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Autodesk Inventor: Understanding the Bill of Materials
May 10, 2016
If your organization uses Autodesk Inventor, you may not be utilizing the Bill of Materials or BOM tool. The BOM is not the same as the parts list that is often included in drawings. It is an overarching element in Autodesk Inventor and in fact, the parts list is pulled directly from the BOM. Here are three facts about the BOM in Autodesk Inventor: With the BOM Editor, information can be exported. A structured or parts only bill of materials can be exporte [more...
Vault File Lifecycle Management - Release Biased
Apr 22, 2016
If your company uses Vault Workgroup or Professional for File Lifecycle Management, you may have noticed an icon on the Preview panel that looks like the follow screen shot. When you select it the arrow either points up or down and you see something about "Non-Released Biased" or "Released Biased. You may wonder what these conditions mean or do with your data selection. To explain these conditions, we will use an small Inventor assembly. You will notice th [more...
Vault Batch Plotting all Drawings for an Assemby
Apr 20, 2016
The ability to select an Inventor assembly in the Vault and then select the "Uses" tab on the Preview panel creates a list of all the sub-assemblies and parts used. Most Vault users are disappointed it will not also show all the related IDWs or DWGs. If the Vault will not provide this functionality, then it is safe to say it will not allow you to find all the drawings related to a selected assembly and batch plot them. This article will outline the process [more...
Improvements in the Inventor 2017 "Import" Command
Apr 17, 2016
This article will highlight some of the the improvements in the Inventor "Import" command when used to import an AutoCAD 2D drawings. This command is a part of the "AnyCAD" functionality which was first seen in Inventor 2016. The command functions in basically the same way but new functionality has been added in Inventor 2017 making the process easier and more useful. One of the main features, of using the command with AutoCAD drawings that has not changed [more...
Changing a Pattern in an Inventor Solid
Apr 11, 2016
Whenever you import a third-party part model into Inventor, most of the time you end up with a featureless solid. Inventor over the years has improved the tools available to edit these solids either directly or in the creation of features from solid entities. Below is a SolidWorks part imported into Inventor 2016 using the AnyCAD application. The model is feature entity rich, but once imported it is a dumb solid to Inventor. Among the solid editing tools a [more...
Adding Inventor iProperties from the Drawing
Apr 2, 2016
There are many ways to enter Inventor iProperties into your models and drawings and in this article, I want to mention one more. This method is an excellent way of entering iProperties that populate the drawing title block, drawing border or sketch block(s) from the drawing view. You may have noticed the "Edit Field Text" command under the title block entry in the drawing browser. This command appears in two other places allowing the direct entry of iPrope [more...
Inventor "Redefine (Work) Feature" Command
Mar 24, 2016
Recently I published an article on the Inventor "Redefine" command which was used to redefine the plane or face a feature sketch was created on. This article is about another valuable tool found in both in the part and assembly environment. In the title I placed "Work" to emphasis that the "Redefine Feature" command is used to change the location and orientation of any existing Inventor work feature in the model. The power of this process becomes evident i [more...
Custom Tube & Pipe Styles: Creating a Custom Tube & Pipe Style
Mar 22, 2016
Thus far in this series on creating an Inventor Tube and Pipe style I have looked at the steps required to prepare and publish a model for the Tube and Pipe environment. Before we can successfully use a customized component in a piping run, the steps in part one to three of this series must be followed to create connection intelligence. There are four steps in all to create a custom Tube & Pipe style: Modelling a custom part (conduits and/or fittings) Auth [more...
Inventor "Redefine" Sketch Command
Mar 18, 2016
Inventor designers, one time or another, will place a sketched feature on the wrong plane or face of an Inventor part. This may happen accidentally or maybe you received the wrong information, it does not matter. You are looking for a quick method to "Redefine" the feature to the correct location. In the part model below, the cylindrically feature should have been sketched on the origin X-Z plane instead of the current origin X-Y plane so it projects out o [more...
Recovering an Inventor Part or Assembly File
Mar 12, 2016
It happens to everyone once in awhile, you modify an Inventor part or assembly save it and then realize you actually need the previous version and wish there was a way to recover it. If you are using the Autodesk Vault, you can do this very easily since it creates and retains a version of every file checked into the Vault. But what if your company is not using the Autodesk Vault, is there a way to do this in Inventor? Yes and it is an easy process also. Th [more...
Sharing Inventor Model Parameters Between Parts
Mar 5, 2016
There are three main methods for sharing Inventor model parameters between parts. You can use the "Derive" command to import parameters from another part. Using this method you can share both "Model and User Parameters. The second method is to "Link Parameters" between models by using the "Link" command in the "Parameters" dialog box. Both of these methods create a shared link between the original model parameters and the new model. If changes are made to [more...
Inventor "Analyze Interference" Results - A Better Solution
Feb 25, 2016
I am sure a lot of Inventor users were excited to see the "Analyze Interference" command in Inventor. You often need to know what is the interference amount between two assembly components. In my model, I would like to know the "actual measured interference" of the casting and the pressed in bushing. You start the "Analyze Interference" command from the "Inspect" tab, "Interference" panel and select the two components. By the way, the order of components d [more...
