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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Taking on a Whole New Dimension - New for Inventor 2011

“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition.”

Rod Sterling

For today, a simple tip. But if you can make use of this functionality, it's a big one!

Like a creature crawling from a swamp in a movie, I first heard this come up when I arrived on the scene to begin working on Inventor R4.

This was around the year 2000. We'd just averted the anarchy that was supposed to come from the Y2K bug, and we speculated on how wonderful life would be if we could have a full GIGABYTE of RAM on our machines.

The question seemed to come and go, depending on the user. For some, it wasn't a big wish, for others, they really hoped for it's inclusion in the next release.

What was that question?

Can I show fractional dimensions in a part file, instead of decimals?

At the time, the answer was no. And it remained that way until Inventor 2011. But now! Now you can show decimals in decimals, fractions, and architectural. All you have to do is right click in the Edit Dimension dialog box when you place the dimension.

Choose your weapon, er. Dimension type.
(click to enlarge)

You can also type the format directly in the Edit Dimension dialog box. For example

1in/8 will show the dimension as a fraction

1'6" will create the architectural dimension

There it is. I Maybe it doesn't have all the flash of the new Visual Styles, or the 'Gee whiz that's cool' of limit constraints (one of my favorites). But it's that solid little tool that can definitely be part of your daily arsenal!

Happy Inventing!


  1. PERFECT.......

    our company is getting ready to go to Inventor and ALL of our drawings are required to be fractional......great timing AD!

  2. I'm glad I could help show you this part of the what's new!

    And thanks to Autodesk for putting this in for you! :-)