different parts of the DSS

Experienced in 3D Read this manual.


solid modeling
From the Help menu, select:
What’s New See what’s new in this release.
Tutorials Review step-by-step instructions to create parts,
assemblies, and drawings.
Start building your own part. If you need instructions:
Press F1; right-click and select How To from the context
menu; from the Standard toolbar, click the Visual Syllabus
button and select the appropriate image to see how a
specific task is performed.
From the Help home page, select Power user.
Select File ➤ Getting Started. Review contents in Autodesk
Point A, Autodesk Streamline, and RedSpark.

Experienced in From the Help menu, choose Help for AutoCAD users.
AutoCAD
From the Help Contents Tab, choose Help for AutoCAD users.

Experienced in Read this manual.


Mechanical Desktop
From the Standard toolbar, click the Visual Syllabus button.
Select images in the Visual Syllabus to see how specific tasks are
performed.
From the Help menu, select Tutorials for step-by-step
instructions to create parts, assemblies, and drawings.
Select File ➤ Getting Started. From the Getting Started page,
review the different parts of the DSS.
In Help, see Using other file types.

22 | Introduction
Suggested Learning Approaches (continued)

If you are... Recommended Steps

New to CAD tools Enroll in training for 2D/3D CAD modeling before using
Autodesk Inventor.
Read this manual. Pay particular attention to all Work Flow topics.
From the Help menu, select:
What’s New See what’s new in this release.
Tutorials Review step-by-step instructions to create parts,
assemblies, and drawings.
From the Standard toolbar, click the Visual Syllabus button.
Select images in the Visual Syllabus to see how specific tasks
are performed.

Select File ➤ Getting Started. From the Getting Started page,


review the different parts of the DSS.

Where to Go for Additional Help and Training


Additional information about Autodesk Inventor is available on the Web
page at http://www.autodesk.com/inventor. On the Web page, navigate to
Learning and Training for e-Learning and classroom training resources,
Autodesk® Official Training Courseware, and a list of books about Autodesk
Inventor.
For information about Autodesk, go to www.autodesk.com. Navigate to Product
Center for information about other Autodesk products.

Learning Autodesk Inventor | 23


24
Sketches

In This Chapter
1
In Autodesk Inventor™, sketching is the first step in ■ Introduction
■ Key features
creating a part. This chapter gives you an overview of
■ Work flow
the sketch environment, sketch tools, and the work flow
■ Tools and symbols

for creating sketches. ■ Working smarter

Detailed information about sketching is available in the

Autodesk Inventor Help. References to specific

information in Help are provided throughout the Work

Flow section of this chapter.

25
Introduction
The model you create in Autodesk Inventor is linked to its underlying
sketches. If you change a sketch, the model is automatically updated.
You work in the sketch environment when you create or edit a sketch. The
sketch environment consists of a sketch and sketch tools.

What is a sketch?
A sketch is the profile of a feature and any geometry (such as a sweep path or
axis of rotation) required to create the feature. You create a 3D model from a
sketch by projecting the profile or revolving it around an axis.

From sketch... ...to 3D model

Why create sketches?


You create a 3D model of a part by using a feature creation tool along with
information in the sketch. The sketch is linked to the resulting feature, so if
you edit a sketch, the feature is updated.

26 | Chapter 1 Sketches
When do I use the sketch environment?
When you open a new part file, the sketch environment is automatically
active. The 2D Sketch button is selected, and the 2D Sketch toolbar is
available. In an existing part file, first activate the sketch in the browser. This
action activates the tools in the sketch environment so you can create
geometry for part features. After you create a model from a sketch, you can
reenter the sketch environment to make changes or start a new sketch for a
new feature.

Where do I find sketches?


When you create a sketch, a sketch icon is displayed in the browser. When
you create a feature from a sketch, a feature icon is displayed in the browser
with the sketch icon under it. When you point to a sketch icon in the
browser, the sketch is highlighted in the graphics window. Double-click the
sketch in the browser to edit it.

Key Features
Dynamic Autodesk Inventor infers, displays, and automatically
Inference applies constraints as you sketch.
Shared Use a single sketch to create multiple features or multiple
Sketches profiles in a part model.
Constrained Determine constraints, resize a sketch, and create
Drag constraints by dragging geometry.
General Create dimensions with a single tool.
Dimension
Auto Dimension and constrain sketches in a single step with a
Dimension minimum of clicks and interaction.
Hatching Apply hatch patterns to regions in drawings.
Direct edge Project edges of an existing face to create new sketch
referencing geometry.
2D Spline Define, add, and delete points for a spline, and specify the
Faster or Smoother solve method to achieve the best
result.

Key Features | 27
Work Flow
Every part starts with a sketch. In the sketch environment, you can draw and
refine freehand sketches. This section provides an overview of how to create
sketches. The following is a reference to detailed information in Help about
creating sketches. Additional references to information about specific tasks
are provided throughout this section.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Creating parts ➤ Create a sketch

Sketching Shapes
To start a sketch from scratch, open a new part file and select a tool from the
Sketch toolbar. Then start sketching in the graphics window. As you sketch,
symbols, such as perpendicular or vertical alignment, are displayed when
constraints can be applied. To close the geometry, click the start point. To end
the command, press ESC or click Select.
While creating geometry, you can rub an edge on a different face to project
it into your sketch. You accomplish the rub by moving your cursor back and
forth over the geometry to project.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Sketches

Help Index sketching

Sketch Geometry Styles


There are two styles for sketch geometry.
Normal The default style, used for creating features.

Help Index sketch ➤ get started

Construction For geometry that is required to sketch the profile, but


won’t be used for creating the feature or for paths, sweeps,
and lofts.

Help Index sketches ➤ use construction geometry

You specify a geometry style from the Style field above the graphics window
before you begin sketching new geometry. For changing the style of existing
geometry, select the geometry first, and then specify a style from the Style field.

28 | Chapter 1 Sketches
Entering Precise Values
You can enter precise values for geometry as you sketch. The tools for precise
input are located on the Precise Input toolbar. Precise input works with any
sketch tool that requires placement of a point. The precise input tool has X
and Y fields. You can enter both values to define a point, or enter just the X
or Y value to limit the placement of the point to a vertical or horizontal line.

Help Index precise input

Modifying Sketches
After you create sketch geometry, you can refine and adjust the proportions
of the sketch. If the geometry is not fully constrained, you can revise it by
dragging. You can revise one or multiple elements using the drag method.
You can format model edges and sketch lines.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Sketches ➤ How to... Change sketches

Help Index sketches ➤ edit ➤ Edit sketches

perpendicular

horizontally aligned

Constraints are applied Drag the active endpoint


as you sketch to create a tangential arc

Drag to resize geometry Use the Show/Delete Constraints


tool to display constraints

Work Flow | 29
Adding or Removing Constraints
Define your design intent by adding geometric constraints to the sketch.
Constraints limit changes and define the shape of a sketch. For example, if a
line is horizontally constrained, dragging an endpoint changes the length of
the line or moves it vertically, but does not affect its slope.
Although you can use unconstrained sketches, fully-constrained sketches
result in more predictable updates. You can use auto dimensioning to place
the dimensions that are critical to a sketch and then, in one step, finish the
dimensioning until the sketch is fully constrained. You can also create
constraints by dragging geometry until the cursor brushes the geometry you
want to constrain. Autodesk Inventor infers constraints as you drag the
geometry into position.

vertically aligned

dragged geometry

snap indicator

Constraint symbol appears when Vertical constraint symbol


the dragged geometry touches the appears as the geometry is
endpoint dragged into position

Constraints can be viewed and removed using the Show Constraints tool on
the Sketch toolbar. You can view all constraints at once and hide all
constraints using options from the context menu. You can drag a constraint
box to another position.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Sketches ➤ How to... Constrain sketches

Help Index constraints ➤ view and delete

30 | Chapter 1 Sketches
Placing Dimensions
Dimensions define the size of your sketch. After you add a dimension, you
cannot change the size of a line or curve by dragging it. In Autodesk
Inventor, you cannot apply double dimensions to a sketch.
You can define dimensions with other dimension values. The names of
dimensions are parameters. When you edit a dimension, you can enter an
equation that uses one or more parameters.
You can display sketch dimensions in one of three forms:

■ Calculated value, which is currently available


■ Parameter name
■ Parameter name and calculated value

You can place driven dimensions with Autodesk Inventor, and you can
change the dimension type of an existing dimension to driven. A driven
dimension displays the size of the geometry, but you can’t edit the
dimension value. Use driven dimensions to display dimensions that would
over constrain a sketch, and to control the adaptivity of a sketch.
For more information on adaptivity, see chapter 6, “Assemblies.”

horizontal dimension parameter

vertical dimension parameter


unitless number

You can modify dimensions using the Edit Dimension dialog box.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Sketches ➤ How to... Dimension sketches

Help Index sketch tools ➤ dimensions

Work Flow | 31
Sketching Tools and Symbols
The sketching tool set includes sketching tools and constraint symbols.

Sketching Tools
Some sketching tools have multiple options. If an arrow appears next to a
tool, click the arrow to open a menu.

Sketching Tools

Button Tool Settings/Options Special Instructions

Edit coordinate system Rotate grid.

Line Create line segment Select Normal or


Construction from
the Style menu.
Create spline

Center point Create circle with center point Select Normal or


circle and radius Construction from
the Style menu.
Create circle tangent to three
lines or curves
You can trim, extend, and
Create ellipse
dimension ellipses.

Arc Create arc with three points Select Normal or


Construction from
Create arc with center point the Style menu.
and two endpoints

Create arc tangent to a line


or curve at its endpoint

Rectangle Create rectangle with diagonal


points
Create rectangle with three
orthogonal points

Fillet Create fillet by entering radius Define radius in a dialog


and clicking two lines or curves box.

Chamfer Create broken edges or other Define chamfers in a


sketch geometry dialog box.

32 | Chapter 1 Sketches
Sketching Tools (continued)

Button Tool Settings/Options Special Instructions

Point, Create hole center or sketch Select hole center


Hole point (default) or sketch point
Center from the Style menu.

Polygon Create a polygon

Mirror Mirror sketch geometry, and apply Use the Symmetry tool to
symmetry constraints edit existing geometry.

Rectangular Create a rectangular sketch pattern


pattern Create associative and
non associative patterns.
Circular Create a circular sketch pattern Suppress pattern
pattern instances.

Offset Create parallel lines or curves


at a specified distance

General Apply dimensions to sketches


Dimension

Auto Place dimensions automatically to Place critical dimensions


Dimension fully constrain a sketch in one step first.

Extend Extend a line or curve to Press and hold SHIFT to


intersect with the nearest temporarily enable Trim.
line, curve, or point Turn on Extend from
context menu.

Trim Trim a line or curve Press and hold SHIFT to


temporarily enable
Extend. Turn on Trim
from context menu.

Move Move or copy imported DWG or


sketch geometry

Rotate Rotate or copy imported DWG or


sketch geometry

Add Make two lines perpendicular


Constraint

Make two lines parallel

Sketching Tools and Symbols | 33


Sketching Tools (continued)

Button Tool Settings/Options Special Instructions

Make a line or curve tangent to a


curve

Make points, lines, or curves


coincident

Make two curves concentric

Make lines or axes collinear

Make a line horizontal;


horizontally align points

Make a line vertical; vertically


align points

Make two lines or radii equal length

Make points, lines, or curves


fixed relative to the sketch
coordinate system

Symmetry Make existing geometry symmetric Can apply separately


from Mirror constraint.
Use Mirror to create new
symmetrical sketches.

Show Show applied constraints Position the cursor over a


Constraints constraint and press
DELETE to remove it.

Project Project geometry onto another


Geometry sketch

Project Cut Project onto a sketch plane all


Edges edges of a selected part that
intersect the sketch plane

Project Flat Project a flat pattern onto a sketch


Pattern plane

Insert
AutoCAD file

34 | Chapter 1 Sketches
Constraint Symbols
As you sketch, when you can apply a constraint its symbol is displayed.

Constraint Symbols

Symbol Constraint Applied Special Instructions

Horizontal

Vertical

Parallel

Perpendicular

Coincident The snap indicator highlights when the constraint


is active.

Aligned A dotted line shows horizontal or vertical


alignment.

Tangent

Sketching Tools and Symbols | 35


Working Smarter
You can increase efficiency and optimize the performance of Autodesk
Inventor with the following practices.

Efficient Sketching
■ Keep the part sketch simple.
For example, don’t fillet the corners of a sketch if you can apply a fillet to
finished edges of the model to achieve the same result.
■ Draw sketches roughly to shape and size.
Use the grid as a reference.
■ Stabilize the shape before you add dimensions.
Drag endpoints to make sure the proper constraints are applied. Edit
sketch geometry so it has the proper shape and proportions.
■ Use line styles.
Autodesk Inventor looks for geometry with Normal style when it identifies
a profile and path for creating a feature. In complex sketches, profile
selection will be faster and more reliable if you convert any reference
geometry to Construction.

Shortcuts for Sketching


■ Start a line by dragging off a circle or an arc.
Drag radially for a perpendicular line or drag tangentially for a tangent
line.
■ Start a line by dragging off the interior (not the endpoints) of another
line.
The new line will be constrained perpendicular to the existing line.
■ Create an arc by dragging off the end of a line.
Return the pointer to the endpoint of the line to change the direction of
an arc.
■ Start a spline tangent to a line by dragging off the line.
Select the endpoint of a line and drag it in the direction of tangency to
end a spline tangent to a line.

36 | Chapter 1 Sketches
■ Create coincident constraints.
When you start a new line, arc, or circle from an existing line, Autodesk
Inventor can infer a coincident constraint to the midpoint, endpoint, or
interior of the line.
■ Add midpoints to lines.
Click the Point tool and select the sketch style. The snap indicator
highlights when you point to the midpoint of a line. You can also drag an
existing point to the midpoint of a line.

Shortcuts for Refining the Geometry


■ Use SHIFT to drag.
All drag features, except for a tangent spline, are also available by pressing
and holding SHIFT while moving the cursor.
■ Drag multiple lines, curves, or points at the same time.
Select the geometry, press CTRL, and drag the last item you selected.
■ Switch between the Trim and Extend tools.
Press SHIFT or select the other tool from the context menu to switch
between Trim and Extend.

Advanced Constraint Techniques


■ Turn off automatic constraints.
Press and hold CTRL while sketching.
■ Select curves for constraint.
Move the cursor over the geometry you want to constrain while
sketching.
■ Define dimensions with equations.
Double-click a dimension to open the Edit Dimension dialog box. Click
the reference geometry, and its dimension identifier appears in the dialog
box. You can use the dimension identifier in a mathematical expression
(for example, D1*2).
■ Override the units on a particular dimension.
For example, in a part file set to metric dimensions, you can enter 1 inch
in the Edit Dimension dialog box.

Working Smarter | 37
38
3D Sketches

In This Chapter
2
The 3D sketch environment in Autodesk Inventor™ is ■ Introduction
■ Key features
especially useful for creating routing parts in assemblies.
■ Work flow
This chapter gives you an overview of the 3D sketch
■ Tools and symbols

environment, tools, and the work flow for creating 3D ■ Working smarter

path sketches for routed parts.