Autodesk Application Manager Has a New Look
Feb 20, 2016
The Autodesk Application Manager is installed by default along with most Autodesk software to help the user maintain their applications with updates and service packs. With a simple click all available updates and service packs can be installed for all installed applications. Unless it is configured differently, the application runs during Windows start up and appears in the Notification Area. If a orange-yellow starburst appears on the icon, there are new [more...
Publishing a Part to the Content Center
Feb 12, 2016
Its been a few weeks since my last post on creating a custom Tube & Pipe style. In the first two posts on the topic I demonstrated how to model a custom part for use in a tube and pipe style and then how to author that part so Inventor understands it as a tube and pipe component. There are four steps to creating a custom Tube & Pipe style using custom parts: Modelling a custom part (conduits and/or fittings) Authoring a part as a Tube & Pipe component Publ [more...
Using A360 to create web content
Feb 3, 2016
I have been working with IMAGINiT for 16 years, but just when I think I have seen it all, I learn something new. Recently, a customer asked if there was a way to create interactive 3D models for their website. The idea would be that potential customers could see and interact with 3D models of products. "Sure," I thought. "DWF files can do that." But then I thought, "How?" Design Web Format (DWF) files have been around for over 20 years, and can easily be e [more...
Adding Dowel Symbols in Autodesk Inventor Drawings
Feb 3, 2016
Autodesk has over the years added a lot of standard tools for drawing documentation to Inventor, however, sometimes they just totally miss one that gets used a lot in different fields. Dowel symbols are used a lot in a lot of industries including furniture and die making, however despite its presence in other 3D CAD systems, it has yet to make an appearance in Inventor. To help alleviate this there is an app in the Autodesk Inventor Exchange store called Q [more...
Tech Tips: Customize CTRL+RMB Menus
Jan 27, 2016
What do rappers, drag racers, and engineers all have in common? They love to talk about inches. Now two of those three talk more about size in reference to their tires while engineers...its all about monitor size. I once overheard an engineer saying he "rolls on 32s", and I thought to myself he must have a Jeep lift kit and some really awesome mudding tires. Well I was wrong... it was his HP monitors. What does this have to do with the title of the post? M [more...
Tech Tips: Change View Orientation in Drawing Views
Jan 25, 2016
Inventor 2016 introduced a smoother method of placing views in to drawings. I posted on these changes last week so I thought I would continue with another tip today. In previous versions of Inventor there was a button called Change View Orientation that you would select in the event that you were not getting Inventor to give you the view that you really want in your drawing. With the inclusion of the View Cube as part of the selection process in Inventor 2 [more...
Sharing AutoCAD Tool Palettes
Jan 23, 2016
After you have created your highly productive AutoCAD tool palette, you would like to share it with the rest of your design department. The process is relatively simple, copy a few files and a folder and you are in business. There are some other considerations if your tool palette contains block definitions and other entity styles. My example tool palette contains custom blocks, standard hatches and custom dimensions. There are two files you need to copy f [more...
Tech Tips: Predefine Scale Factors in Drawings
Jan 21, 2016
I had a follow up to my post earlier this week on scaling drawing views in Inventor. The question was... How do I define the scale list in my drawing view? Well, here is your answer... You have to ensure you can make changes to your Styles and Standards library first. This is usually done by setting the value on the Inventor project file to Read/Write. From there, go to your Styles and Standards library and choose the Active Standard you are currently usin [more...
Tech Tips: Dynamic Scaling of Drawing Views
Jan 18, 2016
The new Base View command in Inventor 2016 has been nothing short of awesome for me. I love that I can select my orientation right from the view cube or project and delete views very quickly. However there is one setting here that is not as discoverable to users and that is the ability to Scale the view dynamically or by known values. The little green corners around the Base View preview look like perhaps they are just framing cursors to identify the bound [more...
Custom Tube & Pipe Styles: Authoring A Tube & Pipe Component
Jan 13, 2016
In a continuation from my previous post on creating a custom Tube & Pipe style I stepped through the required modelling steps to create a conduit for use in the Inventor Tube & Pipe environment. There are four primary steps to creating an entirely custom Tube & Pipe style: Modelling a custom part (conduits and/or fittings) Authoring a part as a Tube & Pipe component Publishing a part to the Content Center Creating the custom Tube & Pipe style In this post [more...
Autodesk University Class Available: What Lies Beneath - Using AutoCAD Underlays in Inventor
Jan 13, 2016
Well, its been well over a month since I presented my class at AU in Las Vegas this past year on using AutoCAD Underlays in Autodesk Inventor. Every year Autodesk makes the recordings available to users that cannot attend the convention. I had a great time this past year and I had a little fun with an otherwise dry topic of AutoCAD material interacting with Inventor. This year I employed Bob the Business Cat as my co-speaker. If you want to check out the w [more...
