In our last post on the GovDesignHub, we featured ten incredibly useful tips and tricks for Autodesk Inventor 2021, the application that is the industry standard for product and mechanical engineers that are designing, visualizing, and even simulating products in preproduction.
Those ten tips were courtesy of Nikhil Venkat, a Mechanical Application Engineer at KETIV Technologies with deep experience working with Advanced Manufacturing technologies, such as additive manufacturing and injection molding. And, it just so happens that Nikhil had a lot more to share.
Here are ten more incredibly useful tips and tricks for Autodesk Inventor 2021 that can make designing and visualizing new products faster and easier, while dramatically improving workflows for mechanical engineers and product designers:
1) Filter in Model Tree
The filter option in the model browser allows the user to find a file or feature, regardless of how deep in the model folder structure it may be located. By clicking on the magnifying glass in the model browser header, you can specify the fields to search. The part(s)/feature(s) will be highlighted in the browser, and you can right click and isolate parts if desired.
2) Marking Menu Customization
A marking menu is an interaction technique that provides a radial menu of actions. As with context menus, the marking menu contains commands specific to the current task. For example, in the sketch environment, the marking menu provides sketch commands, such as Center Point Circle, Line, Two Point Rectangle, and Finish Sketch. A shortened context menu (sometimes called an overflow menu) appears either above or below the marking menu, depending on the cursor position in the graphics window. The marking menu in each environment can be customized in the Tools tab.
3) Partial Chamfer
Create a partial chamfer by defining the location of the start and end vertexes along an existing chamfer edge. The settings on the Partial tab allow you to terminate a chamfer at a specific distance along an edge. You create a partial chamfer by defining the location of the start and end vertexes along an existing chamfer edge.
4) Select Tangencies
With the Select Tangencies command, you can create a selection set of all the faces or edges tangent to each other in a Part, Assembly, or Sketch.
5) Background and Theme Options
The background, color themes and schemes in different environments can be modified in the Colors tab of the Application Options.
6) Backup Your Settings!
Whether it is the color scheme, the direction of zoom or menu timeouts, it is important to backup your custom settings, which you can restore in case of an emergency. You can export your custom settings to a .xml file, which can then be imported to restore the settings, all in the Application Options.
7) Set Flat Pattern Orientation
When Inventor creates a Flat Pattern, it picks one of the larger faces to become the Face with a Normal in Z direction and the longest edge and align it in X direction. To modify the default orientation, right click on Flat Pattern in the model tree and select Edit Flat Pattern Definition.
8) Export to 3D PDF
There are several ways of sharing and collaborating on your Inventor model, one of which is 3D PDF. In addition to PDF format, a 3D PDF file includes 3D views of the model along with its annotations. When you export an Inventor model, selected design view representations are converted to model views and placed in the 3D PDF file.
9) Share to Autodesk Viewer (Cloud)
You can use Shared Views to collaborate on a visual representation of your model or design online. For example, create a shared view for a customer to request approval or to provide easy access to your field sales team for on-site presentations. Using the link you provide, anyone can view, and comment on, the shared view without needing to have an Autodesk product installed.
10) Keyboard Shortcuts
Below is a sampling of the keyboard shortcuts available in Inventor. Most of these are customizable, but the defaults may be found at https://www.autodesk.com/shortcuts/inventor.