Detailed information about 3D sketches is available in

the Autodesk Inventor Help. References to specific

information in Help are provided throughout the Work

Flow section of this chapter.

39
Introduction
Routed parts are used to define tubing, cables, and wires that run throughout
assemblies. In Autodesk Inventor, you can work within an assembly to create
a sketch path for a 3D sweep or loft feature and easily reference existing
assembly geometry to position it.

Why use the 3D sketch environment?


You can work within an assembly to create 3D paths to represent wiring,
cabling, or tubing, and position them using adaptive work points from
existing components. You can also work within a single part to define a 3D
path for a swept feature.

Where do I find a 3D sketch?


When you create a 3D sketch, a sketch icon is displayed in the browser. After
you create a part from the 3D sketch, a part icon is displayed with the sketch
icon under it.

Key Features
3D Sketch You can sketch a 3D line or separate 3D line segments in
any order, and join them with inserted 2D sketch
geometry.
Include You can project 2D sketch geometry from a previously-
Geometry created model into a 3D sketch.
Auto-Bend You can create bends between adjoining line segments
automatically as you sketch.
Adaptive Work You can reference geometry on other parts when you
Features position adaptive points for the 3D lines used in paths.

40 | Chapter 2 3D Sketches
Work Flow
This section provides an overview of how to create and edit a 3D swept
feature. The following is a reference to detailed information in Help about
creating 3D swept features. Additional references to information about
specific tasks are provided throughout this section.

Help Contents Designing models➤ Sketches ➤ How to... Create sketches ➤


3D sketches

Planning Your Work


To create a sweep feature, you sketch a 2D profile, define a 3D path, and then
sweep the 2D profile along the path.
The method you use to create a 3D path usually depends on the type of routed
part you need. For a tube or pipe consisting of straight line segments
connected by arcs or bends, use lines and arcs for a 3D path. For a wire, a
spline is usually defined by points on a series of work planes. A cable is much
like a wire and can be defined by a spline unless there is a spline edge.
With the 3D Line command, you can create a 3D sketch using any number
of two-point lines, or a single continuous 3D path connecting work points.
You can include existing geometry in a 3D sketch, and you can combine 2D
paths into a 3D path and project a 2D sketch onto a 3D part face. Bends are
added at corners either manually or automatically. You can create adaptive
offset work points on other parts to position 3D paths.

Work Flow | 41
It is recommended that you create 3D sweep features in the following
sequence:
■ Create the 2D geometry you need to include in the 3D sketch.
■ Set the 3D sketch bend radius and 3D snap values in Tools ➤ Document
Settings.
■ Create adaptive work points on other parts to position the 3D line.
■ Project geometry from existing assembly components into the 3D sketch
for part of the path shape.
■ Sketch the path shape, snapping to work points, vertices, and endpoints
of included geometry segments.
■ Place tangent corner bends using the Bend tool in 3D Sketch mode.
■ Right-click and select Finish 3D sketch.
■ Create a 2D profile on a plane perpendicular to the sketch path.
■ Use the Sweep tool to select the 2D profile and the 3D sketch.
■ Define the remaining sweep parameters and click OK to create the sweep
feature.

Sketching 3D Paths
With the tools in the 3D Sketch toolbar, you can sketch a 3D path and
position it within an assembly. If you plan to include 2D geometry in the 3D
sketch, you create the 2D geometry before you create the 3D sketch.
You can right-click a sketch in the browser and edit lines and bends as
needed. If you lose a part or geometry during editing, you can reattach 3D
sketch lines to valid points or vertices.

Help Contents Designing models➤ Sketches ➤ How to... Create sketches ➤


3D sketches ➤ 3D lines

Help Index sketch tools ➤ 3D lines

42 | Chapter 2 3D Sketches
Creating Bends in 3D Paths
You can create bends in 3D lines either manually or automatically. To place
a bend automatically, you use the Auto-Bend feature. To place a bend
manually, you begin with existing 3D sketch geometry.
When you use the 3D Line tool to create lines, bends are automatically added
to corners. If you delete a bend, or the radius is too large to fit line segments,
the corner in the 3D line is restored.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Sketches ➤ How to... Create sketches ➤


3D sketches ➤ 3D sketch bends

Help Index sketch tools ➤ 3D bends


3D sketches ➤ bends

Positioning 3D Paths
You usually create a 3D sketch by point-to-point connections of work points.
These work points can be offset from existing assembly components using
corner offset points that are adaptive. After the points are created you can use
AutoHide to hide all but the final work feature.

Help Contents Designing models➤ Sketches ➤ How to... Create sketches ➤


3D sketches ➤ 3D lines

Help Index adaptive ➤ work features

Work Flow | 43
3D Sketching Tools
The 3D Sketching tools are similar to some of those available for 2D
sketching and part modeling.

3D Sketching Tools

Button Tool Settings/Options Special Instructions

3D Line Create 3D line segments through Click to break the line,


existing selected work points, then right-click and select
vertices, and other geometry Restart to begin a new
line.

Bend Apply default bend radius and


dimension to selected corners

Include Insert 2Dsketch geometry into a


Geometry 3Dsketch

Work Plane Create a work plane

Work Axis Create a work axis

Work Points Locate points relative to geometry


on other features

Working Smarter
Use the following practices to increase efficiency and optimize Autodesk
Inventor performance.
■ When you plan to include 2D geometry in a 3D sketch, create the 2D
geometry before you create the 3D sketch.
■ Create 2D profile geometry after you create 3D sketch geometry
■ When you work in an assembly, create a separate part file for a 3D sweep
feature.
■ Use adaptive work features referenced from other parts to position points
for 3D lines.
■ To simplify the 3D sketch display, use the Auto-hide option on
Application Tools ➤ Part tab.

44 | Chapter 2 3D Sketches
Part Models

In This Chapter
3
This chapter provides an overview of the concepts for ■ Introduction
■ Key features
creating part features with Autodesk Inventor™ software
■ Work flow
tools, and describes the workflow in the part modeling
■ Part modeling tools

environment. ■ Working smarter

Detailed information about part modeling is available

in the Autodesk Inventor Help. References to specific

information in Help are provided throughout the Work

Flow section of this chapter.

45
Introduction
A part model is a collection of features. A feature is usually created from a
sketch. Features are related to one another based on the order in which they
are created. Good planning makes it easier to create and revise a model.

How do I create a 3D part model?


To create a 3D part model, you extrude sketch geometry, sweep or project
sketch geometry along a path, or revolve sketch geometry around an axis.
These models are often called solids because they enclose volume, unlike
wireframe models which only define edges. The solid models in Autodesk
Inventor are feature-based and persistent.
Feature-based means that a part is a combination of features such as holes,
flanges, fillets, and bosses.
Persistent means that you can edit the characteristics of a feature by returning
to its underlying sketch or changing the values used in feature creation. For
example, you can change the length of an extruded feature by entering a new
value for the extent of the extrusion. You can also use equations to derive one
dimension from another.

What is a feature?
A feature is a distinct element of a part that can be edited at any time. There
are four types of features: sketched, placed, pattern, and work.
A sketched feature is based on sketch geometry and is defined by the
parameters you enter in a feature creation command. You can edit the sketch
geometry and the feature parameters.
A placed feature, such as a fillet or chamfer, does not require a sketch. To
create a fillet, you enter the radius and select an edge. The standard placed
features are shell, fillet, chamfer, face draft, hole, and thread.
A pattern feature is a rectangular, circular, or mirrored duplication of features
or groups of features. Individual occurrences in a pattern can be suppressed,
as necessary.
Work features are planes, axes, or points used to create and position features.

46 | Chapter 3 Part Models


When do I use the part modeling environment?
The part modeling environment is active any time you create or edit a part.
Use the part modeling environment to create or modify features, define work
features, create patterns, and combine features to create parts. Use the
browser to edit sketches or features, show or hide features, create design
notes, make features adaptive, and access Properties.

Where do I find a part model?


In an open part file, the part is the top-level entry in the browser. In an open
assembly file, each part is listed separately.
You can find the features listed under the part icon in the browser. To edit a
feature, right-click it in the browser or graphics window. From the context
menu, select Edit Feature to revise the feature creation parameters or Edit
Sketch to revise the underlying sketch.

Key Features
Feature See what a feature looks like as you define it.
preview
Feature editing Edit any aspect of a feature at any time.
Work features Select geometry directly to construct work features.
Derived parts Create a part derived from a base part or a component in
an assembly.
Component Apply colors and reflective qualities to parts, and
color transparent color such as glass when a part obscures
others behind it.
Surface design Construct complex shapes for plastic products, and
increase accuracy and productivity in tooling.

Key Features | 47
Work Flow
This section provides an overview of how to create part models. The
following is a reference to detailed information in Help about creating parts.
Additional references to information about specific tasks are provided
throughout this section.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Creating parts

Planning Your Work


Your first sketch for a part can be a simple shape that is easy to create. You
can edit features after you add them, so you can develop your design quickly.
Throughout the design process, add geometric and dimensional detail and
constraints to improve your models. Evaluate design alternatives by
changing relationships and constraints, or adding and deleting features.
The first feature you create is the base feature. You create additional features
to complete your part. Since these features are dependent on the base feature,
good planning can dramatically reduce the time required to create a part.

finished part child features removed

48 | Chapter 3 Part Models


Some points to consider before you create a model:

■ Which view of the part best conveys its shape?


The base feature is usually the most prominent feature in that view.
■ What are the most important features of your part?
Create these features early in the modeling process so you can use them
for creating subsequent features.
■ Which features require sketches? Which features can be placed?
Both surfaces and solids can be extruded from sketches. Features such as
fillets and chamfers do not require sketches.
■ Can you use the origin and coordinate planes to your advantage?
For example, if you create a shaft with its center at the origin, you can use
one of the coordinate planes from the browser to sketch a key way.
■ Will it be helpful to apply color styles to parts?
Colors and light reflective qualities help to distinguish individual parts.

Help Index plan sketches


sketches ➤ plan

Creating New Parts


When you create a new part, you can choose from several templates with
predefined units. A template can also contain property information, such as
material properties or project information.
Templates are stored in the Autodesk\Inventor5\Templates directory or in the
English or Metric subdirectories. Subdirectories in the Templates directory are
displayed as tabs in the New dialog box. You can create and save custom
templates in the Templates directory.

NOTE If you select Part from the drop-down menu beside the New button,
the standard Part template opens. If the Standard.ipt file is not in the
Autodesk\Inventor5\Templates directory, an error dialog box is displayed.

Work Flow | 49
You can define properties for a part, such as part and project data, material
properties, units of measure, status, and color. The information on the
Summary, Project, Status, and Custom tabs is available outside of Autodesk
Inventor through the Design Assistant or Microsoft® Windows® Explorer.
For more information about Design Assistant, see “Design Assistant” on page
136.

Help Index templates ➤ using ➤ Using part templates ➤ setting properties


properties ➤ design

Creating Base Features


The first feature you create in a part is called the base feature. The base feature
may be an imported base solid (.sat or .step file format). The base feature
should represent the most basic shape in the part. You can also create a work
feature as the base feature.
After you plan your strategy, decide how to create the base feature.
Extrude Projects a cross section along a straight path. Use to create
surfaces as well as solids.
Revolve Projects a cross section around an axis.
Loft Constructs a feature with varying cross sections sketched
on multiple work planes. The model transitions from one
shape to the next, and can follow a curved path.
Sweep Projects a constant cross section along a curved path.
Coil Projects a constant cross section along a helical path.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Features and parts ➤ How to... Create
features ➤ Sketched features

Creating Work Features


A work feature is a plane, axis, or point that can be projected onto a sketch
as a reference feature and used to construct new features. Work features are
used when current geometry is insufficient for constructing or locating
additional features. For example, you can create a work plane at an angle to
a face. If that face changes, the work plane and any associated features also
change. If you edit the angle of a workplane, the associated features update
to reflect the new orientation. Work features can be adaptive.

50 | Chapter 3 Part Models


In the figure on the left, the work plane was created at a 45-degree angle to
the top face. The hole and work axis are added. In the figure on the right, the
work plane angle is changed to 30 degrees. The hole and work axis moved
with the plane.

Autodesk Inventor can infer the work feature from the selected geometry. For
example, if you want to create a work axis, just select the end of a cylinder
and a work axis is created through the center of the cylinder.
The visibility of work features can be controlled globally. You can use the work
feature visibility control to simplify the information displayed on the screen.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Features and parts ➤ How to... Create
features ➤ Work features

Help Index adaptive ➤ work features

Viewing Parts
There are several ways to view a part. The default view is normal to the sketch.
If you right-click in the graphics window and select Isometric View from the
menu, the view vector changes to the isometric orientation. You can select
Previous View from the menu or press F5 to return the model to the last view.
The view commands are located on the Standard toolbar. See “Viewing
Tools” on page 57.
You can rotate a view in 3D. Using the Rotate tool in the Standard toolbar,
you can rotate a view around one of the coordinate axes. When Rotate is
active, press the SPACEBAR to use the Common View tool, a “glass box” with
a view vector on each face and corner.

Help Contents Viewing Designs ➤ Viewing Models

Help Index viewing tools


display options

Help Search look at

Work Flow | 51
Modifying Features
Use one of three options on the Browser right-click menu to modify a feature:
Edit Feature, Edit Sketch, or Show Dimensions. Edit Feature opens the dialog
box for that feature. Edit Sketch activates the sketch. Show Dimensions
displays the sketch dimensions so you can edit them in the part modeling
environment.
After you modify a part sketch, update the part to complete the edit and exit
the command.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Features and parts ➤ How to... Change
features

Help Index edit ➤ features

Adding Sketched Features


Parent/child relationships exist between features, which means that one
feature controls another. The base feature is the parent to all other features.
There can be multiple levels of parent/child relationships. A child feature is
created after the parent feature. A child feature cannot exist without a parent
feature. For example, you can create a boss on a casting, and it may or may
not have a hole drilled in it, depending on the application. The boss (the
parent) can exist without the hole (the child), but the hole cannot exist
without the boss.
The same procedure for creating a base feature is used to create a sketched
feature. With a sketched feature, you specify a sketch, and you have more
options for creating the feature.
You can select a face on an existing part, and sketch on it. The sketch is
displayed with the Cartesian grid defined. If you want to construct a feature
on a curved surface, or at an angle to a surface, you must first construct a
work plane.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Features and parts ➤ How to... Create
features ➤ Sketched features

52 | Chapter 3 Part Models


Adding Placed Features
A sketch is not required to create a placed feature. For example, you specify
an edge for a chamfer, and use the chamfer creation tool to define the
remaining parameters. The placed feature tools are located on the Features
toolbar.
Some of the standard placed feature tools are shell, fillet or round, chamfer,
and face draft.
Shell Produces a hollow part with a wall thickness you define.
Fillet Places a fillet or round on selected edges.
Chamfer Breaks sharp edges. Can add material to an inside edge.
Face draft Creates draft on selected faces. You specify the pull
direction.
Other placed features are threads and holes. The Thread and the Hole tools
both provide a dialog box to define the placed features.

