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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Copying a Drawing Sheet from One Drawing to Another in Autodesk Inventor

“Someday I hope to write a book where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away.”
Clarence Darrow

Last week, I put up a post describing the steps I use to copy a view from one sheet to another in Autodesk Inventor  But what if I want to copy a sheet from one drawing file, to another?

There are some simple steps for that process too.

For my example, I want to copy a drawing sheet of an assembly from one drawing to another.  In order to accomplish this, these are the steps I like to use.

1) Have both the drawing file including the source sheet and the destination drawing file open at the same time.  I like to cascade them so they're stacked on top of each other.

This is the setup I like

2) Right click on the sheet to be copied in the browser and choose the "Copy" command.

Right click on and choose "Copy"

3) Activate the destination drawing by left clicking on in the drawing.

Click to activate the next sheet

4) Right click on the destination drawing's name  in the browser, and choose "Paste".  Note that in the image below, the name (Drawing1.dwg) is highlighted blue.

Pasting in the new sheet

5) The sheet will appear in the new sheet.

The sheet is duplicated in the new drawing

It's as simple as that. 

For an added tip!, The drawing sheet can now be reordered by dragging and dropping inside the browser.  That makes sure it's exactly where you want it.

I have also, in my travels, found a couple of additional tricks to be aware of going forward.

1) Make sure to have the source and destination drawing files open at the same time.  Opening the source file, choosing "Copy", then closing the source file won't work.  The Paste option won't appear.

I don't know why this is.   But it's something to be aware of.

2) If you want to copy the entire drawing sheet from one view to another in the same drawing, open a template and copy to the new drawing first.  Then, copy it from the  new drawing back into  the original.

Trying to duplicate the sheet in the same drawing without using an intermediary file doesn't work.  The paste option won't show.

Again, I don't know why this is.  I just know that it is.

These are a few more tricks that I use when I need them.  And while I don't need them often, they've helped me quite a bit in the times that I have needed them. 

If you'd like to see a video where I show the steps I've used, just check out the video below!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Friday Tip: Find and Replace in iLogic

“The squeaky wheel doesn't always get greased; it often gets replaced”
John Peers

Over many years I've spent staring bleary eyed typing at a computer screen, two of the skills I've gotten pretty good at are typing, and the copy and paste hot keys (those are CTRL+C & CTRL+V if you're not familiar).

But there are times that I've found this doesn't help me.  I use the methods I'm used to because they're comfortable.

That was what happened this morning, I was replacing a bunch of variables in iLogic and starting copying and pasting away.

Then it hit me.... Like a palm to the face it hit me!

There are Search and Replace tools in iLogic!

I've been copying and pasting a bunch of entries when I could have just used Search and Replace to get them all in one shot!

The real files I was working on are proprietary, so I can't show it here.  So standing in for the proprietary files is a woodworking jig that I'm driving with iLogic. 

It's a generic template I created for cutting shapes in boards.  It's designed to be copied with Autodesk Vault's copy design tool.  Then iLogic is used to change the dimensions of the base and positions of the handles, stop, and clamps to fit the board being cut.

The jig.  iLogic drives the dimensions and positions of the components

Here's an example of the code that's driving the jig.

'These parameters drive the Base Dimensions
Parameter("Cloudlift Fixture Base Test:1", "Width") = Base_Width
Parameter("Cloudlift Fixture Base Test:1", "Length") = Base_Length
Parameter("Cloudlift Fixture Base Test:1", "Length") = Base_Thickness

'These parameters drive the Spacing between handles.
Parameter("Cloudlift Fixture Base Test:1", "Handle_Spacing") = Handle_Spacing

What I really need to do is swap "Cloudlift Fixture Base Test:1"" with "Cloudlift Fixture Base dev:1", to reflect the change I made in a components name in the browser.

The component's new name in the browser

I could copy and paste this with very little trouble.  But in the file I was working with (the one I can't show), I had at least fifty entries that needed to be changed.

Now that isn't nearly as easy!

Fortunately, I realized that I could Search and Replace the data before my "Copy & Paste" habit got the best of me.

The dialog box below shows the Search and Replace tab ready to go.  I have the text I want to find, and the text I want to replace all setup.

Since I want to change all the appearances of "Cloudlift Fixture Base Test:1" in this rule, I chose the "Replace All in this Rule" option.

Boom!  That's it, I'm done!
Search and replace has done it's job!

So what did I learn? Or rather "relearn"? 

