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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Points for Style - Quickly Adding an Insert Constraint in an Autodesk Inventor Assembly

“We are not constrained by capital, but by opportunities as we grow,”
Jeremy Bentham

There have been times that I've had to place a whole bunch of insert constraints in  quick succession.  And while Inventor tools do allow for the pretty quick placement of constraints like this. 

Here I have one of the textbook we've used in our training classes in the past.  It has six bolts that have to be placed into their holes by using the insert constraint.

Six bolts might be a lot to put in.  Is there a faster way than the "standard" process
That method, is the Alt+Drag method of creating constraints, an alternate way of creating constraints without directly activating the constraints tool.

To use the Alt+Drag method, I hold down the "Alt" key, and left click on the first circular edge I want to apply the constraint to. 

Picking my first circular edge to apply my constraint to.
Next, while still holding down the Alt + left mouse button, I can drag the bolt to the second circular edge.  The hole I wish to place it into.

The constraint being applied as the bolt is dragged into place

Now, all I have to do is lift the left mouse button, and the constraint will apply.  I've never had to click on the Constrain Tool.

With that constraint placed, I can quickly use the Alt+Drag method to apply insert constraints to the other bolts, nuts, etc in the assembly.  Until I've placed all the fasteners I need. 

All the bolts placed

And for a video showing the steps, take a look below!

I really like using Alt+Drag for Insert constraints myself, but that's just a preference of mine.  The  Alt+Drag method can also be used with other constraints, like Mate and Tangent, for example.

The Autodesk Wikihelp has a great video showing the full spectrum of uses HERE.  So feel free to take a look at that to help expand your knowledge even further!

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