Corners and hole center point Holes defined as 8-32 UNC x 0.75 inch deep,
selected as hole centers with a 0.375 x 0.25 inch counterbore

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Features and parts ➤ How to... Create
features ➤ Placed features

Work Flow | 53
Creating Patterns of Features
Single features or groups of features can be duplicated and arranged in
patterns. The pattern tools require reference geometry to define the pattern.
You can create patterns using the Rectangular Pattern, Circular Pattern, and
Mirror Feature tools.
You can suppress components in a component pattern without removing
them from the assembly. This makes it easy to replace parts and to create
unique members in assemblies.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Features and parts ➤ How to... Create
features ➤ Pattern features

Splitting Faces or Parts


The Split tool uses sketch geometry for a parting line to split faces or the
entire part. When you split a face, the system divides the existing face along
the parting line.

Split Face button

select entire part or individual faces for split

When you split a part, the system cuts through the part along the parting line
and deletes half of the part.

Split Part
button select direction for material removal

Help Index split face or part


faces ➤ split

54 | Chapter 3 Part Models


Part Modeling Tools
The part modeling tool set includes the feature creation tools on the Features
toolbar and the viewing tools in the Standard toolbar.

Feature Creation Tools


An arrow next to a button indicates you can expand the button to see more
options.

Feature Creation Tools

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Extrude Extrude a profile normal to the Can be used as a base


sketch to create solids and surfaces feature.

Revolve Revolve a profile around an axis Can be used as a base


feature.

Hole Create a hole in a part Use hole points or line


endpoints as hole
centers.

Shell Create a hollow part Placed feature.

Rib Create rib and web features from Placed feature.


open profiles in parts

Loft Construct a feature with varying Requires multiple work


cross sections; can follow a planes.
curved path

Sweep Extrude a profile along a curved Can be used as a base


path feature.

Coil Extrude a profile along a helical Can be used as a base


path feature.

Thread Create regular and tapered external Placed feature uses


and internal threads on parts custom, NPT, and other
thread standards.

Fillet Create a fillet or round on Placed feature.


selected edges

Chamfer Create a chamfer on selected Placed feature.


edges

Part Modeling Tools | 55


Feature Creation Tools (continued)

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Face Draft Create draft on selected faces Placed feature.

Split Split selected faces along parting


line; split part and remove half

View Open a catalog of iFeatures


Catalog
Insert an iFeature

Create an iFeature from an existing


feature

Derived Create a new part from a base part


Component

Rectangular Create a rectangular pattern of


Pattern features Can suppress an
individual occurrence of
Circular Create a circular pattern of a pattern feature.
Pattern features

Mirror Create a mirror image across


Feature plane, line, or axis

Work Plane Create a work plane See “work features” in


the Help Index.

Work Axis Create a work axis

Work Points Create a work point

Parameters Display parameters for all features Link external


spreadsheets from this
Edit or replace numbers with
icon located in the
equations
Standard toolbar.
Create additional parameters

56 | Chapter 3 Part Models


Viewing Tools
This table describes the tools used to change the view. You can use these tools
in all environments.

Viewing Tools

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Zoom All Zoom in or out so everything is


visible in the graphics window

Zoom Zoom in so the selected viewing


Window area fills the graphics window

Zoom Drag to zoom in or out Press F3 to temporarily


activate the tool.

Pan Drag to reposition the model in Press F2 to temporarily


the graphics window activate the tool.

Zoom Zoom in or out so the selected


Selected geometry fits in the graphics
window

Rotate Change the viewing perspective Press F4 to temporarily


of the model activate the tool.
Press SPACEBAR to use the Common Click away from the 3D
View rotation tool Rotate symbol to exit.

Look At Change the viewing perspective


so the view is normal to the
selected geometry

Shaded Display the model as a shaded Default display setting


Display solid

Hidden Edge Display the model as a shaded


Display solid with hidden edges visible

Wireframe Display the model as a wireframe


Display

Orthographic Change the view to orthographic


Camera

Perspective Change the view to perspective


Camera

Part Modeling Tools | 57


Working Smarter
■ Use the default coordinate system.
If you create a shaft with its center at the origin, you can reference one of
the coordinate planes when you sketch additional features.
■ Add work features while you create parts.
It can be easier to create assemblies if work features already exist in the
part file.
■ Share sketches between features.
Shared sketches can drive multiple features. A shared sketch appears at the
top level of the browser. A shortcut to the shared sketch is shown under
each feature that uses it.
■ Use To Next and Through All terminations.
Features created with To Next and Through All terminations update
automatically to reflect changes to other features.
■ Set the Select mode.
Specify the type of geometry you want to select to filter out other types.
■ Use the browser filter.
Hide various elements in the browser to make it easier to navigate through
features.

58 | Chapter 3 Part Models


Base Solids

In This Chapter
4
Base solids are models created in other CAD systems and ■ Introduction
■ Key features
saved in SAT or STEP file format. This chapter is an
■ Work flow
overview of the concepts, procedures, and workflow for
■ Base solids tools

using the base solids environment in Autodesk ■ Working smarter

Inventor™ 5.

Detailed information about base solids is available in

the Autodesk Inventor Help. References to specific

information in Help are provided throughout the Work

Flow section of this chapter.

59
Introduction
You can open and use files created in and saved in Pro\ENGINEER® and
other CAD systems with the file extensions SAT (.sat), STEP (.stp), and DWG
(AutoCAD® .dwg, Autodesk Mechanical Desktop® .dwg).
If an imported SAT or STEP file contains a single component, Autodesk
Inventor recognizes it as a base solids part file. If the imported file contains
multiple components, Autodesk Inventor recognizes it as a base solids
assembly with multiple part files.

When do I use the solid modeling environment?


After you import a file, you can double-click the base solid icon in the
browser to activate the solid modeling environment. Use the solid modeling
environment to position work features, to modify a base solid, or to use edges
of a base solids face as a profile.

What can I do with solid models?


Solid models are different from Autodesk Inventor models. You cannot access
the sketches, features, dimensions, or constraints used to create a base solid.
However, you can edit base solids, manipulate and delete faces, and create
work features for use as construction geometry.

Where do I find a solid model?


When you save imported files in SAT or STP file format, the browser displays
base icons to represent the base solids.

Key Features
Editing solids Move or delete a base solid face, lengthen or shorten a
base solid, and delete a base solid body.
Retain faces Retain a face from a deleted base solid for use as a profile.
Work Features Create work features for use as construction geometry.

60 | Chapter 4 Base Solids


Work Flow
This section presents an overview of the procedures for working in the base
solids environment.
References to information in Help about specific tasks are provided
throughout this section.

Planning Your Work


In the solids environment, you use solids tools to modify an imported base
solid. Modifications are not parametric, and do not add features to the solid,
except for work features used as construction geometry. When you update a
base solid to incorporate changes, features added in the part environment are
repositioned.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Features and parts ➤ Reference... Parts ➤


Base solids

Help Index solids ➤ environment

Importing Files
You can import SAT and STEP files created in other CAD systems, and DWG
files created in AutoCAD or Autodesk Mechanical Desktop.

Help Index SAT files ➤ About the solids environment


STEP files ➤ About the solids environment

Editing Base Solids


You can extend or contract a base solid, and manipulate and delete faces.
After you add sketch geometry and sketched features to a base solid, you can
delete the solid, but retain dependent features and sketches.
Double-click a solids icon in the browser and choose Edit Solid to activate the
solid modeling environment and the solids editing tools. When you finish
the edits, use Update to incorporate the changes and exit the solids
environment.

Help Contents Designing models Features and parts ➤ Reference... Parts ➤


Base solids

Help Index solids

Work Flow | 61
Solids Editing Tools
The solids editing tools are available for editing base solid models that were
created in another CAD system and saved in .sat or .stp file format. To
activate the solids environment and edit these base solids, right-click a
component in the browser and selecting Edit Solid.

Solids Editing Tools

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Move Face Move one or more faces on a solid

Extend or Extend or contract a base solid


Contract symmetrically about a planar face or
Body work plane

Work Plane Create a work plane See the online Tutorials.

Work Axis Create a work axis

Work Points Create a work point

Toggle Toggle precise input


Precise UI

Working Smarter
Use these tips to increase your efficiency when you work with base solids.

■ Use the Measure and Precise Input tools to enter values when resizing
a base solid.
Use these toolbuttons on the Standard toolbar during the process to
expand or contract a base solid.
■ Move sketches onto other work planes.
You can constrain the sketches to work planes or use the Reattach Sketch
tool to move sketches onto other work planes.

62 | Chapter 4 Base Solids


Sheet Metal Design

In This Chapter
5
This chapter presents an overview of the Autodesk ■ Introduction
■ Key features
Inventor™ 5 sheet metal design environment, the work
■ Work flow
flow, and the tools for creating sheet metal parts. You
■ Sheet metal tools

learn how to use part modeling tools to create parts that ■ Working smarter

are recognized in the sheet metal environment.

Detailed information about sheet metal design is

available in the Autodesk Inventor Help. References to

specific information in Help are provided throughout

the Work Flow section of this chapter.

63
Introduction
In the sheet metal design environment, you can create sheet metal parts and
features using both part modeling tools and sheet metal tools.

How do part modeling and sheet metal differ?


Many of the sheet metal tools are based on part modeling tools that are
optimized for sheet metal design. For example, when you create a sheet metal
face, you select a profile just like in Extrude. The system extrudes the profile
by the material thickness, and can add a bend in the same step. Part
modeling tools are required for some of the more complex sheet metal
features, such as dimples and louvers. Tools developed specifically for sheet
metal include Bend, Corner Seam, and Punch.

What makes sheet metal a design environment?


When you create a part in the sheet metal environment, you can concentrate
on functionality first, then add the manufacturing details later. For example,
you can create disjointed faces, then add bends at the end.

How do I create a flat pattern?


Use the Flat Pattern tool to create a flat pattern. The flat pattern is created in
a second window, and a flat pattern icon is placed at the top of the browser.
When you change the model, the flat pattern is updated automatically.

How can I create stamped features?


If your part has features with a lot of material deformation, such as louvers,
you can use the feature modeling tools. You see the outline of the feature
when you view the flat pattern, and you can dimension to a feature in a
drawing. If you create these features as iFeatures, the flat pattern analyzer
recognizes them and displays them in 3D on the flat pattern.
For information about iFeatures, see chapter 7, “iFeatures.”

64 | Chapter 5 Sheet Metal Design


Key Features
Face Creates a face by adding thickness to a sketched profile.
Creates a bend when possible.
Flange Creates a full-width face and bend in one operation. You
can create a contour flange.
Bend Extends and trims faces as necessary to create bends
automatically.
Hem Creates a folded or rolled 180 degree hem on an edge, or
a double hem.
Flat pattern Creates a flat pattern of a sheet metal model. Updates
automatically to reflect a change to the model.
Punch Replicates turret press functionality. Places iFeatures in
sheet metal parts. In drawings, places hole center marks
on hole centers from sketches.

Work Flow
This section presents an overview of how to create a sheet metal part. The
following is a reference to detailed information in Help about sheet metal
design. Additional references to information about specific tasks are provided
throughout this section.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Creating sheet metal parts

Planning Your Work


Common sheet metal parts are enclosures, covers, and mounting brackets.
You can work in the context of an assembly and develop the functional
aspects of your parts before you finalize the manufacturing details.
If you are designing a mounting bracket, you can create disjointed faces that
mate with components in the assembly. Then connect those faces with bends
to create a complete model. This is efficient from a design perspective, and it
simplifies revisions. You can easily delete and create bends to optimize the
flat pattern for manufacturing.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ How to... Create sheet
metal features

Key Features | 65
Changing to the Sheet Metal Environment
Sheet metal is the first optimized design environment for part modeling.
Autodesk Inventor recognizes modeling and sheet metal as part file subtypes.
You can change the default part modeling subtype to sheet metal any time
by selecting Applications ➤ Sheet Metal. The sheet metal subtype identifies
the part as sheet metal, enables the Sheet Metal toolbar, and adds the sheet
metal parameters. If you change the subtype back to modeling, the sheet
metal parameters remain, but the system recognizes the modeling subtype.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ Learn about ➤


Environment

If you make an error as you work in sheet metal, Design Doctor, a component
in the Design Support System (DSS), is displayed. Design Doctor helps you to
identify and repair errors.

Setting Sheet Metal Styles


A sheet metal part has parameters that describe the part and how it is made.
For example, sheet metal has a uniform thickness and the bends usually have
the same radius.
The Sheet Metal Styles button is the first icon in the Sheet Metal toolbar. The
following is a list of sheet metal settings with descriptions.
Style List Manages sheet metal styles.
In Style List, lists all defined sheet metal styles.
In Active Style, indicates the active sheet metal style.
Sheet tab In Sheet, sets parameters that define the material and
thickness.
In Flat Pattern, sets the unfold method to Linear or Bend
Table. With the Linear Unfold method, you enter a
decimal percent of the material thickness for the Linear
Offset. The Linear Offset is the position of the neutral axis
in the bend. With a Bend Table, the linear offset is defined
by material type, thickness, bend radius and bend angle.
Bend tab Sets parameters that define the bend radius, relief shape,
and size.
Corner tab Sets parameters that define corner relief shape and size.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ Reference ➤ Styles

66 | Chapter 5 Sheet Metal Design


Creating Faces
The first step in the design of most sheet metal parts is to create a face. The
Face tool is similar to the Extrude tool in part modeling. The main difference
is the Face tool is always a Boolean add. The extrude depth is the thickness.
You can create a bend or a hem as you create a new face.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ How to... Create sheet
metal features ➤ Sketched features ➤ Sheet metal faces

The sketch plane is created on the sheet metal


edge. The tab is sketched with one edge coincident
with the existing sheet metal face.

Since the sketch is coincident with the existing


sheet metal face, the Face tool automatically
creates the bend and bend reliefs. When a bend is
close to an edge, the bend relief is extended to
consume the remnant.

Use the Contour Flange tool on the Sheet Metal toolbar to define and create
flanges. The Contour Flange tool provides options for preview and flip offset
and flip direction. You can define the bend, and choose whether or not to
include a bend relief.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ How to... Create sheet
metal features ➤ Placed features

Work Flow | 67
Creating Punches
The Punch tool provides an optimized format for placing iFeatures in sheet
metal parts. Since many features in sheet metal parts are made with turret
presses, the Punch tool replicates that functionality in Autodesk Inventor.
The Punch tool places iFeatures on hole centers. In a drawing, you can place
a hole center mark on the hole center from the sketch.

Help Index Punch tool

Creating Cuts and Holes


The Cut tool is similar to the Face tool. The Cut tool is always a Boolean
subtract. You cannot create a bend with the Cut tool. You can choose a
termination option such as Through All for the feature.
Cut features simplify revisions to the model. You can create simple
rectangular faces that define the size of the part. Then use Cut to remove
sections. If you use Cut to create iFeatures, you can create a library of punch
shapes and easily insert them into parts.
You can sketch a closed shape across an unfolded perpendicular bend, and
punch out the cut shape through one or multiple faces. The cut is wrapped
around the perpendicular bend in the folded sheet metal configuration. This
type of cutout is manufactured in the sheet metal part before it is bent
The Hole tool in the sketch environment is identical to the Hole tool in
feature modeling. You can create holes with threads or other finish
operations.