Don't get too comfortable.  Every once in a while I need to take a step back and see if there's a better way to do what I'm doing. 

I think if there's anything I'm grateful for this Friday, it's that I had my little epiphany before I started my "Copy and Paste" insanity.  It saved me a nice little chunk of time, and a whole lot of headache!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

A User Poll! Do you embed, or Link Images in Your Autodesk Inventor Drawings?

“It's honesty. You may not agree with him, but you know where he stands.”
Rosemary Thompson

Back on January 2nd, I wrote a blog post regarding embedding versus linking images into Autodesk Inventor drawing resources, such as inserting a logo into a title block. 

Interestingly enough, I've had some fascinating comments from blog, my Twitter feed, even a personal conversation or two that seem to indicate that there are some strong opinions on both side of the fence.

It's plain to see in my post that I prefer embedding the images.  While I see some benefits to linking, they've never been enough to outweigh the headaches that I've encountered in dealing with them. 

But those who disagree with me aren't just shaking torches and pitchforks.  They've brought up solid reasons for their stance as well.

So I've decided to take this as an opportunity to try my first poll, and ask the world at large, what do you prefer?  I'm sure there will be some spirited opinions, and I interested to see what they'll be.

You'll find the survey below.  Bear with me for any failings, this is my first attempt and I'm sure there will be a mistake or two! I'll keep the poll open for a week, until January 15th, and we'll see what the results are!

Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments below, all I ask is that it be kept civil.  No flame wars, etc. 

Thank you all for your input!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Copying Drawing Views from One Sheet to Another

“Drawing is putting a line (a)round an idea.”
Henri Matisse

I know I've had to do this a few times back in my design days, and I know that others out in the "DrafterVerse" have faced this also.

How to copy drawing views from one sheet to another in Autodesk Inventor drawings?

I remember having cases where I needed to create a drawing view on a separate sheet that was almost the same as one on a previous sheet.  Perhaps I needed to change some notes, or possibly remove or add annotations.

In each one of these cases, the last thing I wanted to do was recreate the view and annotations all over again.

But there are ways that views and sheets can be copied with very little difficulty.

So how can a view be copied from one drawing sheet to another?

  • I'll start out with a drawing that has the sheet I want to copy.  This happens to be a base plate for a wood routng jig. 

The sheet I need to copy

  • Next, I create a new sheet in this drawing set.  This is the destination for the copy.

The new sheet ready for a copy

  • Now that I have a destination sheet, I can switch to my source drawing.  I select the views I want to copy (use the "CTRL" key to select multiple views).  Right click and choose "Copy".

Copying the views from the source sheet. 

  • With the views copied to the clipboard, I can paste them to the destination sheet by selecting the sheet's icon in the browser, right clicking, and choosing "Paste".   

Pasting the view

  • The view will appear on the new sheet.  Now the annotations can be changed as needed!

The completed view.  Dimensions removed, and a detail added.
And here's a video to go along with the steps above!

In other Inventor Tales news!

I've finally decided to grab as a domain for this blog.   Don't worry, the old links with still work, but now there's a shorter link that can be used to get to Inventor Tales! 

Friday, January 04, 2013

KETIV's Autodesk Manufacturing Academy Archives are Out for 2012

"I get by with a little help from my friends."
The Beatles

Back in October, KETIV held the Autodesk Manufacturing Academy in California and Oregon.  For those who were able to be there, all of us here at KETIV are grateful for your attendance, and hope you enjoyed it.

But if you weren't able to attend, the archives contain the documents and videos for the sessions at AMA. 

Here's a list of the sessions that KETIV and Autodesk presented at AMA.   You can find the information for each session by going to the AMA Session Arhives HERE!

1A - Sheet Metal Design with Autodesk Inventor
        See Inventor's sheet metal tools in action!

1B - Get Smart with Inventor Modeling
        Workflows for Autodesk Inventor and Inventor Fusion

1C - AutoCAD on AutoCAD Electrical Steroids
        See tools to help improve your AutoCAD Electrical Skills

1D - Automating Repetitive Design Tasks
        This was my session.  There are examples of iFeatures, iParts, iAssemblies, and

2A - The Secret Life(cycles) of Vault
        Get a better understanding of how lifecycles work in Autodesk Vault

2B - Digital User Manuals & Documentation
        Creating user documentation, in it's many forms! 

2C - Product Lifecycle Management - Autodesk PLM360
        Want to know more about PLM360.  This is your stop.