Tech Tips: Speed Up Inventor Startup Time
Jan 11, 2016
If you are like me, you start your day off with a tall high octane cup of leaded coffee beans, you enter your den of engineering excellence (cubicle or office) and you start up or unlock your instrument of constructive awesomeness (computer). The last thing you want when you are hopped on the design dragon is to be slowed down by your slow Inventor startup. Well, here are some tricks to get you going faster. Disable My Home on startup This little beauty wa [more...
AutoCAD System Variable Monitor
Jan 7, 2016
AutoCAD system variables are something that most designers probably never pay attention to. They are often set when AutoCAD is configured using the Options panel or by changing values in other configuration panels. Some system variables are only set by a direct entry at the command prompt, using the "Setvar" command or by using the System Variables icon located on the Tools panel of the Express Menu tab. Some system variables changes, either accidental or [more...
Inventor 3rd Party Addin Review: Vault Browser Toggle
Jan 4, 2016
Happy New Year everyone, welcome back to 2016. To start this year off I am going to smack you in the face with some productivity in your daily life. Something that if you like, it can save you some of your much coveted cursor travel on your mouse pad. What I have for you is an addin that basically will toggle your Vault and Model view in your Browser on the left side of your screen. If you are Vault user, you probably toggle this thing multiple times a day [more...
AutoCAD Standards Checker
Dec 29, 2015
Designers who have been using AutoCAD for many years will agree that using a standard company AutoCAD template file to create drawings helps to build an engineering drawing library which is easy to navigate, edit and share. Using templates to create new drawings, sets up all the drawing standards making it very easy to follow company drafting standards. What happens when someone changes or adds to the template settings? This often occurs if your company us [more...
AutoCAD Layer Translator Tool
Dec 26, 2015
Managing AutoCAD layers are important to maintain a drafting standards, promoting drawing understanding and sometimes to streamline downstream process that depend on certain layer assignments. Most companies maintain drawng templates that define standard layers and hope their designers will use them as intended. Other companies will send their drawing templates to outside vendors that will be creating drawings for various phases of different projects. Agai [more...
Custom Tube & Pipe Styles: Modelling A Custom Part
Dec 23, 2015
I have heard from a few clients recently that have encountered difficulties authoring components to use in Inventors Tube & Pipe environment. While the Tube & Pipe environment has remained unchanged for some time it can still be a challenge to author new components and create custom piping styles. There are strict requirements for parameters, units and workflow etc. that are not obvious unless you dig through the help files or other documentation found onl [more...
Inventor Sketch Informational Message "Invalid Axis/Origin"
Dec 18, 2015
Inventor issues two types of informational symbols while modeling. When it places the informational symbol the program is saying "You have a problem and should fix it as soon as possible." When it places the informational symbol the program is saying "You are doing something the program takes exception to, but you can continue and the program will try and manage it". Many Inventor users will ignore the second warning symbol and continue work while some wil [more...
AutoCAD Groups - Pseudo Blocks
Dec 14, 2015
The use of AutoCAD blocks have a number of advantages over individual entities in a drawing. AutoCAD has two commands to edit drawing blocks without exploding them. The "Refedit" command (Edit Block in Place) has been around for a long time and the "Bedit" (Block Editor) introduced later make editing a block, without exploding, very easy. Both these commands are available from the right click context menu after selecting a block in your drawing. In this ar [more...
Fusion 360 Capture Design History: Tips and Tricks for Using this Powerful Tool
Dec 8, 2015
Fusion 360s Capture Design History feature is a helpful way to record information about when components were created and modified. However, many users are unaware that once you turn the history off for one component in a file, the history for all components in that file is turned off. To avoid this rude awakening, here are two tips for using Capture Design History more effectively: Create components in their own file and then insert them into the master fi [more...
Surprises in Autodesk Inventor 2016
Nov 24, 2015
The Autodesk Inventor 2016 Home Page has introduced several new productivity tools that enhance the user experience. Here is a brief overview: The New panel in the upper left corner. If your organization uses company-specific templates, its advisable to copy and replace the standard Autodesk templates and to maintain the same standard names. Projects, Shortcuts, and File Details tabs in the upper right corner. The Projects tab lists all the configured Inve [more...
AutoCAD Ordinate Dimensions - Establishing and Editing the Origin
Nov 18, 2015
AutoCAD ordinate dimensions are a wonderful method of reducing drawing clutter when dimensioning numerous features in a small area. The below drawing of a small plate with 6 holes, one dimensioned with linear dimensions, the other using ordinate dimensions illustrates this. This article is about one of the problems designers face when using ordinate dimensions which is placing the origin point for the dimension set. When I start dimensioning my drawing the [more...
Inventor Studio Tips and Techniques at AU 2015!
Nov 12, 2015
Attending AU this year? It is only a few weeks away! Are you an Inventor user that needs to create quality renderings without leaving Inventor? Consider attending my class: CP9782 - Techniques for Rendering Realistic Models In Inventor. There are still spots left! This class will focus on how to use Inventor to create realistic rendered images and videos. A good rendering is as much about details in the model geometry as it is with the rendering setup. Fir [more...