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Monday, December 09, 2013

Using an Image and Suppressing Features in a Pattern in Autodesk Inventor

I'm rolling into my finals week at Mount San Antonio College, so again, I'm forced to keep my blog post short. 

However, this tip is one that I have found useful on a few occasions, and not one that everyone knows.

That tip? Suppressing instances in an assembly. 

Recently, I've been working on building an Autodesk Inventor model of a Pie Safe.  One of the features of this type of furniture, is a door made of perforated tin, which allows for airflow.  To be decorative, these perforations often formed into patterns.

So for my model, I decided to create the perforations in the form of a Celtic cross.  And yes, I intended to model the perforations.

The cross I'm using as a pattern

First of all, I found an image that I could use, and placed it on my sketch using the Insert Image tool.

The image inserted onto a sketch, using the Insert Image Tool

Next, I placed a hole on the center of the image, and used the Rectangular Pattern tool to create a pattern inside the image.

Creating the pattern inside the image.

Now, I need to begin suppressing the holes inside the pattern to match what I want.  I choose the instance of the pattern I want to suppress, and choose Suppress Feature. Out of curiosity, how many knew this was possible in a pattern?

Suppressing the instance in a pattern.
Once the rectangular pattern is suppressed the way I like, I can also add some circular patterns to make the round portion of the cross look, well, more round!

Adding some circular patterns
At any point, I can toggle off the visibility of the image to see what the existing set of patterns looks like.

The image suppressed.  I can use this to fine tune the pattern.
Note, I'm not 100% done, I have a few more tweaks to do before I have it completely right.  But it's coming along!

After a little more fine tuning, I think I'll have something I'm pretty happy with! 


  1. Wouldn't it have been nice to be able to select the occurences by a window or something like that directly on the model?
    Btw, really like your blog!

    1. Thanks, Kent! I gotta admit, It would be nice to grab the occurances on screen. I got a pretty good method to clean them out as I went. But it's always nice to have an easy way!

  2. Peace be upon you.... Hello Jonathan brother,,, One Help For me..... How to make roll process on sheet metal to produced desired profile format for example (EX: in ASPER SHEET formation in autodesk inventor ? ...

    1. I'm not sure I complete understand the question, but roll form, at least to determining a flat pattern, are beyond what Inventor is going to do today.

      There's too much metal deformation.

  3. k thank u for your response for the previous asked question.
    And i have another query about the autodesk inventor.

    i.e. kindly go thro' my enclosed photo showing mating of two gears.
    During mating of two gears, i want some indications where they are mating (like line formation on the mating portions).

    Any idea about that, Kindly reply me as earlier as possible.....

    1. You might try looking at the Design Accelerators. They may have something. Also, an interference check may show where the gears mate if there's a slight interference, for example.

  4. Hello Jonathan brother, How are you.. Is it possible to open .sldprt models from Autocad Inventor 2012 ?

    1. Inventor 2012 should be able to open Sldprt models. You'll find it as an option in "Files of Type" in the open dialog box.

      One thing to watch out for, if the SWX file version is newer than your version of Inventor, you won't be able to load the files.

      Inventor 2012 is old enough now where you may run into that quite a bit.

      Alternatively, you can try step or parasolid files.