2D - Vault Health Check
        Your Vault was running great three months ago.  Here's how to make sure it's running
         great three months from now!

3A - Vizualization Workflows with Product Design Suite
        See workflows with Product Design Suite, 3dsMax, and Autodesk Showcase

3B - Simulation360: Leveraging the Cloud
        Use the cloud to maximize to design more efficiently

3C - PCB Schematic and Layout Integration
       An overview of PCB and layout creation in Mentorgraphics

3D - Developing and Managing a Facility with Factory Design Suite and PLM 360
         Integration of Autodesk Factory Design Suite with Autodesk PLM 360

4C - The Business Side of Autodesk Software: Making the Most of Your Software Assets
        An overview to better understand how your Autodesk Software is licensed

For those that attended, I hope you had a great time and learned some cool things.  I hope to see you at the 2013 sessions.

For those who couldn't attend, I hope the session archives are something you can use in your daily workflows!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Inserting vs Embedding Images in Title Blocks in Autodesk Inventor

“Break one link and the whole chain falls apart”

Now that the we've all survived the Mayan Apocalypse and are cruising through the first few days of 2013, here's a simple post to kick off the new year.

One thing I've had to do several times is import a logo into a the title block on a drawing.  The process is straight forward, and dare I say easy.  As a matter fact (insert squinty eyes), it's too easy.

The danger is that by default, the image is actually linked into the file.  Not embedded. 

Personally, I hate linking the image to the title block.  In my experience, it seems like the image gets lost, or there are multiple copies of the linked image floating around, inevitably causing what could be a minor data management nuisance to a full fledged headache!

Just imagine using Vault with Unique File Names Enforced, and being unable to check in a file because there's already a file named "logo.bmp"!

Needless to say, I always embed my logos.  I find it works a lot easier for me in the long run.

So in this post, I'll go over the steps to insert a logo into the title block, and the step that makes sure the logo is embedded instead of linked.

First, edit the definition of the title block by right clicking on it in the browser, and choosing "Edit Definition".

Editing the definition of the title block.

Now the Sketch Ribbon becomes active.  Click on the "Image" icon to insert an image.

Inserting the image

The next step is to draw a rectangle where the image will reside.  A dialog box will appear asking you to select the image to insert.

Inserting the image.  Tumblr Beasts courtesy of TheOatmeal

This is the point where it pays to stop and look at the dialog box.  Notice the "Link" checkbox?  It's checked by default!

The link box.  I uncheck this.

 If left checked, the image will link from it's current location.  That means the image must always be accessible by the file, and cannot be moved, deleted, etc.  This is why I've always preferred to embed the image. 

By unchecking the "Link" box, the image will now embed in the document, instead of linking.  Now it doesn't matter what happens to the original image.  The title block carries the image with it in the document from this point forward.

Image embedded

There are the steps to insert an image, with that vital stumbling block of the link checkbox.  Watch out for that step.  It's a doozy! 

And out of my curiosity, and that of everyone out in the 'Verse, is anyone out there prefer to link the image instead of embed it?   Throw out a comment below.  I'd love to see how you're making it work! 

If you agree with embedding the image.  Throw a comment too!  I'm a curious soul, and I always like to see who is doing what!

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy 2013! Taking a weekend off!

Happy new years from Inventor Tales!  I'm taking the weekend off this time, but Inventor Tales will be back with new posts for 2013!

I'll see you all in 2013! 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Splitting Tables in Autodesk Inventor

“Let the gentle bush dig its root deep and spread upward to split the boulder.”
Carl Sandburg

As I'm waiting for 2013 to arrive, I came across a little tip in Autodesk Inventor that it could be said falls into the "I never noticed that" section. 

Splitting a hole table.

Once upon a time, when I was designing stamping dies, there were many a time that the hole table describing all the holes in a die plate would run off the page. 

Back at that time, I was using AutoCAD, so breaking was a matter of inserting and manually populating blocks.  

But what happens if the same thing needs to be done with Inventor?  Below is an example of a hole table I want to split.  I know the table isn't that long, and probably doesn't need to be split in this case, but bear with me, it's just an example!  Besides, I didn't feel like modeling a part that did run off the page!

A table in need of splitting

Let's say I want to split the table at the row 'C1'.  All I have to do is right click inside one of the fields, and choose "Table>Split Table".

Splitting the table.  Make sure to click inside one of the fields
After choosing the "Split Table" option, the table will split at that cell.  Click and drag on the tables to reposition them.  The hole table can then be split again, and again, as needed!