NOTE To create chamfered holes, use the Hole dialog box so that Autodesk
Inventor can recognize and display the chamfer accurately.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ How to... Create sheet
metal features ➤ Sketched features ➤ Cuts in a sheet metal face

68 | Chapter 5 Sheet Metal Design


Creating Flanges
Use the Flange tool for simplified modeling of flanges. For example, to create
a door, you create a face and then add a full width face and bend to each edge
without creating additional sketches. You can control the length of a flange
using offset distances from two reference entities.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ How to... Create sheet
metal features ➤ Placed features ➤ Sheet metal flanges

Work Flow | 69
Creating Bends and Seams
With Autodesk Inventor, you can create bends within the Face tool or add
them separately. If you create a simple part, such as an enclosure, it’s
probably faster to create the bends as you create the faces. If your part is more
complex or there are different ways to unfold it, you can create bends
separately. This makes revisions simpler. In the Bend command, you can
create bends along sketched or projected lines, and you can configure edges
with a variety of single and double hems. To ensure accuracy in tight bends,
the bend settings can be overridden on an individual feature.
Apply corner seams after you create adjoining faces. When you create a
corner seam, one of the faces can overlap the edge of the other. If the faces
are coplanar, the Corner Seam tool creates a miter or butt joint. You can split
connected faces and rip solid corners on a model to form designated seam
conditions. Several corner relief types are available in Corner Seam.
Using options on Browser context menus, you can convert a bend to a corner
seam and a corner seam to a bend.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ How to... Create sheet
metal features ➤ Placed features

Creating Flat Patterns


The Flat Pattern tool unfolds the sheet metal model and displays the flat
pattern in a second graphics window. The flat pattern and the model can be
viewed at the same time. The display of a flat pattern includes features, such
as center punch marks, on both sides of the flat pattern. A bend is
represented by the centerline and the inner and outer mold lines. On flat
patterns, iFeatures are shown as 3D features. As it creates the flat pattern, the
system calculates the overall size, or extents, of the part.
The flat pattern is updated automatically to changes in the model. If the
model can’t be unfolded, the flat pattern is updated automatically as soon as
the model is valid again. This is an easy way to explore manufacturing
options such as changing bends and seams.

Help Contents Industry solutions ➤ Sheet metal ➤ How to... Create sheet
metal features ➤ Flat pattern

70 | Chapter 5 Sheet Metal Design


bend relief remnant

bend relief

bend lines

corner relief

Flat patterns are created with MetalBender Solver software from data M
Software + Engineering.
You can save a sheet metal flat pattern in SAT, DWG, and DXF formats. When
you save a sheet metal flat pattern to DWG or DXF formats, bend lines and
bend tangent lines are placed on separate layers.

Help Index SAT files ➤ Save Autodesk Inventor files to other formats

Work Flow | 71
Sheet Metal Tools
The sheet metal environment toolset includes some of the part modeling and
sketching tools in addition to the sheet metal tools.

Sheet Metal Tools

Button Tool Function

Styles Define sheet metal styles. In the Help Index, see


sheet metal ➤ styles for a description of settings.

Flat Pattern Create a flat pattern of the sheet metal part.

Face Create a sheet metal face.

Contour Flange Add a contour flange to a sheet metal part.

Cut Remove a profile from a sheet metal face.

Flange Create a flange on a sheet metal edge.

Hem Creates a hem on the edge of a sheet metal part.

Fold Create a bend along a sketched line on a sheet


metal face.

Corner Seam Create a corner seam between two sheet metal


faces.

Bend Create a bend between two sheet metal faces.

Hole Create a hole. This is the same as the Hole tool in


feature modeling.

Corner Round Create a fillet or a round on a corner.

Corner Chamfer Create a chamfer on a corner.

72 | Chapter 5 Sheet Metal Design


Sheet Metal Tools (continued)

Button Tool Function

Punch Tool Replicate turret press functionality in Inventor. Place


iFeatures on hole centers. In drawings, place hole
center marks on hole centers

View Open a catalog of iFeatures


Catalog
Insert an iFeature
Insert iFeature

Create an iFeature from an existing feature


Create iFeature

Work Plane Create a work plane

Work Axis Create a work axis

Work Points Create a work point

Rectangular Pattern Create an orthogonal pattern of features

Circular Pattern Create a circular pattern of features

Mirror Feature Create a mirror image of features

Promote Promote IGES or SAT data from the construction


environment to the parametric environment. Stitch
geometry and promote the stitched result.

Sheet Metal Tools | 73


Working Smarter
■ Automatically create a bend with a face.
Sketch the profile for the new face so one line is coincident with a model
edge on an existing face. The Face tool automatically creates a bend
between the faces.
■ Create iFeatures of standard shapes.
Create standard shapes using the Cut tool or feature modeling tools, such
as Revolve. Build a library of these shapes with iFeatures.
■ Create iFeatures of stamped features.
Cut features can be saved as iFeatures, and can be used to create iFeatures.
■ Create disjointed faces and add bends and corner seams later.
Focus on capturing design intent first, and then optimize the part for
manufacturing.
■ Create chamfered holes using the Hole dialog box.
For chamfered holes, use the Hole dialog box to ensure the holes are
recognized and displayed accurately. If through holes are created and then
chamfered, they may not be recognized and displayed accurately.

74 | Chapter 5 Sheet Metal Design


Assemblies

In This Chapter
6
In this chapter you learn about assembly tools, and the ■ Introduction
■ Key features
work flow for creating assemblies in Autodesk
■ Work flow
Inventor™ 5. You also learn some advanced techniques
■ Assembly tools

for creating sketches and part models. ■ Working smarter

Detailed information about assemblies is available in

the Autodesk Inventor Help. References to specific

information in Help are provided throughout the Work

Flow section of this chapter.

75
Introduction
Traditionally, designers and engineers create a layout, design the parts, then
bring everything together in an assembly. With Autodesk Inventor™, you can
streamline the design process by creating parts in-place, or placing existing
parts as you create an assembly. This assembly-centric design methodology
supports top-down, bottom-up, and middle-out design strategies.

What are assemblies?


Assemblies are collections of parts and subassemblies. In this manual, the
term component refers to a part or a subassembly.

When do I use the assembly environment?


With Autodesk Inventor, you can create an assembly at any point in the
design process instead of at the end. If you are doing a clean sheet design, you
can start with an empty assembly and create the parts as you develop the
design. If you are revising an assembly, you can create the new parts in-place
so they mate with existing parts.

What are adaptive assemblies and parts?


In an adaptive assembly, you can make parts adaptive to other parts.
Adaptive parts change in response to changes in other parts. For example,
create a spacer, define it as adaptive, and then constrain the ends of the
spacer to the parts it separates. The spacer stretches or shrinks to fill space
between the two parts as the design evolves.
Adaptivity is useful in several ways. You can:

■ Place and adapt parts to work in your assembly.


■ Create parts in place and adapt them as you design.
■ Revise an assembly and have parts adapt to changes.

76 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
How do I design parts in-place?
When you create a part in-place, you can select a face of an existing part as
the sketch plane for the new part. Selecting a mating surface is a good start
for defining your design. You can project a loop, edge, or series of edges from
one face of a part into the sketch for another part. When the topology
changes, the new sketch that was projected also changes.

What are derived parts?


A derived part is a new part that uses an existing part as its base feature. You
can modify the derived part without affecting the original part. You can
update the derived part to incorporate changes made to the original part. You
can also break the link between the derived part and the base part if you no
longer wish to update the derived part based on the original part.

What are derived assemblies?


A derived assembly is a new part that is based on an existing assembly. You
can join parts within an assembly to a single body and subtract a part from
another part. This type of top-down assembly modeling makes visualization
easier, helps avoid errors, and saves time.

What are iMates?


An iMate is a constraint that is saved with a part and reused later. The iMate
technology speeds accurate placement and replacement of parts in
assemblies. A composite iMate is a collection of individual iMates into a
single entity. Parts drawn from standard libraries snap together quickly with
composite iMates. Visual and audio cues are provided to assist in the
placement of components with iMates.

Introduction | 77
Key Features
Adaptive Adapt parts to your assembly precisely, without specifying
technology exact dimensions or setting up relationships between
parts.
Design in place Create and modify parts in the context of an assembly.
Design layouts Use layouts to design the assembly and parts before
committing to 3D solids.
English and Create assemblies containing parts with different systems
metric of measurement.
iMates Store predefined constraint information with a part, and
then use the drag method to place the part in an assembly.
Replace a part with another part and still preserve the
intelligent iMate constraints.
Composite Collect individual iMates into a single entity for accurate
iMate positioning of parts in an assembly.
Large Work with large assemblies using the Autodesk Inventor
assemblies segmented database.
Pack and go Package an Autodesk Inventor assembly and all of its
reference files in a single location.
Associative Copy associatively an edge or connected loop of edges
sketch from an existing part in an assembly to create a sketch for
projection another part.

78 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
Work Flow
This section presents an overview of how to create assemblies in Autodesk
Inventor 5. The following is a reference to detailed information in Help about
creating assemblies. Additional references to information about specific tasks
are provided throughout this section.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Creating assemblies

Planning Your Work


The order in which you create parts and subassemblies depends on how you
answer the following questions:

■ Can you modify an existing assembly or do you have to start a new one?
■ Can you break the larger assembly down into subassemblies?
■ Can you use existing parts or iFeaatures?
■ Which constraints drive the functionality of the design?

Creating or Placing the First Component


Choose a fundamental part or subassembly (such as a frame or base plate) for
the first component of an assembly. You can place an existing component or
create one in the assembly. The first component is automatically grounded
(all degrees of freedom are removed). Its origin and coordinate axes are
aligned with the origin and coordinate axes of the assembly.
You create a component in place using the Create In-Place Component
dialog box. Options differ for the first component and those created after the
first component. You can place any number of copies of the component. The
first copy of the component is grounded. The other copies do not have
assembly constraints.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Develop


components ➤ Place Components ➤ Place the first assembly
component

Work Flow | 79
Positioning Components
There are several ways to move components. If a component is not grounded
or completely constrained, you can drag it in the assembly space. When you
drag a component in an assembly, you can dynamically apply mate, flush,
insert, tangent, and angle constraints. Constraints remove some degrees of
freedom from a component; you can drag a component along the remaining
degrees of freedom.
A grounded part or subassembly is fixed to the assembly coordinate system.
This grounded state is indicated by a push pin on the component icon in the
browser. Any component in an assembly can be grounded. The first
component of an assembly is automatically grounded, although you can
turn the grounded state off. A constrained component has relationships to
other components that define its location.
The behavior of grounded and constrained components differs. For example,
if you use the Move or Rotate tool to temporarily relocate a constrained
component, it returns to its constrained position when updated. If you move
a grounded component with Move or Rotate, any components that are
constrained to it move to the new location of the grounded part.

part with one translational and one


rotational degree of freedom

push pin symbol indicating


a component is grounded

You can view degrees of freedom for a part in the Properties dialog box
available from the right-click menu in the browser. In the Properties dialog
box, on the Occurrence tab, you can turn the Degrees of Freedom option on
or off. The Degrees of Freedom option is also located in the View menu.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Constrain


components ➤ Position Components

Help Index grounded component in assembly


degrees of freedom

80 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
Adding Components
In the assembly environment, you can create a new part or subassembly or
place an existing one. When you create a new component in-place, you can
place the sketch plane in the current view or constrain it to the face of an
existing component. When you place an existing component, you place it in
space and add constraints later.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Develop


components ➤ Create parts

Component interfaces called iMates can be applied to a part. iMates use


predefined knowledge stored within a part to tell it how to connect with
other parts in an assembly. When you insert a part with iMates, it
intelligently snaps into place. The part can be replaced by another part while
preserving these intelligent iMate constraints.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Develop


components ➤ Place components ➤ Place a component with
an iMate

When a component is active, the rest of the assembly dims in the browser.
Only one component can be active at a time. The assembly itself must be
active to create or place a component.

NOTE Finish Edit is not available in the context menu while geometry is
selected in the graphics window.

You can use the Create Component tool to create a component in place in an
assembly. You have the option to create a work feature and constrain it to an
existing face, or to place the sketch plane normal to the view with the origin
at a selected point.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Develop


components ➤ Create parts

Derived parts and assemblies are created from existing parts and assemblies.
A link exists between the original and a derived part or assembly. Derived
parts or assemblies are updated to changes in the original. You can break the
link and no longer update a derived part or assembly with changes to the
original.

Work Flow | 81
The Derived Component tool in the Features toolbar is used to create derived
parts or assemblies.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Develop


components ➤ Create parts ➤ Create a derived part

Creating Patterns
You can create patterns of parts, groups of parts, and subassemblies. These
patterns are unique assembly objects. Component patterns can include
constraints. You can suppress a pattern or an individual instance in a pattern
without removing it.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Develop


components ➤ Pattern components

An assembly pattern can be associative to a part feature pattern. For instance,


a pattern of holes can be populated with bolts, which maintain an associative
relationship to the pattern. If the number of holes is changed, the number of
bolts changes accordingly.

Help Index associative assembly patterns

Each time you place a component or create a pattern from a component,


Autodesk Inventor links it to all other instances of that component. A model
change to a single instance of the component occurs in all other instances.

NOTE To create a new component based on another component, save a copy


with a different name and place the copy in the assembly.

Replacing Components
When you replace a part in an assembly, Autodesk Inventor places the new
part with its coordinate axes aligned with the existing part. However, you
must apply constraints, because all constraints on the existing component
are lost during replacement.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Develop


components ➤ Place components ➤ Replace an assembly
component

82 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
Adding Constraints to Components
You can add mate, angle, flush, angle, tangent, and insert constraints to
components in assemblies. Each type of constraint has multiple solutions.
The solutions are defined by the direction of a vector normal to the
component.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Constrain


components

The Place Constraint tool displays the Place Constraint dialog box for placing
mate, angle, tangent and insert constraints.

Insert select geometry to constrain


Tangent select to pick the part before the geometry
Mate
Angle

Mate Constrains two faces, edges, points or work features


together with normal vectors pointing toward each other.
The Flush option constrains the geometry side by side
with the normal vectors pointing in the same direction.
The Offset option creates a gap.
Angle Constrains two faces or edges at an angle to one another.
You can select the normal vectors of the faces or edges
individually. There are four possible solutions for each
pair of components. The selected faces of the parts are
constrained at an angle.

Work Flow | 83
Tangent Constrains a curved surface to a plane or another curved
surface. An outside solution places the components so
both exterior faces touch. An inside solution places the
components so the exterior face of one component
touches the interior face of the other.
Insert Constrains a cylinder flush into a hole. Applies a
concentric-directed mate between the selected circular
arcs. To apply the constraint, select the circles on the
cylinder and the hole that you want to mate.

NOTE Insert constraints are limited to flat surfaces that are perpendicular to
the cylinder and hole axes.

