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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.
Now that we've been through the user interface components, I want to take a minute to talk a little about basic menu customization. Now, I wouldn't recommend that those who are new to Inventor jump into the system and start doing major customization. As a matter of fact, I would recommend against it. That said, and as you become familiar with the interface, knowing how to do basic menu customization can come in quite handy and make a lot of your design process faster. So what I'm going to do is walk through a couple different customizations that you can do and even some that I do on a regular basis.
The three areas we're going to discuss are the ribbon bar, the quick access toolbar, and the navigation bar. Now, I'll start with the ribbon bar but before I get into the customization, I want to talk a little bit about some of the uy stuff. I mean to go ahead and double click on the engine block to get into the part modeling environment. And you can make these customizations in any environment but I've chosen the part modeling environment as my starting point. The user interface component I want to call out real quickly before we get started, are these triangles that you see on some of the buttons and the labels for the panels.
What those triangles indicate are the fact that there's some type of information that's hidden underneath that component. For the button, for example, you have the top half, which is the default command, or the last used version of this command. The bottom half is a drop down that actually shows you other functionality that's available. For example, if I select cylinder, it changes the top half to show the cylinder, and it'll remain that way until I select another option from underneath that menu.
So if I go back to this drop-down and select Box, you'll see that, that menu has been updated. So that's one minor thing that you should know about for basic customization. But to expand on that, I want to talk a little bit about the drop-down here on the panel. If I click on this label, I am exposing the expanded panel. Up on the top you have the main panel, and down below you have the expanded panel. Moving your cursor off of that auto hides that expanded panel. Now the reason I bring this up, is while it's now major customization, it's one of the things that can help your design process.
Say for example, you're doing part modeling, and while you don't use the derived functionality very often you do use decals. You put stickers on your parts quite often. If that's the case, then having the decal functionality hidden in the expanded view, could be quite inconvenient. It means that every single time you want to do that functionality, you have to make one extra click, which might not seem like a lot, but if you're doing it frequently, it's going to slow you down. So what I want to do is, really quickly, swap these two commands. And I can do that by right clicking on the derive functionality or any of these commands for that matter and selecting move to expanded panel.
You can see it's been removed from the main panel and if I expand the expanded panel you can see that here's derive. Now, I can right click on the decal and select move to main panel, and I've essentially swapped those two functionalities. Again, not something major, but it could be if you use decal, and that's something you can do with all these commands. So it's important as you move along that you may find certain areas where you want to make tweaks like this. I'm going to go ahead and do this one more time. I'm going to right click on the decal and say move to expanded panel.
I'm going to open the expanded panel, right click on derive, and hit Move to main panel, and I'm doing this just so you can see it one more time plus I actually do use the drive functionality. So, I'm going to leave it like that. The next area for customization is the quick access tool bar. Now, the quick access tool bar allows me to put commands that I use frequently up on the quick access toolbar so no matter what tab I'm on I can access those commands. Now if I go to the view tab you can see the visibility panel an object visibility button.
And this is the one I'm going to use to show customization and it's one I use quite frequently. But what it does is it enables work features I've created, work planes work axis work points, when I was building this part. Now as you can see, for more complex parts those work planes can get in the way quite a bit. And you can turn the visibility off individually but this allows you to do it in a quick, bulk action. Now I don't want to have to switch to the view tab every single time I want to do that. So what I'm going to do is right-click on that command and select add to the quick access tool bar.
And you can see I have the button here on the quick access tool bar and over here on the view tab still. So it doesn't move the command like it did when we were moving it to the expanded panel, it essentially makes it available in multiple locations. So if I go back to the 3D model tab I can still very quickly toggle on and toggle off my work features. Now, you can do this with any command. It just happens to be that the object visibility is one that I use quite frequently. The final place that I want to talk about basic customization is the navigation bar.
In a previous movie when I was talking about the navigation tools, I mentioned that I don't use most of these tools because I can get pan, zoom and rotate all from my, mouse button combinations. But I did mention that the things I do use are not even visible by default. And that's what I wanted to talk about customizing. If we go back to the view tab, I wanted to call out the orthographic toggle, so you can toggle between orthographic and perspective, and the visual styles command. Those are two things I that I use quite frequently when doing design because it helps me visualize my design and understand how things work and where things are located in space.
But I don't want to have to go to the view tab every time I want to make a switch. So, one of the options I have for the navigation bar is to use this triangle in the bottom right hand corner to bring up other options. I can check things that I want and uncheck things that I don't. So if you wanted to remove pan, zoom and rotate from that menu you can simply click them to toggle them on and off. In this case, I'm going to turn on my Projections and I'm going to turn on my Visual Styles. And what I've done is simply added two new buttons to this menu which could also be found in the View tab, but are now more readily available.
And I can simply, from this location, now change my Perspective or go to Orthographic View, or change my visual styles, perhaps I want to see visual edges only, perhaps I want to see wire frame. I can get to those very easily now without having to switch to the View tab to do so.
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