Repositioning the newly split table.

That's all there is to it!  But there's a couple of other tips worth knowing. 

1) If the table needs to be "recombined", right click on the table, and choose Table>Un-Split Table

Combining a "un-splitting" a split table.

2) This is very important!  Don't click on the border of the cell! The "Split Table" option will gray out if the border of the cell is clicked on!

This is what happens when clicking on the border of a cell!
So that is today's short little tip.  A few tricks that I hope are helpful. 

Have a few thoughts you want to share?  Feel free to drop a comment or two!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Holiday with Autodesk Force Effect Motion

"Never mistake motion for action.”
Ernest Hemingway

As the holidays approached, I found myself finally taking a look at something I had told myself to look at, and "never got around to it". 

It was Autodesk's Force Effect Motion.

If you're not familiar with Force Effect Motion, it's a mobile app that works on Apple and Android devices, and allows for the laying out of mechanical mechanisms on a mobile device, instead of using paper and pencil, or even firing up a CAD package like Autodesk Inventor or AutoCAD.

A Force Effect Motion diagram - Courtesy of the Autodesk Force Effect Facebook Page.
So to satisfy my geeky curiosity, I imported two images to try out as backgrounds.  The first was a picture of the landing gear for a Douglas DC-3, the second, the extended and retracted positions for a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

I had a lot of fun playing with these two mechanisms.  It allowed me to sit on my couch, and analyze the landing gear mechanisms and better understand how they worked!

I can see how using this application can help get a mechanism conceptualized before firing up a CAD application and creating models that may have to be thrown away because part way through the process, it's realized that I've gone down the wrong design road. 

It's like creating a napkin sketch, but with the added benefits of being able to modify the diagram, and avoid getting food on your engineering designs! 

In conclusion, I have to say I wish I had tried this app out sooner, but now that I have, I'm glad I did.  The next time I'm at Planes of Fame, I'll definitely be getting  a few more pictures of landing gear mechanisms to try out! 

So here are a few videos.  First, a video from the AutodeskMFG YouTube channel, showing how to use Force Effect Motion.

And next, the videos I created, showing the DC-3 and B-17 landing gear mechanisms.  \

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from Inventor Tales.

“A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.”
John B. Priestly

It's Christmas Eve today, so I'm taking a break from a post this week.

This weekend has been a wonderful snowboarding holiday with friends in Mammoth, followed by Christmas with the family. 

A gorgeous view off of Chair 5 at Mammoth

So it's time for a few days off of tech stuff. 

Happy Holidays to everyone out there!  Enjoy your Holiday!

~Jon Landeros

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Matching Colors in Autodesk Showcase

“Don't miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold.”

If you want to know how important getting the proper color of a logo can be.  Get it wrong and see how quickly the Marketing Department comes looking for you.

The truth is it can be very important.  For things such as color schemes and logos, it can be critical.  Company "red" is not just "red".  It's a specific red, or blue, or yellow.

The KETIV logo.  It's not just "red".  It's got a specific RGB value.

When working in Autodesk Showcase, there have been a few times where I've needed to use a specific color.  And if it really is that important, I'll ask for the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) values of the color.

Many times, the Marketing Department has those values, and can provide them for you. 

But I recently I ran into a case where I needed to match the color of a logo as closely as possible, and and I didn't have the RGB values to work with.  So what did I do?

I could have played with the color until I matched it by eye, but that can be time consuming to do, and I wanted to get as close as I could, as quickly as I could.

Fortunately, when editing a color, showcase has an "eye dropper" icon that lets you select and existing object, and "paint" it with that color.

Edit the color by right clicking on it, and choose the eyedropper
I was able to use it to select the object I needed to match the logo with the eyedropper, and "paint" the object with that color.  It worked like  a charm! 

Of course this isn't as accurate as having the RGB values.  But when I couldn't get the RGB values, this was more than adequate to get me what I needed!  It also saved me a huge amount of time because now I didn't have to finesse the color into play.

So for that, Here's a quick video on how I used this nice little trick

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Couple of Success (and Hopefully Inspirational) Videos

“Have great hopes and dare to go all out for them. Have great dreams and dare to live them. Have tremendous expectations and believe in them.”
Norman Vincent Peale

Technology marches a long at a staggering pace.  As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure it's marching.  It's sprinting like a jackrabbit hopped up on Red Bull.  

Is it stressful?  Sure!  Trying to keep up with all this change isn't easy. 