You can apply mate, flush, tangent, angle, and insert constraints to
components by holding the ALT key and dragging the part into position.
With this click and drag method, there is no need to enter the constraint
command.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Constrain


components ➤ Place constraints ➤ Assembly ALT-drag
constraint tips

Help Index drag-mate assembly constraint

The tangent surface constraint positions an object tangent to a group of


faces. Using this constraint, you can simulate motion devices, such as cams,
and validate designs.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Constrain


components ➤ Place constraints ➤ Assembly ALT-drag
constraint tips

Help Index drag-mate assembly constraint

84 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
Constraints may limit the motion of parts. Depending on the geometry,
degrees of freedom are removed or restricted. For example, if you apply a
tangent constraint to two spheres, all six degrees of freedom remain but you
can’t translate one of the spheres in just one direction.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ Learn about ➤


Components ➤ Constraining components

Help Index degrees of freedom

Tangent constraint applied to two spheres. All six


degrees of freedom remain, but they are restricted.

Tangent constraint applied to cylinder and hole. Cylinder and


hole are the same size, so only two degrees of freedom remain.

Work Flow | 85
Using Drive Constraints
After you constrain a component, you can animate mechanical movement
by changing the value of the constraint. The Drive Constraint tool
repositions a part by stepping through a range of constraint values. You can
rotate a component, for example, by driving an angular constraint from zero
to 360 degrees. The Drive Constraint tool is limited to one constraint. You
can drive additional constraints by using the Parameters tool to create
algebraic relationships between constraints.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Constrain


components ➤ Drive constraints

Help Index degrees of freedom

Drive constraint used to simulate a clock. Minute


and hour hands are constrained to the dial. Drive
constraint rotates the minute hand. Parameters
tool defines the hour hand position as a function
of minute hand position.

You enter information in the Drive Constraint dialog box to define the drive
constraint and to control motion.

Reverse Step
Stop Forward Step
Forward Record
Reverse

Maximum
Minimum

Adding Constraints to Adaptive Parts


You can create underconstrained parts that adapt to constraints in the
assembly. In this way, your design function drives the form of its
components. For example, you can create a spacer and apply constraints so
the spacer will stretch or shrink to fill the gap between two parts.

86 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
two bricks created with 300 mm offset, and
cylinder 150 mm long created in space

Mate constrains
cylinder to first brick

Mate adapts cylinder length and


constrains end to second brick

There are some requirements for adaptivity:

■ The sketch must be properly constrained, both geometrically and


dimensionally. If the sketch is fully dimensioned, Autodesk Inventor
cannot change the dimensions. If too many dimensions are missing,
Autodesk Inventor may change the wrong geometry.
■ The part must be set to adaptive in the assembly. Right-click the part in the
assembly browser, and select Adaptive.
■ The feature must be set to adaptive in the part file. Activate the part, right-
click the feature in the browser, and select Adaptive.
■ Only one instance of a part can be adaptive. If a part has been adapted,
the Adaptivity option dims in the context menu.

Adaptive constraints are applied after the component is positioned with


constraints. Autodesk Inventor initially tries to reposition the part to satisfy
the constraint. If the component cannot be moved, the system tries to adapt
the part to fit in the space. If the component is already fully constrained, an
error message is displayed to inform you that you cannot overconstrain it.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Develop


components ➤ Place components ➤ Place adaptive
components in an assembly

Help Index adaptive ➤ parts in assemblies

Work Flow | 87
Creating 2D Layouts
All of the techniques used to create parts can be applied to 2D layouts. You
can construct a 2D layout by creating parts and sketching their functional
aspects, such as outlines and pivot points, without creating features. For
example, you can create a mechanism out of 2D sketched parts, constrain the
joints together, and drive the constraints to observe the motion. You can
change the size of parts simply by dragging their sketches. After you define
the relationships, finalize the shapes and create the features.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ Learn about ➤ Assembly


modeling ➤ Fundamentals ➤ About using a sketch as an
assembly layout

Help Index sketches ➤ layouts for assemblies

In the following illustration, the offset crank-slider mechanism is constructed


from 2D parts. Work features are added so the assembly constraints can be
applied. All variables can be easily edited. The parts can be revised by dragging.
You can change the offset between the crank center and ground by editing the
mate constraint.

88 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
Checking for Interference
Autodesk Inventor can check for interference between sets of components
and among the components in a set. To speed up the process, you can select
the components that you want to check. For example, if you revise a part in
an assembly, you can limit the interference check to the components affected
by the change.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Maintain


assemblies ➤ Analyze assemblies

Help Index interference in assemblies

The Analyze Interference tool checks interference between sets of


components. If an interference exists, Autodesk Inventor displays the
interference as a solid and displays the volume and centroid in a dialog box.
For checking interference within a set, select all components in the set. All
parts in the set are analyzed against each other, and interferences are shown in
red.
The interference between two parts is displayed in the following illustration.
The volume and location data are displayed when you click More in the
dialog box.

interference

Work Flow | 89
Creating Design Views
A design view preserves an assembly display configuration so that you can
recall it by name later. You can save the following settings:

■ Visibility on/off
■ Enabled on/off
■ View orientation
■ Zoom factor
■ Browser expansion
■ Color overrides

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Manage views


and visibility ➤ Work with design views

Help Index design views

The Design Views icon in the browser toolbar displays the Design View dialog
box for creating, storing, recalling, and updating design views. When
naming design views, do not use the default name. The program uses the
default name to save the current view when you close the assembly.

90 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
Restructuring Assemblies
The structure of an assembly is the organization of the components.
Grouping parts into subassemblies simplifies the browser. Subassemblies can
also reflect manufacturing processes. With Autodesk Inventor, you can
change the contents of subassemblies or create new ones at any point during
the design process and over the life span of a product.
The top level of an assembly structure can consist of parts and subassemblies.
Each subassembly can consist of parts and more subassemblies. Moving a
component (a part or subassembly) into a subassembly is demoting. Moving
a component out of a subassembly is promoting. If you promote or demote a
component, the system deletes the constraints.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Maintain


assemblies ➤ Manage assembly hierarchy

Help Index reorder components


restructure components

assembly with flat structure assembly after restructuring

NOTE When you restructure components as a group, either into or out of a


subassembly, the constraints between those components are maintained, but
constraints to components outside the group are lost.

Work Flow | 91
Producing Bills of Material
You can create a bill of material (BOM) for an assembly, which lists all
components and their properties. The order in which the components
appear in the browser is the default order for components in a BOM. You can
sort components in a BOM by any property type. You can also create a BOM
listing only selected parts.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Assemblies ➤ How to... Maintain


assemblies ➤ Create bills of material

Help Index assemblies ➤ bill of materials

Packaging Assemblies
The Pack and Go function in Autodesk Inventor packages your assembly and
all of its referenced files in a single location. This is particularly useful when
you need to:

■ Archive files on a CD or other media.


■ Send a complete set of files to a vendor or contractor.
■ Isolate referenced files from other files in the same source folders.
■ Test alternate configurations with the packaged files without changing the
source files.

To use Pack and Go from Microsoft® Windows® Explorer, right-click an


Autodesk Inventor file (.iam, .ipt, .idw, .ipn) and select Pack and Go.
To use Pack and Go from within Autodesk Inventor, click File ➤ Design
Assistant. In the Design Assistant browser, right-click and select Pack and Go.

Help Index Pack and Go

92 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
Assembly Tools
The assembly tools are available when an assembly file is open and active. If
you create or modify a part from within an assembly, the assembly toolbar is
not active while the part modeling toolbars are active.

Assembly Tools

Button Tool Function

Place Component Place a link to an existing part or subassembly in an


assembly. A change to any instance updates all other
instances of a component.

Create Component Create a new part or subassembly in an assembly.

Place Content Sets the URL for third-party content added to


Autodesk Inventor assemblies. Allowable file types
are .htm, .html, and .exe.

Pattern Component Create copies of a component in a rectangular or


circular pattern.

Place Constraint Place a constraint between faces, edges, vertices, or


work features. Constraints can be adaptive.

Replace Component Replace a component in an assembly with another


component.

Replace All Replace multiple selected components in an


assembly with another component.

Move Component Enable temporary translation of a constrained


component. Constrained components return to
position when you click Update.
Enable permanent translation of a grounded
component. Grounded components remain in the
new position when you click Update.

Rotate Component Enable temporary rotation of a constrained


component. Constrained components return to
position when you click Update.
Enable permanent rotation of a grounded
component. Grounded components remain in the
new position when you click Update.

Assembly Tools | 93
Assembly Tools (continued)

Button Tool Function

Section Views Display a quarter section view of a model defined by


hiding portions of components on one side of a
defined cutting plane.
Display a three quarter section view.

Display a half section view.

Display an unsectioned view of a model.

Work Plane Create a work plane.

Work Axis Create a work axis.

Work Point Create a work point.

94 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
Working Smarter
Use the following tips to efficiently create and manage your assemblies.

Loading and Updating Components Faster


■ Turn off visibility of nonessential components.
Access the parts you need and update graphics faster.
■ Use design views.
Create design views that highlight specific design problems or assembly
subsystems, and apply them when opening the assembly model.
■ Turn off part adaptivity.
After you size a component, turn off adaptivity to speed up solutions and
prevent accidental changes.

Managing Components
■ Assign different colors to components.
Select colors from the Color list on the Standard toolbar.
■ Use the browser to find components.
Point to a component in the browser to highlight it in the graphics
window.
■ Use color to identify component groups.
Using attributes, find components in specific subsystems or from specific
vendors and color code them in named design views.

Using Efficient File Structures


■ Plan your work.
Before you create parts, plan the top-level assembly and its subassemblies.
■ Use subassemblies.
Create small subassemblies and combine them in larger assemblies.

■ Use logical projects.


Define and use projects to simplify your design project.

■ Use shared directories.


Use projects to facilitate sharing both work in progress and defined
libraries of completed parts across projects and within your design team.

Working Smarter | 95
Managing Assembly Constraints
■ Start constraining components by mating planar faces.
Add tangent, angular, and flush constraints later.
■ Apply constraints after features are stable.
Avoid constraints between features that might be removed later in the
design process.
■ Drag components to check translational degrees of freedom.
You can see how a component is constrained.
■ Control feature adaptivity by making the sketch or the feature
adaptive.
Right-click the feature in the browser and select Properties. You can select
Feature, Sketch or both to be adaptive. Setting both to be adaptive is
equivalent to selecting Adaptive from the context menu.

■ Create component iMates for repeated use.


Using component interfaces called iMates, you can define placement
information on parts and assemblies to use repeatedly.

Navigating with the Browser


■ Switch between design views.
Click the arrow next to Design Views to select an active design view or to
return to the default view.
■ Filter elements of components.
Click Filter in the browser toolbar to hide elements of components in the
structure. This can significantly simplify the appearance of large
assemblies.
■ Switch structure between assembly and modeling tasks.
Click Filter and select Assembly Tasks or Modeling Tasks. Assembly Tasks
displays constraints under each component. Modeling Tasks displays the
model structure under each component and all assembly constraints in a
folder.

96 | Chapter 6 Assemblies
iFeatures

In This Chapter
7
The iFeatures in AutoDesk Inventor™ 5 are features that ■ Introduction
■ Key features
you can create, extract, and reuse in your designs. This
■ Work flow
chapter gives you an overview of how iFeatures work
■ Working smarter

and how they are used in the part modeling

environment.

Detailed information about iFeatures is available in the

Autodesk Inventor Help. References to specific

information in Help are provided in the Work Flow

section of this chapter.

97
Introduction
You can create features called iFeatures on parts, and then extract and apply
them to other parts. Through the use of iFeatures and the family-of-parts
publishing in Autodesk Inventor, designs can be shared in a collaborative
design process.

What is an iFeature?
An iFeature file name has the .ide extension. An iFeature works like a
template, copying features from one part and applying them to others.
iFeatures are not linked together, so each instance is independent. You can
use iFeatures as standard parts that require no modification, or custom parts
that can be modified before insertion.

Why use iFeatures?


Many companies have design details that are used repeatedly. With Autodesk
Inventor, you can extract and reuse design features. For example, if you use a
certain stepper motor, the alignment boss and all of the mounting holes can
be inserted at once.

Where can I use iFeatures?


You can use iFeatures in the part modeling environment. An iFeature can be
a base feature if it is not dependent on other features.

98 | Chapter 7 iFeatures
Key Features
iFeature dialog Create iFeatures from one comprehensive dialog box
box
iFeature Create and share catalogs of complex iFeatures that
catalogs promote “best practices” within your organization.
Design reuse Reuse existing, proven designs to speed up development
time and improve quality.
Company Create feature catalogs that reflect your company’s design
standards standards and manufacturing processes.

Work Flow
This section presents an overview of the procedures for using iFeatures. The
following is a reference to detailed information in Help about iFeatures.
Additional references to information about specific tasks are provided
throughout this section.

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Features and parts ➤ Learn about...


Features ➤ iFeatures

Planning Your Work


After you create the features in a part, you can extract them to create
iFeatures. When you create an iFeature, you specify which dimensions can be
changed when it is used in another part. You can also place limits on
dimensional changes. The iFeatures are saved with the file extension .ide.
On the Standard toolbar, use the Parameters tool to label the parameters you
plan to include in an iFeature. Use descriptive names. Custom parameter
names are automatically listed in Parameters in the Create iFeature dialog
box.
Using an unconsumed sketch, you can create an iFeature for a structural
shape and a feature that is adaptive to other features in your design. You can
use an iFeature to include the sketch in an assembly as a layout sketch.
After you create an iFeature, you store it in a catalog. Using Windows
Explorer, you can drag the iFeature from the Catalog into a part file or you
can use the Insert iFeature tool.

Key Features | 99
Creating iFeatures
On the Features toolbar, you expand the View Catalog button to display the
iFeature buttons. When you click the Create iFeature button, the Create
iFeature dialog box is displayed. The Create iFeature dialog box is used to
create new iFeatures and to redefine existing iFeatures.

Selected Displays the feature you select in the browser to include


Features in the new iFeature.
Size Move size parameters into the Size Parameters box if you
Parameters want to change them for the new iFeature.
Position Move work features of model geometry used for
Geometry positioning into the Position Geometry box if you want to
change them for the new iFeature.

Help button on Create iFeatures


the dialog box

Help Contents Designing models ➤ Sketches ➤ Learn about...


Fundamentals ➤ About using sketches in iFeatures

Index iFeatures

100 | Chapter 7 iFeatures


Viewing the Catalog of iFeatures
The iFeature files are stored in catalog folders. On the Features toolbar, you
expand the View Catalog button to display the Create iFeature and Insert
iFeature buttons. When you click the View Catalog button, Microsoft®
Windows® Explorer opens the catalog folder where you can double-click an
iFeature to open it.

