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Publishing a Part to the Content Center
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...
Attending AU2015 for Inventor tips?
Oct 29, 2015
If so, or just thinking about it (time is running out though), come and attend one or both of my classes this year. (CP10152) CADZillaTaming Large Files in Inventor Do you often find yourself waiting on your files to upload because they are very large or complex? Ever wish you could speed up that load time? Users who work with large complicated part or assembly files waste vast amounts of time waiting for these files to generate and build upon activation [more...
Inventor Assembly Components - Managing Their Visibility
Oct 24, 2015
Within a large Inventor assembly it is often a challenge to view and work with components because they are either hidden by other components or they are just too hard to find. One of the best ways to overcome some of these limitations is to make components restricting your invisible. I know you can select one or more components in the browser or graphic screen and turn off their visibility, but this is a very intensive mouse clicking process. This article [more...
Moving to the Cloud...
Oct 20, 2015
Should You or Shouldn't You? When it comes to moving a part of your business out to the World Wide Web, there are many considerations to weigh. Will our data be secure in a datacenter? What elements of our business would work better on the internet? Will the cloud give our company an edge over our competitors? These questions and more will be answered in our free online discussion happening on Wednesday, October 28th. We invite you to attend and bring all [more...
Using Revision Clouds for AutoCAD Paper Space Viewports
Oct 16, 2015
You are creating your AutoCAD paper space layout. The main viewport border is placed on a non-plotting layer. You have a detail viewport in your layout that just does not look right without a border so you create their viewport border on a layer that will plot. Below is an section of a drawing to illustrate. The red arrow is pointing to the detail viewport border. I get tired of seeing the square edged viewport border. Not only is it boring but it sometime [more...
Autodesk Inventor Joints - Between Two Faces
Oct 10, 2015
When Autodesk introduced Inventor assembly Joint command, it seemed to be an improvement over the basic assembly Constrain command. As I used the Joint command, I found that I could not select component origin or workplanes as connect selections. I have always use these two features for numerous assembly constraints especially when I want to center a component with another or to the base assembly. A good example of this is shown below. The wedge component [more...
AutoCAD Block Attribure Manager Tool - Part 2
Sep 25, 2015
Continuing with my discussion of the AutoCAD Block Attribute Manager, I would like to discuss some of the tools you can use to change, and sometimes add, properties of block attributes. Multi-line attributes are great in certain situations such as drawing titles. You have the ability to add the multi-line feature to existing attributes but you cannot remove the feature if it already exists. If you miscalculated the boundary area for the multi-line attribut [more...
AutoCAD Block Attribute Manager Tool - Part 1
Sep 20, 2015
AutoCAD attributes are an easy way to add metadata to drawing blocks which can be used for a variety of reports as well as populating searchable Vault properties. Attributes have many different configurations and settings which are often either missed during their creation or their properties need to be changed to match their end use. AutoCAD Block Attribute Manager, also know by its command name of "Battman", can manipulate most any attribute configuratio [more...
Top Down Design in Autodesk Inventor
Sep 15, 2015
Many firms use bottom up design to develop assemblies. This approach starts with part models which are combined into a unified assembly. One of the drawbacks of bottom up design is that the supporting data sets for each part model must be tweaked and updated as the design evolves. A different approach is top down design which is supported in Autodesk Inventor. With top down design, the critical elements of the design are established before modeling begins [more...
Including Summations in Your Inventor Parts List
Sep 7, 2015
Inventor users that work with steel sections, either independently or during the use of the frame generator, often need a drawing materials list which reflects both the length of each steel member as well as the total length of each item. They also would like to display a total length of all the matching steel sections using a summation of the individual item lengths. Displaying these lengths and totals is the topic of this article. My model consist of thr [more...
Setting the AutoCAD Ordinate Dimension Origin
Aug 22, 2015
AutoCAD ordinate dimensions are used for many reasons. The main one is to decrease the amount of dimensional clutter that can result when a large number of linear dimensions are used in the view. Users are often frustrated because the placed ordinate dimensions do not relate to the model origin. In the drawing below, it obvious the ordinate dimensions are incorrect because the model is 5 units, in both X and Y directions, from the origin of the drawing. Mo [more...
Locating the Next Inventor Sketch Point
Aug 15, 2015
Most Inventor users find sketching a pretty easy task. With implied sketch constraints, automatic sketch dimensions and heads-up display you can most of the time create a feature sketch in a short order. In this article I will be presenting some of the various methods of creating and locating points during sketching that may not be so obvious. I would like to start with the Heads-Up Display settings dialog box located under the Sketch tab in Application Op [more...
Heat Sink modeling with Autodesk CFD
Aug 5, 2015
Embedded within the Autodesk CFD software is the ability to define a heatsink as a subcomponent of your design. The heat sink module has been developed using well know heat transfer formulas for different style heatsinks that can be found in advanced heat transfer engineering text. (REF 1, REF 2) It may be useful in some cases to directly model the heatsink geometry itself as shown in this image. Many projects and design studies have been performed in such [more...