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Sunday, November 01, 2015

Show Sick Constraints in Autodesk Inventor - A Newer Trick That's Worth It!

To borrow a phrase from Fiddler on the Roof, "Our old ways were once new, weren't they?"

And I'm reacquainting myself with building, changing, and modifying assemblies in my new capacity.  That means changing geometry after parts have been assembled.

And that means dealing with sick constraints!

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
But sometimes you need a heaping pile of cure.
I had to change a hole into a slot in order to give a part a easier to adjust.

Note! For this post, the top nut and washer have their visibility turned off to make the slot easier to see.  But it is there!

One of these holes has to become a slot
Creating the slot is easy enough.
However there were threaded rods and nuts that were constrained to the now removed holes, and naturally, those constraints lost association.

Locating these in the browser is usually easy enough.

The sick constraints in the browser.

But then I remembered that there's a tool that will make glyphs visible on screen to show me where my problem constraints were.

It's called Show Sick Constraints, and it was actually introduced in Inventor 2014.

Clicking this tool shows glyphs for the sick constraints right in the modeling window.  By right clicking on these, the options to change the constraints become available

The glyphs shown.  Note one washer/nut combination is invisible
Choosing the Edit option, the lost constraint becomes visible.  It's represented by the red arrow.

Right click on Edit

By clicking it, I can re-associate the missing constraint to the new geometry represented by the slot. It's just like when the constraint was added in the first place.

Replacing the constraint.  The nut and washer are invisible.
This makes it easier to select the desired geometry.

When compared to fixing constraints by the "right click in the browser" method, I found this to go by quickly.  I wasn't checking the browser, and using tools like "Isolate Components and "Find in Browser" nearly as often.  And while those are great tools, "Showing Sick" made the process smoother with a minimal amount of "mouse mileage".

The constraints restored!  The glyphs can now be hidden if desired with
the "Hide All" tool net to "Show Sick"
It's a nice tool that helped me quite a bit in this particular situation, I'd suggest you take a look and add it to your repertoire of tools!

Photo Credits

photo credit: photo credit: Conefluence! via photopin (license)

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