Inserting iFeatures
The iFeatures are not linked, so you can insert multiple instances in a part
and implement each one independently. The Insert iFeatures button displays
the Insert iFeature dialog box for inserting an iFeature into an active part.
Here you browse to and select a file with an .ide extension.
The browser in the Insert iFeature wizard highlights the active step as you
proceed through the steps to select, position, size, and precisely position the
iFeature.
You can use a face, work plane, or reference sketch geometry, such as a
sketched line, to position an iFeature on a part. You can also drag an iFeature
from the catalog into the active window.
If an iFeature has a document attached to it with instructions about
placement, select the Information button.

browser

Information

Work Flow | 101


The iFeature is displayed with a translation or rotation symbol at the base of
it. You can click the symbol and drag to approximately position the iFeature.

translation symbol

rotation symbol

Working Smarter
■ Use the Equations tool to name dimensions in the part sketch.
When you create an iFeature from a part, Autodesk Inventor
automatically selects named dimensions as Size Parameters. It is easier to
insert an iFeature if the Size Parameters have meaningful names.
■ Name position geometry.
You can simplify the placement of the iFeature by giving the position
geometry descriptive names.
■ Add documentation to your iFeatures.
Open an iFeature in Autodesk Inventor and drag a file, such as a
Microsoft® Word document or HTML file, from Microsoft Windows
Explorer into Autodesk Inventor. To activate an information button in the
Insert iFeature dialog box, expand 3rd Party in the browser, right-click the
document, and select Placement Help.

102 | Chapter 7 iFeatures


Presentation Views

In This Chapter
8
Presentation views in Autodesk Inventor™ are the ■ Introduction
■ Key features
design views you create from assemblies. This chapter
■ Presentation tools
gives you an overview of the tools and work flow used
■ Working smarter

to create exploded, animated, and other stylized

assembly views.

Detailed information about presentation views is

available in the Autodesk Inventor Help. References to

specific information in Help are provided in the Work

Flow section of this chapter.

103
Introduction
With presentation documents, you can create exploded views, and position
assembly components. You can also create an animation of the exploded
view process.

What are presentation documents?


A presentation document is similar to an assembly without constraints.
When you create a new presentation view, Autodesk Inventor uses the
graphical information and the relative positions of the components. If a
component in an assembly is revised, the graphical information is updated.

How many views can I have?


You can create any number of views for an assembly. A presentation
document is linked to an assembly, so you can create all required views in
one document.

How can I show partial assemblies?


Create a design view that shows only the components you need. You can
specify that design view when you create a new presentation view.

How can I animate the exploded view?


After you tweak the components to create the exploded view, you can create
an animation using the history of the tweaks.

Key Features
Automatic Automatically explode assemblies and subassemblies.
Explode
Tweaks and Edit tweaks and trails to revise exploded views.
Trails
Animation Record animations of explosions.

104 | Chapter 8 Presentation Views


Work Flow
This section presents an overview of the process for creating exploded views
and other stylized assembly views. The following is a reference to detailed
information in Help about presentation views. Additional references to
information about specific tasks are provided throughout this section.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Presentations

Help Index presentations

Creating Presentation Views


When you open a new file, you select an assembly, and create the first and
any number of subsequent presentation views. The Presentation tool,
available from the Standard toolbar in New, opens a presentation (.ipn) file.
The presentation tool located on the Presentation toolbar displays the Select
Assembly dialog box. The Presentation toolbar contains buttons for the tools
you need to create and work with presentation views.

When you create presentation views, you can select different design views of
the assembly. For example, if you document assembly procedures for a car
engine, you could have an assembly of the complete engine and its
accessories. The exploded view of the accessories would show the complete
engine, with tweaks for components such as the alternator and mounting
hardware. If you document the timing belt installation, you create an
assembly design view with the visibility turned off for the accessories, valve
covers, and any other parts that obscure the view. You select that design view
when you create the presentation view for the timing belt.

Work Flow | 105


You can manually tweak each component into the desired location, or have
each component automatically tweaked away from the grounded
component by the distance you specify, relative to applied constraints.
You can create views that show a machine in certain positions. For example,
if you have a robot for pick and place operations, you can create presentation
views showing the range of motion.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Presentations ➤ How to... Add a new


presentation view

Changing View Vectors


When you create or open a presentation view, the default view vector is
isometric. You can rotate the view vector incrementally about one of the
coordinate axes using the Precise View Rotation tool. You can save the view
vector for future use.

Help Index presentations ➤ toolbar ➤ Precise View Rotation


presentations ➤ precise view rotation

Tweaking Components
When you manually tweak a component, you move it a certain distance along
a vector. You might tweak a component several times to move it into position.
Although tweaks are usually orthogonal, you can tweak at an angle or rotate
the component. Each tweak appears in the browser under the component.
The Tweak Components tool on the Presentations toolbar displays the Tweak
Component dialog box, where you can define tweaks.

select the vector


place the direction triad
for the tweak
select components to tweak apply selections
select the trail origin value for tweak
display or hide trails clear selections

rotate triad only

106 | Chapter 8 Presentation Views


You can tweak one component at a time, or you can tweak several
components together. For example, you might tweak mounting hardware as
a group, and then tweak each part separately.
An exploded view usually has a trail from each tweaked component to the
base component. The system creates trails as you tweak components. You can
turn off the visibility of trails. You can also delete trails and add new trails.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Presentations ➤ How to... Work with


tweaks and trails

Help Index presentations ➤ toolbar ➤ Tweak Components


presentations ➤ tweaks

Automatic explode was used to tweak the four bushings away from the yoke
in the following illustration.

Editing Tweaks
You may need to adjust the position of tweaked components to create an
exploded view. You can add a new tweak to the component, or edit the values
of existing tweaks. Parts can be added to existing tweaks. You edit tweaks
using the Tweak Component dialog box or in the browser using the Tweak
View filter.

Work Flow | 107


Editing Trails
After you tweak a component into position, you can edit the trails to
improve the appearance of the document. As you edit or delete a trail, you
also edit or delete the tweak. When you click a trail, a node is displayed at
the trail end. If a trail segment is highlighted, you can drag that segment to
a new position. You can also hide and add trails.
In the following illustration, the tweak was reset to zero by selecting the trail
and collapsing one of its members to zero. When a tweak comes within range
of the specified tolerance, the tweak snaps to zero. You can drag the trail
beyond the zero position into the negative, or opposite side of the zero
without losing the tweak or having it reset to zero.

Animating Tweaks
In Autodesk Inventor, you can animate an exploded view based on the tweak
history. You can edit the tweak history to change the order or grouping of
tweaks. You can also create an AVI file of the animation for manufacturing,
service or sales documentation.

NOTE The animation tool uses the tweak history to move the components. If
you edited the trails, the components will still follow the tweak path.

You can arrange tweak sequences for animations. With a presentation view
active, the Filter button in the browser toolbar contains the options for
animating tweaks.

108 | Chapter 8 Presentation Views


The Sequence View tool is used to arrange tweak sequences. At the top of the
browser, the tasks for explosions are listed. In the browser, under each task,
the tweaks are listed in sequence. You can drag and reorder tweaks, changing
the sequences to create different animations. Each animation sequence
contains a Hidden folder. To hide a component so it is not visible in an
animation, drag the component into the Hidden folder
The Animate tool displays the Animation dialog box, where you set the
Interval between steps (in 0.001 second increments) and the number of
repetitions, and play the animation or step through the tweaks. The More
button ( >> ) provides access to the animation sequence, where you can edit
the sequence of the tweaks.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Presentations ➤ How to... Animate an


exploded view

Reverse By Tweak
Reverse By Interval Play Forward
Forward By Interval Auto Reverse
Forward By Tweak Play Reverse

Pause

Record

Work Flow | 109


Presentation Tools
When a presentation document is active, the Filter button at the top of the
browser provides a menu with the options Tweak View, Sequence View, and
Assembly View. The tools for working with presentation views are located in
the Presentation toolbar.

Presentation Tools

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Create View Create a new presentation


view of an assembly

Tweak Move components to Enter a value for the tweak,


Component create exploded views or select the direction and
drag the component in the
graphics window.

Precise View Rotate view vector around


Rotation the X, Y, or Z axis in
increments

Animate Animate a tweak Record the animation in an


AVI file

Working Smarter
You can use the following techniques to create presentation documents
quickly and efficiently.

■ Use the browser to change the tweak selection set.


Click a component in the browser to add it to or remove it from the
selection set.
■ Use group to reorder tweaks in the Animation dialog box.
If you are reordering several tweaks, group them first and move them
together.
■ Tweak components by dragging the Direction triad.
Drag an arrow on the Direction triad to tweak in that direction.

110 | Chapter 8 Presentation Views


Drawings

In This Chapter
9
Drawings are used to document parts and assemblies. ■ Introduction
■ Key features
This chapter provides an overview of the drawing tools
■ Work flow
in Autodesk Inventor™ 5 and the work flow for creating
■ Drawing tools

drawings. ■ Working smarter

Detailed information about drawings is available in the

Autodesk Inventor Help. References to specific

information in Help are provided in the Work Flow

section of this chapter.

111
Introduction
Autodesk Inventor links drawings to the underlying part models and
assemblies. Any changes to a part are reflected in the drawing. You can also
revise parts and assemblies by changing model dimensions while you are in
a drawing. This two-way communication of changes helps ensure the
documentation represents the latest version of a component.

When can I create a drawing?


Since Autodesk Inventor maintains links between parts, assemblies, and
drawings, you can create a drawing any time after you create a part. It is
usually a good idea to wait until a part is stable before you create a drawing,
since you need to edit the drawing details (to add or delete dimensions or
views, or to change the locations of notes and balloons) to reflect the
revisions.
Sometimes it is more efficient to create a quick 2D drawing than it is to
design a solid model. With Autodesk Inventor, you can create 2D parametric
drawing views, which can also be used as sketches for 3D modeling.

When do I use the drawing environment?


The drawing environment is activated when you open a drawing or when
you start a new drawing with a template for an .idw file. You create a drawing
to document a part for manufacturing. When you revise a part, you can make
changes to the part, the assembly, or the drawing. Autodesk Inventor updates
all instances of the part. Whenever you revise a part in the drawing
environment, check the assemblies where the part is used to confirm there is
not an interference.

How do I revise a part from the drawing?


You can view and edit model dimensions in a drawing. Autodesk Inventor
updates all instances of the part to reflect your changes. If you change the
value of a drawing dimension, Autodesk Inventor does not revise the part.
The new nominal value appears on the drawing, but it will not be to scale.

112 | Chapter 9 Drawings


Key Features
Field text Enter information such as the part number, revision level,
and material in the Properties dialog box. If you add field
text tags to the title block, Autodesk Inventor displays the
current text.
Cursor cues Receive cues when the cursor changes in appearance to
indicate that a different context menu is available.
Memory Load drawing sheets on demand. Only the sheets you
management activate in multiple-sheet drawings are loaded, not the
entire drawing file.
Move sheets Reorder sheets and move views between sheets by
and views dragging in the browser.
Drawing Use ANSI, BSI, DIN, GB, ISO, and JIS drawing standards.
standards You can also customize a drawing standard to comply
with your company’s own standards.
Bidirectional Update drawings to reflect changes in the model. Revise a
associativity model in the drawing environment by changing model
dimensions.
General Create drawing dimensions intuitively with this tool.
Dimension
Design Doctor Get help with dimensions and annotations that become
disassociated.
Alternative Display dimensions in dual unit values, such as English
dimension and metric.
Auto- Dimension many baseline object or points at the same
dimension time.

Key Features | 113


Work Flow
This section presents an overview of how to create drawings. The following
is a reference to detailed information in Help about drawings. Additional
references to information about specific tasks are provided throughout this
section.

Help Contents Getting Started ➤ Preparing final drawings

Creating Drawings
Autodesk Inventor comes with a standard template to use as the starting
point for your drawings. The default drawing template is determined by the
drafting standard you select when you install Autodesk Inventor. Template
files have the standard drawing extension (.idw). Autodesk Inventor stores
template files in the Autodesk\Inventor5\ Templates folder.

NOTE When you select New Drawing from the drop-down menu next to the
New button, Autodesk Inventor looks for a file named Standard.idw in the
Autodesk\Inventor5\Templates folder.

You start with a drawing template when you create a new drawing. When
you select File ➤ New or click the New button, choose a drawing template
from the Default, English or Metric tab. The default drawing is a blank sheet
of paper with a border and title block. The English and Metric tabs contain
the templates for those units of measure.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ How to... Set
up drawings

Customizing Drawings
Drawing templates can be customized. You can modify the drawing border
and title block to comply with your company’s specifications. Any changes
apply only to the current drawing, unless you save them in a drawing
template.
You can create a custom drafting standard based on an existing standard. You
save drawings with custom settings in the Autodesk\Inventor5\Templates folder.

114 | Chapter 9 Drawings


With a drawing template open on your screen, select Format ➤ Standards to
display the Drafting Standards dialog box. With the Drafting Standards
dialog box, you can create and modify drafting standards.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ How to... Set
up drawings ➤ Set the drafting standard ➤ Create a custom
drafting standard

The Format menu also contains tools to define borders, title blocks, and
symbols, and to display the Dimension Styles and Text Styles dialog boxes.

Creating Views
With Autodesk Inventor, you create and manipulate a variety of views. The
tools for creating and working with drawing views are located on the Drawing
Management toolbar. The Create View tool displays the Create View dialog
box. The Create View dialog box is used to add a design view from an assembly,
and to create projected, auxiliary, section, detail, draft, and broken views.
Projected view Projects from the base view to a desired location. The
relationship of the projected view to the base view is
determined by the orientation of the projected view.
Auxiliary view Projects from an edge or line in a base view. The resulting
view is aligned with its base view.
Section view Creates a full, half, offset, or aligned section view from a
base view. Creates a view projection line for an auxiliary
or partial view. A section view is aligned with its base view.
Detail view Creates and places a detailed drawing view of a specified
portion of a base view. The view is created without an
alignment to the base view.
Draft view Creates a blank view with the sketch environment
activated for drafting. You can import AutoCAD® data
into a draft view, and you can copy a draft view and paste
it into the same or another drawing.
Broken view Creates a view with breaks for situations where the
component view exceeds the length of the drawing, or
contains large areas of nondescript geometry, like the
center portion of a shaft.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ How to... Work
with drawing views

Work Flow | 115


Rotating Views
You can rotate views by edge or by angle. Views rotate as rigid bodies,
including any sketches. When a view is rotated, annotations maintain their
associativity to the view and model geometry. Depending upon the drawing
standard used, additional information may be provided in the View label
indicating that the view is rotated out of its normal position.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ Reference...


Drawing views ➤ Edit views ➤ Rotate View reference

Help Index rotate ➤ view

NOTE When you rotate a view, if a section view cutting plane line is not
updated, you can edit the section line as you would edit a sketch, including
constraints.

Adding Sheets
You can add multiple sheets to a drawing. Use the browser to move views
between sheets. Only one sheet is active at a time; inactive sheets are
dimmed.
The first folder at the top of the browser is Drawing Resources. You can
expand Drawing Resources to show the sheet formats, title blocks, borders,
and sketched symbols that are available to use in the drawing. You can
customize, add to, or delete items from Drawing Resources.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ How to... Set
up drawings ➤ Work with drawing sheets
Documenting Designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ Reference...
Drawing setup ➤ New sheet

Help Index drawing resources

cursor touching Sheet 1 icon

insertion bar indicates where


view is displayed
view dragged to Sheet 1

116 | Chapter 9 Drawings


Using Model Dimensions
Model dimensions can be used in drawings. The option to display model
dimensions in a drawing is available in the Create View dialog box. Only
model dimensions parallel to the view plane are available in that view. If the
Autodesk Inventor installation option to modify a model dimension from a
drawing is enabled, you can edit a model dimension and it changes the part
model. Like the format of drawing dimensions, the format of model
dimensions can be changed.
The right-click menu in a view lists options to add, remove, edit model
dimensions, and to move model dimensions to different views.