Is it difficult?  It can be.  Knowing what to implement is as tricky as knowing what's available to you!

But is it amazing to see how technology is changing things?  Yes it is!  It's exciting to see the evolution, and even revolution, in technology.

To that end, I'm sharing a some videos that I hope offer some inspiration.

The first is from the General Session at Autodesk University 2012, where the CEO of Autodesk, Carl Bass talks about "What if?"  and how technology, particularly Autodesk technology, is fueling the answers to that question. (Thank you CADRelations for the video)

And to show a company that came up with creative answers to "What if?"  Here's a story on GK Machine is using Autodesk products to improve their products and processes.

But how about this story of using technology to answer the "What if?" question, as cool as it would be to say it is.  The video and story are worth checking out.  It's about a group of five high school kids built a flight simulator for a Colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactica!  Autodesk Inventor played it's part as the tool that enabled it, but imagine where these kids are going with technology!

First.  Here's the Gizmodo story on how they got started! 

 But they followed through with it, and got it done!

Here's the completed nearly product and accompanying story from Gizmodo!

***Edit 11-Dec-2011***

I found the link to the "The Viper" Webpage!.  Check out their team site here!

***End edit****

How cool is that!

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A Quick Tip on Positioning Section Lines in Autodesk Inventor

“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose”
George Carlin

Creating section views with Autodesk Inventor.  It's not a difficult thing.  But there is a trick I sometimes use that I think is worth sharing on how to position the section line. 

The most common way, is to choose one of the projected construction elements.  This will grab things like the center or quadrant of a circle, a midpoint of a line, or a vertex where two lines meet.  This probably covers nearly all cases of what most users need to do.

The construction element

But what if there's a case where a section line needs to be placed a certain distance from the edge, and no convenient point exists?

First, place a section line on the view, but don't let it constrain to anything.  I like to place the section line completely off the view geometry to make good and sure I don't pick a point by mistake.

Placing the section line "off the geometry".

Now with the view placed (it looks like a projected view right now), right click on the section line, and choose "Edit".

The section view completed off the geometry

Now to edit the placed view

Now the sketch the section line lives on becomes active, and it can be positioned using constraints and dimensions, just like any sketch.  One important thing to note.  Make sure to use the "Project Geometry" tool to project geometry off the view.  Otherwise it can't be picked.

Use project, constrain, and dimension to position the section line.

Once the geometry is projected, it can be constrained and dimensioned like any sketch!

The completed section view

Do you have  a place this might be helpful!  Drop a comment!

And naturally, here is the accompanying video!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Autodesk Vault 2013 and Microsoft .Net 4.5 - Not Cool Together

“Never, never, never, never, never! Pray you, undo this button.”
William Shakespeare

Earlier this week, after attending Autodesk University 2012, I decided to install Visual Studio Express, so I could go ahead and try my hand at the Autodesk Inventor API.

The download went fine, and soon I was installing away.

As the progress bar cruised along, I noticed one message, "Installing Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5".

I wonder if that's a good idea?  I thought.  But I dismissed it.  I was going to lunch, and my mind was elsewhere. Like food.

When I returned to the office.  Visual Studio was merrily installed.  All was good in the Kingdom of Laptop.

I wasn't going to be able to work with Visual Studio, so I moved on and worked on other projects.

Eventually, that other project led me to look for some files out of my installation of Autodesk Vault 2013. 

These are my files, as last left.
I open up the folder where I know the files are, and......... Nothing.  No files appear.  NOTHING! 

Imagine the camera panning away from me as I scream: "NOOOOOOO!"

Now all I see is this!

 I have that sinking feeling.  Did the files get deleted?  This my personal Vault.  Nobody else accesses it.  And I didn't delete them.

On a hunch, I change from Detail to Icon view.   My files appear!  They're still there!

But why won't they show in the Detail View?

Suddenly I remember.  .NET Framework 4.5.....  The tingle in the back of my neck was trying to tell me something.  I remember it's not a good idea to install it with Vault!
All is NOT well in the Kingdom of Laptop.

 Fortunately, I had a restore point and was able to "hit the eject button" and return to a state before Visual Studio.

Needless to say, if you're running Autodesk Vault 2013.  Stay away from .Microsoft .NET 4.5.

I don't know that .NET 4.5 is bad.  As a matter of fact I doubt it.  All I know is that it doesn't play well with Autodesk Vault 2013.  I wouldn't expect it's going to play well with earlier versions either.

