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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.
I wanted to take a minute to talk a little bit about the application options. More specifically, the options that affect the sketching environment. To do that, I'm going to start a new part file by clicking on New on my toolbar, selecting standard.ipt and then hitting Create. This will create a new part that I can show some of these options in. One of the things that I've made changes to on my interface that you might not see, if you're using the default settings, are to my grid lines in a sketch. I'm going to go ahead and create a sketch and show you what I mean. I'm going to select one of the origin planes to create a sketch.
And you'll notice, I have a couple of lines that intersect at a point in the center. And these are my axes lines. Now, what you might see is a large grid here or a bunch of intersecting lines that represent a grid. I've changed that in my settings. It's up to you whether or not you make this change, but I wanted to show you where it is, and also call out some other items that might allow you to customize the sketch environment to fit your needs as you start to learn Inventor. The application options can be found in the upper-left-hand corner under the Application menu, under the Options button.
That brings up the Applications Options dialogue box. Now, you see a lot of tabs here that represent general settings, you have things for different environments, like the assembly environment, the part environment, but what we want to focus on is the sketch environment. Now, within the sketch environment, the things that I've changed so far, that you may or may not want to change, are the grid lines. I'm going to turn on the grid lines, but leave off the minor grid lines to show you what I mean. I'm going to enable the grid lines, hit Apply. I'm going to go ahead and close this dialogue box and just zoom out just a little but so you can see what's happening here.
What you see now is a grid that I can use as reference to understand the basic size of things I'm creating. Or, if I choose to turn on the snap to snap to this intersections if that's something that you choose to do. I don't use that very often. And I think these add a little bit of clutter to the interface. So, that's why I've chosen to disable them. I'm going to go back into my Application Options again and this time I'm going to turn on the minor grid lines and hit Apply. And what you'll see here is this grid is essentially going to be subdivided even further into smaller grid points, or grid components.
Again, it's a matter of preference. I'm going to uncheck these and apply the change and leave them unchecked, just because I like the clarity of the sketch environment but while we're in here, I wanted to call out a couple of other things that you may want to change as you become more familiar with sketching and Autodesk Inventor in general, and those are down at the bottom here. You have things like Autoproject Edges for Sketch Creation and Edit, Look at the Sketch Plane on Creation, and Autoproject Part Origin on Sketch Create. Those three items are things that I've seen people change depending on their preference and their style for design and what they're actually designing.
You may not need all of those items. So, I wanted to call them out here and then, real quickly, I want to show you what they each do. While I'm in my sketch, I'm going to go ahead and create very quickly a rectangle, and I'm going to finish my sketch, zoom out a bit and I'm going to go ahead and right click and extrude this. I now have my base feature or my base extrusion. And on the next step you're going to see all three of the settings that were at the bottom of the application option dialogue being used right now. If you create a new sketch and select a face, and before I select the face I'll describe what's going to happen.
When I click on this face, I'm going to have the sketch rotate into an orientation where I'm looking straight down on the sketch. All these lines that are highlighted in white are going to be projected to the sketch so that I can use them as reference. And, an origin point is going to be projected at this bottom point. Which is essentially the origin point that's found in the origin folder over here on the left, the center point. So, I'm going to go ahead and click on this face now and you'll see, automatically the model rotates so I'm looking straight down on the sketch.
You can see the yellow lines are the edges that have been projected into the sketch, and right here, in the bottom corner, is the origin point. The origin point is just a, a locked central point that you can build from. And the geometry that's projected can be used as reference. If I create a new line, I can, for example, reference the midpoint of that line, and the midpoint of this line. And those two points will maintain, be maintained, even if the part behind it updates. If this part gets bigger, these points will move and this line will adjust based on this.
So, these are just a couple of the settings I wanted to call out, just so you knew some of the changes I have made and also so that you are aware of where they are. I do recommend that you look around in each of those settings and perhaps look at help file to read into some more detailed ones, but the ones that I called out, I think, are the ones that most frequently are accessed in the sketch environment.
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