Autodesk Inventor remains the leading tool and application of choice for product and mechanical engineering, product design, product simulation, and tooling creation. It’s considered the industry standard for designing, visualizing, and even simulating products in preproduction.
And while Autodesk Inventor has been the industry standard for product design and simulation for more than two decades, there are always tips and tricks that even the most seasoned user can learn and benefit from. Especially since the application’s toolset, functionality and capability are improved and expanded each year when a new version is released.
Here are twenty Autodesk Inventor tips and tricks courtesy of Nikhil Venkat, a Mechanical Application Engineer at KETIV Technologies:
1) View/Camera Types
The ViewCube tool supports two view projection modes (Perspective and Orthographic) and a combination of both these modes (Perspective with Ortho faces). Orthographic projection mode makes it easier to work with a model due to all the edges of the model appearing as the same size, regardless of the distance from the camera. Orthographic projection mode though, is not how you commonly see objects in the real world. Objects in the real world are seen in perspective projection. So when you want to generate a rendering or hidden line view of a model, using perspective projection will give the model a more realistic look.
2) Close open sketch loop
In a 2D part sketch, right-click one section of the geometry you want to close. Select the start or end of the sketch geometry you want to close. Continue selections until the loop is closed and click OK to close the loop.
3) Show/Hide Sketch Constraints
To show or hide constraints for all active sketch geometry in an active sketch, click Show All Constraints or Hide All Constraints (F9) in the status bar. To hide a specific constraint glyph, right-click the glyph and choose Hide. For highlighting all associated geometries and constraint glyph partners, point to a constraint glyph.
4) Show/Hide Degrees of Freedom in a Sketch
To show/hide the degrees of freedom glyphs in a 2D sketch, select Show/Hide All Degrees of Freedom / from the status bar. Observe the glyphs to determine which geometry is unconstrained, partially constrained, or fully constrained. To show the glyphs for specific geometry, right-click the geometry and select Display Degrees of Freedom. Degrees of Freedom glyphs are displayed when the context menu check box has been selected. To hide the glyphs, right-click the geometry and select Display Degrees of Freedom to clear the check box.
5) Dimensions Needed Until Fully Constrained
A display on the bottom right of the sketch environment will inform the user of how many dimensions are required to fully constrain the sketch. The ‘X Dimensions Needed’ message represents the number of remaining degrees of freedom in the sketch, which includes both dimensions and actual geometric constraints. Fully constrained objects will change color (by default, from green for unconstrained to dark blue for constrained – the exact colors depend on what color scheme you are using).
6) Select Other
The Select Other command in Inventor allows the user to select features that are located behind what is visible and directly accessible. To access this command, simply hover your cursor over a specific region on the model, and every associated feature will appear as a dropdown menu after a couple of seconds. You can also right click on the model and click on Select Other to access the same dropdown menu.
7) Hover and Tooltip Timings
The timing for tooltips and secondary menus to appear can be modified in Tools -> Application Options -> General tab.
8) Zoom Options
By default, scrolling the mouse wheel away from the user zooms out, and scrolling the mouse wheel towards the user zooms in. You can change this behavior in the Display tab of the Application Options.
9) Zoom All Shortcut – Double Middle Mouse Click
Double clicking the middle mouse button will zoom in or out to fit the model to the screen. Additionally, holding the middle mouse button while moving the cursor will pan the model on the screen.
10) Organize Assembly Model Tree with Folders
To better manage assemblies, especially large and complex ones, you can organize parts and subassemblies in folders in the model tree. This will help reduce clutter in the model tree and make finding parts much easier.
In our next post on the GovDesignHub, we’ll feature ten more tips and tricks for Autodesk Inventor courtesy of Nikhil. For even more educational content about Autodesk Inventor 2021, click HERE for upcoming advanced manufacturing Webinars sponsored by KETIV.