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Already up and running? This course is the next step in building your Autodesk Inventor skillset. Author John Helfen takes you through the interface and key processes of this parametric design system, including sketching, part modeling, assemblies, and drawings. Each process works in conjunction with the rest, allowing you to create parts and assemblies and document them in a way that they can be manufactured. Learn how to set up your project file; create and modify geometry; create extrusions, sweeps, and lofts; build parts with placed features and patterns of features; and create iParts and iFeatures. John also covers assembly visualization techniques, drawing views, and balloons and parts lists.
The course was created and produced by John Helfen. We're honored to host this training in our library.
In the previous movie, we created the model you see on the screen. We covered how to create a basic rectangular pattern. And now what we're going to look at is how we can take that basic rectangular pattern and look at some of the distance options that we didn't cover in the previous movie, but also look at how we can add intelligence to this pattern, so that when the model changes, the pattern can update accordingly. To begin, we're going to double-click on Rectangular Pattern 1 in the browser to edit that feature.
Essentially what we've done is brought back the creation dialogue box that we used to create the initial pattern, and we can make changes to this pattern and update the feature so that the model reflects those changes. To begin, let's look at some of the other options here for spacing. I'm going to look at Curve Length really quickly just so you can see what it does. If we set our spacing to Curve Length rather than the default of Spacing, then you'll see that the distances is removed or grayed out.
And it's set to the current value of the part underneath it, which is eight inches long. The problem we have with the Curve Length option here is that the original hole is offset by half an inch and therefore the final hole is also offset by half an inch. And that really doesn't work in this case. Typically, you only use the curve link option when you sketch a rectangular pattern or some geometry to define the directions and you dimension those distances on those sketch features to drive the overall length of the pattern.
It's not something people do very frequently so we are going to skim over that and move back to the distance option. Now when I select the distance option, you'll notice that it enables that eight inch value again. But, if we set this back to 1.25 which it was at in the beginning, you'll notice that rather than the spacing being 1.25 inches between each hole, the overall length of the pattern now is 1.25 inches. So the distance between the first hole and the final instance in the pattern is 1.25 inches.
The other item you'll notice is here, is you can have different options for spacing, for each direction. If I set this option to distance, you'll see that now, the overall row height is matching this 1.5 distance. I'll go ahead and set this back to spacing and we'll go ahead and use the distance option here. Now, I could enter a value of seven and you can see the pattern updates, and what we've essentially done is created a very even pattern; it's centered perfectly, but we haven't really improved the intelligence, because if we were to go back and edit this model and make a change again.
It's going to read this seven value as, as a constant number, and therefore it won't update based on the underlying geometry. Now, we're going to look at something we've already seen in the earlier movies in this course, specifically in the parameters movie. What I am going to do is show how we can use a parameter to add some basic intelligence to this pattern. If we use the Flyout menu to the right of the distance, we have the option to measure items and we also have the ability to show dimensions. I'm going to select show dimensions by left clicking on it.
And what it does, it allows us to hover over the model and select a feature and temporarily display all of the dimensions that drive that shape and size of that feature. You can see here that we have the overall length-distance of eight, we have the height of four, we have the extrusion distance of one, and we even have a draft angle that we didn't apply to this default value, which is set to zero. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to select my seven value and just like in the parameters movie, I'm going to simply hover over the dimension I want to link to, and left click.
And when I do that, you'll notice that the seven has now been changed to D-zero which is the name of this parameter or this dimension. It's the variable that holds the value eight for this dimension. And the reason I want to do that, is now, if this dimension changes, it'll automatically update this D-zero. And what we can do here, is enter a very basic formula. We can enter minus 1 and you'll notice now that the preview has worked its way back into the model.
Let me go ahead and back that out. Let me hit backspace a couple of times. And you'll see that, again the preview is hanging off the model here, but as soon as we enter the minus 1 value, what's happened is this D-zero which is equal to eight has one inch subtracted from it. And therefore the pattern is centered on the model again. The main difference now is if we hit okay, and the model looks correct. We can go ahead and change that underlying feature.
In this case 1, by double clicking Sketch 1 in the browser, double clicking on the 8 value and entering 6. Hitting Enter on the keyboard to update that. And when we hit Finish Sketch Now, rather than those holes hanging off out in space, you can see that the pattern has been updated so that all five instances of the hole fit evenly on the bottle. And we can change this to any value we want. And that's the beauty of adding the intelligence into the feature, is even if we hit seven and hit enter on the keyboard and only update to seven instead of eight, you can see the pattern updates accordingly.
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