Help Index dimensions ➤ model dimensions in drawings

Creating Dimensions in Drawings


The process for creating a drawing dimension is like the process for placing a
model dimension in the part or assembly environment. When you select a
feature or relationship between features to dimension, Autodesk Inventor
creates a horizontal, vertical, or aligned dimension, depending on the
direction you move the cursor. Snap is activated to help place a dimension at
a standard distance from the view and to align dimensions with each other.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ Learn about...


Dimensions ➤ Working with dimensions in drawings

Help Index dimensions ➤ drawing

You can specify how a dimension should look, capture the dimension style,
and apply the style to any dimension in a drawing.
Snap indicator shows that you selected As you drag the new dimension into position,
this dimension as the reference for the snap indicator turns on when you are
aligning a new dimension aligned with the selected dimension

Work Flow | 117


Changing Dimensions
After you place a dimension, you can change the tolerance type, nominal
value, tolerance, and fit. Options to make these changes are located in the
Dimension Tolerance dialog box. The Dimension Tolerance dialog box is
displayed when you double-click a dimension.
When you select a tolerance type, Autodesk Inventor previews the
dimension in the new tolerance type on the drawing. Enter a new nominal
value for the dimension and set the precision
If the nominal value of a model or drawing dimension is changed, Autodesk
Inventor changes the value on the drawing but does not update the part or
the assemblies.
You can specify the display characteristics for dimension lines and
arrowheads in drawings.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ Learn about...


Dimensions ➤ Working with dimensions in drawings

Help Index dimensions ➤ tolerance


dimensions ➤ styles

118 | Chapter 9 Drawings


Annotating Drawings
In Autodesk Inventor, a full palette of drawing symbols and notes for
annotating drawings is available. The symbols vary, depending on which
drafting standard you use. Custom drawing elements, such as graphical
symbols, standard notes, or revision blocks can be added to drawings.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ How to...


Annotate drawings

Help Index annotations

Tools for creating notes, symbols, center marks, centerlines, and balloons in
drawings are located on the Drawing Annotation toolbar. The Parts List tool
inserts a parts list into a drawing.
Notes Add notes with the Text or Leader Text tool. Both Text and
Leader Text use a word processor with minor formats such
as font type, bold, and special symbols. Leader Text
attached to geometry is associative, and moves with the
drawing view.
Symbols Add symbols with the appropriate symbol button. You
can create leaders for symbols, and you can place a symbol
for surface texture. You can copy and paste symbols for
feature control frames, surface texture, datum IDs, datum
targets, and weld notes, and user defined symbols with
and without leaders.
Center marks Add center marks with the Center Mark tool. The center
mark extension lines are automatically sized to fit the
geometry.
Centerlines Add centerlines with the Center Line tool, located on the
Center Mark button menu. Autodesk Inventor supports
three types of centerlines: bisector, centered pattern, and
axial.
Balloons Add balloons to individual parts or all parts at once with
the Balloon tool. You can add balloons to a custom part
after it is added to the parts list.

NOTE For centered patterns, do not close a circle by selecting the starting point
as the ending point. Select each point once, and then right-click and select Create.
Drag the endpoint of the line to the starting point to close the circle.

Work Flow | 119


Hole Tables in Drawings
Hole tables in drawings show the size and location of some or all of the hole
features in a model. Hole tables eliminate the need to add notations for each
hole feature in a model.

Help Index hole tables

Parts Lists in Drawings


To create a parts list in a drawing in Autodesk Inventor, use the Parts List tool.
You can generate a parametric parts list for an assembly. The properties for each
part or subassembly are displayed in the parts list. You can specify the items
you want in the list, such as part number, description, and revision level. Parts
lists can be edited.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Drawings and views ➤ How to...


Annotate drawings ➤ Add parts lists

Help Index parts list

Creating Sketch Overlays


You can create a sketch overlay sheet to add graphics or text to your drawing
without affecting drawing views. You can redline a drawing, for example, by
working on the sketch overlay.

Help Index sheet ➤ formats

Printing and Plotting


The Drawing Manager uses print dialog boxes similar to other Microsoft®
Windows® based programs to print or plot a drawing. You can select the
printer, print scale, number of copies and which sheets you want to print.

Help Index plot ➤ print models and drawings

120 | Chapter 9 Drawings


Drawing Tools
The drawings tool set includes Drawing Management, Drawing Annotation,
and Sketch toolbars.

Drawing Management Toolbar


The Drawing Management toolbar contains the tools that create drawing
views and add new sheets.

Drawing Management Toolbar

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Create View Import a part into the drawing


and create the first view

Projected View Create a projected view

Auxiliary View Create an auxiliary view Select an edge to


project a view.

Section View Create a section view Draw a section line.

Detail View Create a detail view

Broken View Create any number of broken


views

New Sheet Add a new sheet

Draft View Create a draft view

Drawing Tools | 121


Drawing Annotation Toolbar
The Drawing Annotation toolbar contains the tools for adding drawing
dimensions, symbols, text, balloons, and parts lists.

Drawing Annotation Toolbar

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

General Create a dimension Double-click a


Dimension between two points, dimension to select
lines, or curves dimension tolerance
type and precision.

Baseline dimension Create multiple dimensions


automatically

Ordinate Create an ordinal dimension


Dimension Set set

Ordinate Create an ordinate


Dimension dimension

Hole/Thread Notes Create a hole or thread note Available only for holes
with a leader line created using the Hole
feature tool in parts.

Center Mark Create a center mark

Create a centerline

Creates an angle bisector

Create a centerline for a


circular pattern

Surface Texture Create a surface texture


Symbol symbol

Weld Symbol Create a weld symbol

Feature Control Create a feature control


Frame frame symbol

122 | Chapter 9 Drawings


Drawing Annotation Toolbar (continued)

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Feature Identifier Create a feature identifier Not available for the


Symbol symbol ANSI standard.

Datum Identifier Create a datum identifier


Symbol symbol

Datum Target Create a datum target


with a leader

Create a datum target


for a circular area

Create a datum target


with a line

Create a datum target


for a point

Create a datum target


for a rectangular area

Text Create a text block

Leader Text Create text with a leader

Balloon Add a balloon to a part Autodesk Inventor


assigns numbers to
parts.
Balloon All Add balloons to all the parts
in a drawing

Parts List Create a parts list Customize parts list by


specifying property
fields.

Hole Table - Add a hole table for selected


Selection holes in a specified view

Hole Table - View Add a hole table for all holes


in a selected view

Drawing Tools | 123


Sketch Toolbar
The Sketch toolbar in the Drawing Manager is similar to the Sketch toolbar
used to create parts and assemblies.

Sketch Toolbar

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Property Create text field; display text from Select source for text.
Field Properties menu or keyboard
Define text format.
input
Only in title blocks.

Text Insert text field Define text format.

Line Create line segment Select linetype from


Style menu.

Create spline

Circle Create circle with center point Select linetype from


and radius Style menu.

Create circle tangent to three


lines or curves

Create ellipse

Arc Create arc with three points Select linetype from


Style menu.
Create arc with center point
and two endpoints

Create arc tangent to a line


or curve at its endpoint

Rectangle Create rectangle with diagonal Select linetype from


points Style menu.

Create rectangle with three


orthogonal points

Fillet Create fillet by entering radius Dialog box prompts for


and clicking two lines or curves radius.

Chamfer Create chamfer or broken edge

124 | Chapter 9 Drawings


Sketch Toolbar (continued)

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Point, Create point


Hole Center

Polygon Create a polygon

Mirror Mirror sketch geometry and Mirror sketch geometry


features across a centerline.
Mirror one or more
features at equal
distances across a plane.

Rectangular Create a rectangular sketch


Pattern pattern

Circular Create a circular sketch pattern


Pattern

Offset Create parallel lines or curves


at a specified distance

General Dimension sketch geometry


Dimension

Auto- Place dimensions, overriding


dimension system dimensions, in one step

Extend Extend a line or curve to Press and hold SHIFT to


intersect with the nearest line, temporarily enable the
curve, or point Trim tool. Right-click
and select Trim to
switch tools.

Trim Trim a line or curve Press and hold SHIFT to


temporarily enable the
Extend tool. Right-click
and select Extend to
switch tools.

Move Move a specified sketch

Rotate Rotate a specified sketch

Drawing Tools | 125


Sketch Toolbar (continued)

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Add Make two lines perpendicular


Constraint

Make two lines parallel

Make a line or curve tangent


to a curve

Make points, lines, or curves


coincident

Make two curves concentric

Make lines or axes collinear

Make a line horizontal; align


points

Make a line vertical; align points

Make two lines or radii equal


length

Make points, lines, or curves


fixed relative to the sketch
coordinate system

Make existing geometry Apply separately from


symmetric Mirror constraint. Use
Mirror to create new
symmetrical sketches.

Show Show applied constraints To delete, position


Constraints cursor over constraint
and press DELETE.

Fill/Hatch Insert fill/hatch into sketch regions Use to display cross


Sketch Region in drawings sections.

Insert
AutoCAD file

126 | Chapter 9 Drawings


Working Smarter
■ Use drawing formats with predefined views.
If you define views in a drawing template, the Drawing Manager prompts
you for a file when you add a sheet. Autodesk Inventor automatically
places the model in the view.
■ Use the Select filters.
In addition to the Edge, Feature, and Part filters, you can specify various
drawing elements for the Select filter.
■ Drawing formats override units of measure.
If components in an assembly have different units, the drawing format
overrides them. The model dimensions have consistent units in the
drawing environment.
■ Create views on different sheets.
When you create a new view, select the parent view, then click the New
Sheet button to activate the new sheet. The view is previewed for
placement.
■ Create nonaligned section views.
Press and hold CTRL while placing section views to break the alignment.
■ Use property field text.
Title blocks can use the property fields of the drawing file to automatically
populate title block fields.
■ Move views between sheets.
Click a view in the browser and drag it to another sheet. The cursor must
be on a sheet name or icon to enable drop.
■ Copy views or sheets between drawings.
Right-click the view or sheet and select Copy. Then paste it into the other
drawing.
■ Redline drawings.
Use sketch overlay to redline drawings without affecting the drawing
views or annotations.
■ View assembly model structure.
Right-click a view and select Show Contents. The assembly structure is
displayed under the sheet.

127
128
Collaboration

In This Chapter
10
This chapter provides an overview of the Autodesk ■ Introduction
■ Key features
Inventor™ tools for managing, capturing, and tracking
■ Multiple user environment
designs in a multiuser environment.
■ Engineer’s Notebook
■ Design Assistant
Detailed information about collaboration is available in
■ Design Assistant tools
the Autodesk Inventor Help. References to specific ■ Working smarter

information in Help are provided throughout this

chapter.

129
Introduction
Autodesk Inventor supports collaborative work groups and concurrent
design. It provides a framework for effective communication, and tools for
managing files, capturing design information, and tracking designs. The use
of Projects ensures that Autodesk Inventor can always find files and all
referenced files. The Engineer’s Notebook and Design Assistant provide the
means for capturing and tracking designs. For more information about
Projects, see “Projects in Autodesk Inventor” on page 11.

What is collaboration?
Collaboration is cooperative work on a project by more than one person.
Multiple users can work simultaneously in the context of the same assembly
and share information with others. In the Autodesk Inventor concurrent
design environment, a file reservation system warns others when someone is
editing a file.

Help Contents Collaborating in teams

What is the Engineer’s Notebook?


The Engineer’s Notebook is a tool you can use to document the history of
your design. You can create and update notes to document decisions and
calculations during the design process and throughout the production life
cycle to keep a record of changes. See “Engineer’s Notebook” on page 134.

What is Design Assistant?


Design Assistant is a standalone application that expands the Microsoft®
Windows® file management system so you can access project-related
information both inside and outside Autodesk Inventor. You can include
information such as cost center, part number, and author in a model or
drawing, and then use that information to search for files or create reports
with Design Assistant. See “Design Assistant” on page 136.

130 | Chapter 10 Collaboration


Key Features
Collaborative Work in the context of an assembly simultaneously with
Design other engineers and designers.
Prioritized Prioritize search paths in Projects to control which version
Search Paths of a file Autodesk Inventor opens.
Engineer’s Copy a document or place a link to an external file in the
Notebook notebook. The Engineer’s Notebook uses Object Linking
and Embedding (OLE) technology.
Create a visual history of a part or assembly by freezing
the views in the notebook. Each time you make a revision,
you can insert another view.
Search for Files Search for files using Microsoft® Windows® Explorer by
criteria such as cost center, part number, status, or other
information you add to a file.
Search Navigate the assembly hierarchy directly from Microsoft
Assemblies Windows Explorer without starting Autodesk Inventor.
Create Reports Organize files with Design Assistant by criteria such as
project and status to create reports.

Key Features | 131


Collaborative Environment
Autodesk Inventor supports collaboration. Multiple designers can work
simultaneously in the context of the same assembly. The three basic
scenarios for multiple user environments are:
shared All files are stored on a server, and designers working on
an assembly reference the same files from the server.
semi-isolated Designers copy specific parts they are editing on to their
local drives, and reference the rest of the parts from the
server.
isolated Designers copy entire assemblies from the server to their
local drives.

shared environment semi-isolated environment isolated environment

When an assembly is opened in each of these scenarios, the parts are


referenced to the originals. If a file is edited by someone else, you won’t see
those changes until you update your version.

Help Contents Collaborating in teams ➤ How to... Work in a collaborative


environment ➤ Use Autodesk Inventor in workgroups
Collaborating in teams ➤ How to... Work in a collaborative
environment ➤ Collaborate using Windows NetMeeting

NOTE If you are working in an isolated environment, you must manually


update files.

Using Microsoft Windows NetMeeting


The Online Collaboration tool is located on the Tools menu. Tools for using
Microsoft® Windows® NetMeeting® are located on the Collaboration
toolbar. You can use NetMeeting with Autodesk Inventor to collaborate over
the Internet. In Microsoft Windows NetMeeting, users in multiple locations
can view the same file and share write access. Install Microsoft Windows
NetMeeting on each computer to use this capability.

132 | Chapter 10 Collaboration


Accessing Assemblies Concurrently
In the Autodesk Inventor collaborative environment, users can work in the
context of the same assembly, although usually on different parts or
subassemblies. With concurrent access, two designers can open the assembly.
Only the files being worked on are open. The other files are referenced from
their storage location on the server or a local hard drive.
When designers edit their files, they save new versions and update their
reference files periodically so they have the latest information on the entire
assembly.

Designer A is editing version 36 of a Designer A is still editing version 36 of a


part. Designer B opened the assembly part. Designer B refreshes the assembly,
at version 33. so the part is updated to version 35.