So until Vault supports .NET 4.5, stay safe, stay away.  

Don't do what I did!

****EDIT 2-August-2013 ****

I'm a bit late in updating this, I'm afraid it slipped by me.  But Service Pack 1 for Autodesk Vault 2013 addes support for .Net 4.5!  So if you're seeing this issue, make sure Service Pack 1 is installed.

It a can be downloaded at the link here!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Wrapping up a Little Fun - Modeling the Six Sided Die

"It means that I, like God, do not play with dice and do not believe in coincidence."
"V" From V for Vendetta

Afrer modeling nearly all of the gaming dice, (20 sided, 12 sided, 10 sided, 8 sided, and 4 sided), I decided to complete the set with the 6 sided.

Originally, I was going to post this particular die as a bit of a joke.  Draw a square, extrude it into a cube, break the edges and slap some numbers on it.  How hard could it be?

Examples of 6 sided die (courtesy Wikipedia)

Could you believe I found a way to complicate it?  And find a use for a new trick in the process?

I'll share the trick at the end of the blog.  First, I'll start out with the steps I used.  Which let's face it, aren't that difficult.  But there might still be a trick or two to use.

1) First, I created the cube.  Since I used Autodesk Inventor 2013, I used the "Box" primitive that was added in this release.

Using the "Box" primitive to create the cube for the die.

2) Next, I added fillets to break the sharp edges.  I used the "All Rounds" option to get every edge.

Adding fillets to break the edges

3) Finally, I added the numbers to each side of the die.

Finally, adding the numbers!

And that's it.  The die is finished.

But there's an epilogue to this exercise.  Looking at the die, I didn't like the way it looked. The edges were too crisp and clean.  It didn't look like a real die would.  I decided I wanted the vertices of the die to look more rounded than the rest of the die.

Looking carefully the rounded corners can be seen (image courtesy Wikpedia)

Thg "too crisp" corner shown.  I'm using the "shaded with edges" setting to show the corner more clearly.

So how did I go about changing that?  I edited the fillet, created in step 2, and on the "setbacks" tab, I chose each corner of the die, and changed the setback until I liked the result (I used .1875 in my case). 

I found it gave a much more eye pleasing result than the tight corners I initially had.

Changing the setback
The completed die with setback
Ironically, I can't think of another time I've really used the setback setting.  It's possible that I might have used it somehwhere, but I can't recall one. 

I guess it just goes to show that one should never say "I'll never use that tool!"

And naturally, I have to add a rendering from Autodesk Showcase, just because!

And one for the show!

And if you want do download the model here you go!

Click here to download from Autodesk 360 (no login required)

Click here to download from GrabCAD (login required)

I hope you find this model an interesting diversion! 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Creating Arcs without Exiting the Line Tool in Autodesk Inventor

“Force never moves in a straight line, but always in a curve vast as the universe, and therefore eventually returns whence it issued forth, but upon a higher arc, for the universe has progressed since it started.”

Autodesk University 2012 is over!  And frankly, it was fantastic!  I had a great time, met some wonderful people, and learned a ton of new things!

But a consequence of getting all that information is.... I'm beat!  So as I play catchup on sleep, and life, this blog post remains quite brief.

Has anyone out in the verse, while sketching, tried to create an arc from a line in Autodesk Inventor?  It can be done by using the "arc" tool, but it's going to likely remain returning to the sketch, and adding sketch constraints.

This tip comes from the "bucket of little things" that are simple, but make sketching easier.  This is how to create a tangent, or perpendicular arc without exiting the line tool.

1) Start drawing the lines required for the sketch

Start with the line tool.

2) Stay in the line tool when ready to create the arc.

Don't exit, stay in the line tool!

3) Click on the start of the arc, and while holding the left mouse button down (this is important!), imaging drawing the arc with a pencil.  Make sure to hold the left mouse button down until ready to create the arc.

Getting ready to create the arc

4) Draw the arc (either perpendicular or tangent) while holding the left mouse button down.  When ready, lift the left mouse button.  Now you have created an arc!

When ready to create the arc, lift the left mouse button.

Granted, there is a trick to it, and it takes practice.  The single biggest tip I can offer is to draw a little more slowly, and definitely more deliberately!  Rushing the task usually means making mistakes and redoing things.

But with a little practice, I think this is a great tool.  I encourage giving it a try!

For a little added info, here's a video to go with it.

Do you have a few thoughts or suggestions?  Add a comment below!