Find us on Google+ Using an iFeature in Autodesk Inventor - Part 3 ~ Inventor Tales

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Using an iFeature in Autodesk Inventor - Part 3

“All respect comes from persisting to completion.”
Melissa Lima

At long last!  The final part of my little "iFeatures & Autodesk Inventor" series (at least for now)!

In this final post, I'll discuss taking and iFeature, and driving it via a table.

But first of all, why drive an iFeature with a table?  What does a table do for us?

Well the single biggest reason to use a table driven iFeature is to create is to create a consistent series of choices for features that vary in predictable ways.

An Example of an iFeature Table
For example, lets say there's a mounting hole of three consistent variations.  It may have two different size holes, but the holes all expand in intervals of a given increment (.125 inches for example).

An example of different holes (yes, I know the biggest one is 'too big'
If  a non-table driven iFeature is used, the different diameter holes could be mixed and matched.

The 'standard' iFeature screen
In other words, a "create a combo" situation could arise, and a non-existant hole created.

If a table driven iFeature is used, then the mounting holes can be called out by a specific value, such as an "tool number", and a consistent set of holes can be placed.

Special fields can also be created, so institution specific criteria can be used for selecting an iFeature.  For example, in my video, I use Tool Number.

But enough of the describing! Let's switch to the video, and see how these tables can be used!

And on a final note.... Who knows what an iFeature was called before it was named an iFeature? Hint: it's the reason an iFeature has the file extention "*.ide"!


  1. Hi Jonathan, good day

    i have few questions that need help on iFeature (iFe) placement, especially working on Standard.ipt (not sheet metal)

    #1) why my placement of iFe always automatically placed at part's center and i have to relocate it manually
    #2) i have created a pattern (let's say 4x4) work points, and i insert iFe into the part, and it failed to appears 16x and only shown 1 at the middle of the part. Can iFe to appears multiple for one insert click ? if Yes, why it does not locates to work points.

    i have included the .ide file link to share with you so that you can understand what i am saying ^,^

    1. Siah,

      As a rule, I don't download files from links I don't know. It's something I'm afraid I must be a bit heavy handed about for security.

      However, I still know what's going on.

      The functionality you describe (not placing on a point, and not following a pattern, are typical for a standard iFeature.

      To automatically on a sketch point, you need to create a sheet metal punch, which is a special type of iFeature for use with sheet metal parts.

      In brief, a Sheet Metal punch has a single sketch point in it, and will line up with another sketch point on the mating part.

      Below are some links to a couple of tutorials and blogs that I think will help:

      A post on my blog:

      Autodesk Tutorial on Punches Part 1

      Autodesk Tutorial on punches Part 2:

    2. Hi Jonathan,
      Thx for reply, yup, it works on Sheet Metal punch, but unfortunately this pin iFe can not work on Standard part file as i described.
      This pin iFe was created to show to fabricator for part that needed dowel pin to be pressed in during fabrication and not to be pressed by assembler during assembly stage. Do you have any good idea to breakthrough this ?

    3. Siah,

      Since the a Punch is the only tool that can use "point placement". One idea, would be to switch the part to a sheet metal part, and switch it back. It's not necessary to use sheet metal tools if a part is created in sheet metal.

      Also, you can align the sketch with points in the iFeature, this would get close, but it wouldn't quite be as quick as the sheet metal punch is.

      Another thought, is to place on iFeature (by whatever means works, and then pattern the iFeature, instead of patterning points and trying to place the iFeature on multiple points.