Find us on Google+ December 2010 ~ Inventor Tales

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sectioning Parts in Assembly - Who's Section is it, Anyway?

“Divide your movements into easy-to-do sections. If you fail, divide again.”
 Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Coming up with a blog post was a little difficult after a great holiday with friends and family, as well as a fantastic snowboarding trip to Mammoth Mountain, Ca.

But here's a situation that was asked of me before I left for my holiday that caused me to wrack my brain a bit.

The question was this:  I want to create a section in an assembly, but I want to control who sections, and who doesn't. 

This is what I started with

Fortunately,  I had found this once long ago, and the memory was still in the back of my head, covered by a thick layer of mental dust.

I had to remember how to get to something like this

So before I forget how to do it all over again, here's how to section a component in an assembly!

Happy Inventing!  And here's a couple of pictures of the insane snowfall we had on the mountain

Under here hides a Christmas Tree

One of the best days we had.  They were still setting of avalanche charges though!

The view from the mountain was stunning!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On Vacation - Change in Latitude

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.
 Robert Orben

Sorry, all.  No big blog this Monday. I'm off on a snowboarding holiday to lovely Mammoth Mountain, California.   So instead of blogging (except for this quick note), I'm getting gear ready.

Here's a picture from a previous trip

Still, that doesn't mean you're without resources to look to.  While I'm throwing myself down an 11,000 foot mountain, check out the KETIV Tech Tip page and the session archives at the KETIV Autodesk Manufacturing Academy site! 

There's a ton of information to choose from there! 

Happy Holidays!  I'll be back in a few days

That's me on my Neversummer

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Taking a Demotion - Creating Assemblies Using the Demote Tool

“The unexpected always happens”

This post comes from a lesson I learned while taking woodshop classes where my assignment was building a coffee table.  We were supposed to create drawings, so taking full advantage of the tools at my disposal, I used Autodesk Inventor.

A rendering of the table in Autodesk Showcase

I found that Inventor did indeed help me lay the table out.  Inventor helped me foresee and avoid problems, particularly by helping me realize that parts I thought would have been identical, were actually mirrors of each other.  That alone saved me from possibly having to remake parts.

But while I was creating the assembly I encountered a mistake I made in the way I approached the assembly structure

The lower part of the table was originally built with all the parts at the same level.  There were no subassemblies.  But when I started to put the sides together, I realized I should have made the table side a subassembly, since a subassembly would require fewer constraints to assemble on the other side of the table.

All my parts are at the top level. It seemed like a good idea at the time!

But now that I'm halfway there, how can I fix that, without having to jump through a bunch of hoops? 

As it turned out, the demote tool was my best friend. I just selected the components I wanted to create my new subassembly from, right clicked, and chose 'Demote'!  i was quickly off and running!

Select your components, right click, and choose demote

Now I could quickly add the other side of the table with just three constraints!

Viola!  All the other side of the table quickly added.

For a little more detail, here's a video on how it helped me restructure my assembly with minimal delay, and get things rockin' and rollin' again!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sketch Planes and Offset Planes - In One Step

“You can't do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh.”
John Singer Sargent

Here's a little Inventor trick that doesn't do anything that you can't already do.  But it does let you do it a little faster. 

You may know how to create an offset work plane, then create a sketch plane on it to create a feature.

But did you know that you can combing both steps and create the sketch plane and the offset plane at the same time?

If you did.  Congrats!  It's a slick little trick!  If not, here's a video on how to do it!

There it is!  Happy Inventing!