Reserving Files
Autodesk Inventor has a file reservation system that warns others when a file
is being used. If one person tries to edit a file and another has it reserved, the
file reservation feature issues a warning. The designer can open the reserved
file, if necessary, and make changes. For example, if the person who reserved
a file is out of the office, someone else can still access and change the file for
a high priority project.

Help Contents Collaborating in teams ➤ How to... Work in a collaborative


environment ➤ Use Autodesk Inventor in workgroups

You can open and save previous versions of files. If you save a previous
version of a file, you can save it as a new file or overwrite the current version.
When you save a previous version of a file, a message is displayed warning
that you are overwriting a file.

Collaborative Environment | 133


Prioritizing Paths in Project Files
In the Introduction, you learned about using Projects to manage your files.
When you open an assembly, Autodesk Inventor uses the search paths
specified in the active project to find component files. For each component
file, the system goes through the search paths until it finds the file. If there
are copies of the component file in multiple locations, the system uses the
first copy it finds. To ensure that Autodesk Inventor opens the appropriate
version of your file, you can prioritize the search paths in your project files.
For information about projects, see “Projects in Autodesk Inventor” on page
11.

Engineer’s Notebook
The Engineer’s Notebook is a tool for creating notes and views to document
the history of your design. The changes you make to a model are updated in
the note view automatically. If you prefer to keep it from updating, you can
freeze a view in the note. You can customize Engineer’s Notebook with a set
of options. Among these options is one to keep the notes attached to
geometry that you need to delete.

Help Contents Documenting designs ➤ Engineer’s Notebook

Creating Notes
The basic elements displayed in a note are the comment box and the view
box. In notes, you can enter comments, paste text or illustrations from
another program, or create a link to an external document. For example, you
could paste in the calculations you made for a feature or create a link to an
FEA analysis.

134 | Chapter 10 Collaboration


Opening Notes
You can open a note by double-clicking the note in the browser or the note
icon on the model. You open Engineer’s Notebook when you open a note.
The notebook contains all notes for that part or assembly. Every note in a
notebook can be accessed through the Engineer’s Notebook browser.

notes listed in browser


note icon

Organizing Notes
All design notes for a part or assembly are displayed in the Engineer’s
Notebook for that model. It is a good idea to include the name of the feature
in the note name. You can sort notes by Name, Author, Date, or Text. You can
place notes in a designated folder in Engineer’s Notebook.

Engineer’s Notebook | 135


Design Assistant
Design Assistant is a standalone application for use inside or outside of
Autodesk Inventor to find, track, and maintain your Autodesk Inventor files
and related information files. It can track and manage OLE-linked and
embedded files. Design Assistant integrates project path information when it
searches for files. Using Design Assistant, you can create, view, edit, and print
reports, such as Hierarchy or Design Properties, in text file format.
To work with the properties of files that are currently open in Autodesk
Inventor, use Design Assistant from within Autodesk Inventor. The Design
Assistant dialog box opens with the active file and its referenced files
displayed in the Properties mode browser.
To work with many different files or groups of files in the same session, or to
work with the links between files, open Design Assistant from Windows
Explorer. The Design Assistant dialog box opens with the selected files
displayed in the browser of the active mode. You can launch your installed
viewer directly from Design Assistant for design tracking and working with
design data outside Autodesk Inventor. When you use Design Assistant
outside of Autodesk Inventor, the Manage option is available below the
Properties option in the browser.

Help Index Design Assistant

136 | Chapter 10 Collaboration


Design Properties
Every Autodesk Inventor file contains a set of design properties. Some are set
automatically, such as creation date, while others can be set manually. You
can set specific design properties, such as cost center or status, and copy
design properties from one file to another. Some of the design properties can
be used as criteria to create reports.

NOTE If a file is open in Autodesk Inventor and you need to change its
properties in Windows Explorer, first save the file in Autodesk Inventor to avoid
losing unsaved changes to properties.

Use the Properties dialog box to select a property group and the properties to
display in Design Assistant, move a property between the Available
Properties and Selected Properties, and arrange the order of properties in the
Selected Properties list. You can manage which properties are displayed for a
file, using the Select Properties to View dialog box.

Help Index Design Assistant ➤ properties ➤ How to... Set and change
design properties

Creating Reports
With Design Assistant, you can create reports that list directory structure or
files and their design properties. Design Assistant creates text documents that
list each folder or file as a line item. The Hierarchy report presents the
directory structure, listing the path names for each folder. The Design
Property report uses a table format to list each file in the directory and its
property values.

Help Index Design Assistant ➤ reports

Design Assistant | 137


Tracking Files
You can use the design properties you set in your Autodesk Inventor files to
search for files with common properties. For example, you can search for files
created during a specified period of time.
You open the Find dialog box to initiate a search for Autodesk Inventor files
and to set criteria and specify the search location. Your search criteria can be
saved for repeated use. The search for files can be done from:

■ Design Assistant
■ Autodesk Inventor Open dialog box
■ Autodesk Inventor menu when an assembly file is open
■ Windows Start menu
■ Windows Explorer

Help Index Design Assistant ➤ finding files ➤ Find Autodesk Inventor files

138 | Chapter 10 Collaboration


Design Assistant Tools
The Design Assistant tools are located in the menus and dialog boxes you use
while performing Design Assistant functions.

Design Assistant Tools

Button Tool Function Special Instructions

Open File Open an Autodesk Inventor


data file

Open Folder View the contents of a folder

Find Files Find Autodesk Inventor files


based on properties

Copy Design Copy properties from one file


Properties to another

Refresh Refresh the contents of


displayed file

Customize Create the list of properties to


be displayed

Where Used Find all instances of a


component

Hierarchy Create a report showing the Button located in Tools ➤


Report hierarchy of a folder or Reports.
assembly file

Properties Create a report showing Button located in Tools ➤


selected design properties of Reports.
files

Select Properties Specify design properties


to view displayed for a file

Design Assistant Tools | 139


Working Smarter
Engineer’s Notebook
■ Freeze views of a feature.
The note view automatically captures the current state of the model, and
is updated as changes are made to the model. Right-click the view and
select Freeze to prevent updates. If you clear Freeze, the view is updated to
reflect the current state of the model.
■ Add views with each revision.
If you revise a feature, create a new view and comment box in the note.
Freeze the new view as part of the historical record.
■ Retain notes for deleted geometry.
From Tools ➤ Options ➤ Notebook, select Keep Deleted Notes. This
option keeps notes for deleted geometry, not notes that you delete.
■ Create an unattached note in your model.
You can store miscellaneous information in an unattached note. It’s also
a shortcut to the Engineer’s Notebook. An unattached note is listed in a
Notes folder in the browser. You can open the note and access the
Engineer’s Notebook browser, which contains all notes for the model.
■ Name your notes.
Use descriptive names for each part in a large assembly.
■ Use notes in assemblies.
Create a note for each part, describing its function in an assembly. If you
create the note when the part is active, the note stores in the part
notebook and the assembly notebook.
■ Preview notes.
Pause the cursor over a note icon. The note text is displayed as a tooltip.
■ Use folders for notes.
If you have a lot of notes, for example, in a large assembly, use folders to
organize notes into meaningful categories.

Design Assistant
■ Add properties information to templates.
Create part, assembly, and drawing templates that contain basic
information, such as project name and cost center. Set up physical
properties in part templates to reflect common materials.
■ Create custom properties.
Create a custom property to track information for special reports.

140 | Chapter 10 Collaboration


Index

A B
adaptive assemblies, 76 base features, 48
adaptive technology, 78 base solids, 59
Animation dialog box, 109 editing, 61
annotations in drawings, 119 tools and toolbuttons, 62
assemblies bends, sheet metal, 70
bills of material (BOMs), 92 bills of material (BOMs), 92
browser, using, 96 browser, 6
component visibility, 95 browser filter, 58
components, adding, 81
components, creating in place, 81 C
constraining, 96 center marks in drawings, 119
creating, 79 centerlines in drawings, 119
design views, 90 Change Arrowhead dialog box, 118
editing, 80 collaboration, 130
file structures, planning, 95 collaborative environments, 132
grounded components, 80 composite iMates, 78
interference, checking, 89 constraints
large, 78 adaptive, 86
restructuring, 91 assemblies, 83, 96
viewing, 57 iMates, 78
views, presentation, 105 sketching, 30
working smarter, 95 symbols for sketching, 35
assembly components coordinate system, 58
creating in place, 81 Create iFeature dialog box, 100
demoting and promoting, 91 Create In-Place Component dialog box, 79
first, 79 Create Parts List dialog box, 120
grounded, 80 Create View dialog box, 117
loading and updating, 95 cuts, sheet metal, 68
moving, 80
assembly file templates, 9 D
assembly tools and toolbuttons, 93
Autodesk Point A, 21 databases, segmented, 78
degrees of freedom, viewing, 80
Autodesk Streamline, 21
derived assemblies, 77, 82
Autodesk Web page, 23
derived parts, 77, 82
auxiliary views in drawings, 115

141
design assistant drawings (continued)
tools and toolbuttons, 139 tools, annotation, 122
working smarter, 140 tools, drawing management, 121
Design Doctor, 20 tools, sketch, 124
design layouts, 78 views, creating, 115
Design Support System (DSS) components, 19 working smarter, 124
Design Views dialog box, 90 driven dimensions, 31
design views in drawings, 115 DSS (Design Support System), 19
design-in-place, 78
detail views in drawings, 115 E
dialog boxes Edit Dimension dialog box, 31, 37, 117
Animation, 109 Edit Feature dialog box, 52
Change Arrowhead, 118 Edit Parts List dialog box, 120
Create iFeature, 100 Engineer’s Notebook
Create In-Place Component, 79 creating, 134
Create Parts List, 120 working smarter, 140
Create View, 117 English and metric, 78
Design Views, 90 environments
Dimension Styles, 115 3D sketching, 40
Dimension Tolerance, 118 assembly, 76
Drafting Standards, 115 collaborative, 132
Edit Dimension, 31, 37, 117 drawing, 112
Edit Feature, 52 part modeling, 47
Edit Parts List, 120 sheet metal, 64
Insert iFeature, 101, 102 sketching, 27
Interference Detected, 89 solid modeling, 60
New file, 49
Place Constraint, 83 F
Properties, 80, 113
faces, sheet metal, 67
Resolve Link, 14, 15
faces, splitting, 54
Select Properties to View, 137
features
Text Styles, 115
base, 48, 50
Tweak Component, 106
editing, 52
dialog boxes, using, 7
patterns, 54
Dimension Styles dialog box, 115
persistent, 46
Dimension Tolerance dialog box, 118
placed, 53
dimensioning sketches, 31
swept, 41
dimensions
driven, 31 tools for creating, 55
work, 50
model, in drawings, 117
field text in drawings, 113
docking browsers and toolbars, 6
files
draft views in drawings, 115
concurrently used, reserving, 133
Drafting Standards dialog box, 115
previous versions, opening, 133
drafting standards in drawings, 114
referenced, 132
drafting standards in templates, 10
flanges, sheet metal, 69
drawing files (*.dwg), managing, 16
flat patterns for sheet metal, 64, 70
drawing templates, 9
drawings
adding sheets, 116 G
annotating, 119 Getting Started, online, 19
creating, 112, 113
customizing, 114 H
dimensions, creating, 117 Help, 19
parts lists, creating, 120 hole features, 53
plotting and printing, 120 holes, sheet metal, 68
sketch overlays, 120
templates, 114

142
I presentation templates, 9
iFeature catalogs, 99 presentation views, 105, 110
iFeatures, 98 printing drawings, 120
catalog, using, 101 profiles, 26
creating, 100 projected views in drawings, 115
file type, 101 Projects file system
inserting, 101 creating projects, 12
working smarter, 102 opening projects, 13
iMates, 78, 81 path types, 14
import/export data setting projects folders, 11
AutoCAD (*.dwg), 16 Properties dialog box, 80, 113
Mechanical Desktop (*.dwg), 17
SAT (*.sat), 17 R
STEP (*.stp, *.ste, *.step), 18 RedSpark, 21
Insert iFeature dialog box, 101, 102 Resolve Link dialog box, 14, 15
interfaces, component, 78, 81 restructuring assemblies, 91
Interference Detected dialog box, 89
S
L seams, sheet metal, 70
Learning Autodesk Inventor, 22 section views in drawings, 115
segmented databases, 78
N Select mode, 58
New file dialog box, 49 Select mode, using, 8
Select Properties to View dialog box, 137
P sheet metal
bends, 65, 70, 74
parameters, 31 cuts, 68
parent/child parts in models, 52
design elements, 74
part file templates, 9
environment, 64
part models, 46
faces, 65, 67
base features, 50
flanges, 65, 69
creating, 48, 49
flat patterns, 64, 65, 70
editing in drawings, 112, 117
holes, 68
feature-based, 46
models, creating, 65
holes, adding, 53
seams, 70
modifying, 52
settings, 66
parent/child relationships, 52
stamped features, 64
pattern features, 54
templates, 9
placed features, 53
sheet metal tools and toolbuttons, 72
planning, 48
sheets, drawing, 116
sketch planes, 52
sketch environment, 28
sketched features, 52
Sketch mode, using, 8
splitting faces, 54
sketch overlays in drawings, 120
templates, creating for files, 49
sketch planes, 52
tools and toolbuttons, 53, 55
sketched features, 46
views tools and toolbuttons, 57
sketched features, adding to models, 52
working smarter, 58, 62
sketches, 26, 28
path sketches, 41, 42
constraining, 30
bends, 42
constraint symbols, 35
positioning, 43
dimensioning, 31
pattern features, 46
geometry styles, 28
persistent features, 46
modifying, 29, 31
Place Constraint dialog box, 83
precise values, 28
placed features, 46
sharing, 58
plotting drawings, 120
tools and toolbuttons, 32
Point A, Autodesk, 21
viewing, 57
precise values in sketches, 29
working smarter, 36

143
sketching tools, 3D, 43 V
solid modeling environment, 60 views
solids, 46, 61 animating exploded, 108
stamped features in sheet metal, 64 exploded assembly, 105
Streamline, Autodesk, 21 moving in drawings, 116
sweep features, 42 presentation view toolbuttons, 110
symbols in drawing annotations, 119 presentation, creating, 106
rotating, 116
T trails in exploded, 108
templates, drawing, 114 working smarter, 110
templates, Inventor file, 9 views tools and toolbuttons, 57
Text Styles dialog box, 115 Visual Syllabus, 20
title blocks in drawings, 114
toolbars, using, 6 W
tools and toolbuttons, 55 Web page, Autodesk, 23
assembly, 93 What’s New in this release, 20
base solids, 62 work features, 46, 50
design assistant, 139 work features, adaptive, 44
drawing annotation, 122 working smarter
drawing management, 121 assemblies, 95
drawing sketch, 124 design assistant, 140
presentation views, 110 drawings, 124
sheet metal, 72 Engineer’s Notebook, 140
sketching, 32 iFeatures, 102
training and information, 22, 23 part models, 58, 62
tutorials, online, 20 presentation views, 110
Tweak Component dialog box, 106 sheet metal, 74
tweaking components, 106 sketching, 36

U
user interface, 5

144