Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating and managing constraints

From: Up and Running with Autodesk Inventor

Video: Creating and managing constraints

Now that we've got all our components placed into our Assembly file, we are ready to begin the assembly process. Before we begin, I wanted to talk a little bit about the different ways to create constraints. Under the Assemble tab in the Position panel, there are two different options I want to call out, there is the Constrain option and the Assemble option. The Constrain option is the default way to create constraints in Inventor; the Assemble option is a slightly more advanced version of that, that allows you to create multiple constraints in a single action. I don't recommend this option for those who are just starting out with Inventor.

Creating and managing constraints

Now that we've got all our components placed into our Assembly file, we are ready to begin the assembly process. Before we begin, I wanted to talk a little bit about the different ways to create constraints. Under the Assemble tab in the Position panel, there are two different options I want to call out, there is the Constrain option and the Assemble option. The Constrain option is the default way to create constraints in Inventor; the Assemble option is a slightly more advanced version of that, that allows you to create multiple constraints in a single action. I don't recommend this option for those who are just starting out with Inventor.

I think it's important for everybody to understand what constraints are, how they work, how to edit and manage those constraints, and once you have that solid foundation, then you can begin exploring the Assemble command. In this movie, we are going to focus on a couple parts that we'll use to explain how constraints work and how to edit and manage them. Once we have that foundational understanding, then we'll move forward with assembling the remaining parts. The parts we're going to be focusing on are the Piston Shaft and the Engine Block. I am going to zoom in a little bit on those so we can get a better view.

Now I am going to launch the Constrain dialog box and begin the constraint process. Within the Place Constraint dialog box there is a few different settings you need to understand. First is the Type Section. There are four major types of constraints in Inventor: there is a Mate constraint, an Angle constraint, a Tangent constraint, and an Insert constraint. For this video, we are going to focus on the Mate constraint. It's the most commonly used constraint, and once you understand how it works you'll have a solid understanding of how the other constraints work as well. Next is the Selections area. The whole purpose of constraints in the first place is to assemble two parts together, or connect those parts.

The Selections set area allows you to see whether or not parts have been selected. A red arrow indicates that nothing has been selected and Inventor is waiting for an input. A white arrow indicates that a selection has been made and Inventor is ready to continue. Next we have the Offset section. This allows you to determine the distance between two faces or two objects that you have connected with a constraint. We'll go over that in a moment. The Solutions area allows you to select between two different solutions of the same type of constraint. For example, in the Mate constraint, you have a Mate option, and you have a Flush option.

I'll show those in a minute, because once you see, it's very easy to understand. To begin, the system is ready for the first selection. We are going to select the center axis of this part by hovering over the part and left-clicking. After making that selection, you'll notice that the Selections set has changed a bit, we now have a white arrow on Selection 1, indicating that the selection has been made and Inventor is ready to continue at that point. It also move to Selection 2 and is waiting for us to pick an input. For that item, we are going to select the center component of the Engine Block, and you'll notice that we receive an audio indication that the constraint has been made, and we get a preview of the constraint result.

At this point we can Apply the constraint and continue on, or we can select OK to apply that constraint and close the dialog box. That's what we are going to do in this case, because I want to show you what actually just took place. If we left-click and drag on the Piston Shaft, you'll notice that as I move my cursor right and left, the component spins, and it can move up and down, but it remains locked to the center axis of the Engine Block. That's exactly what the constraints do. They're rules that tell parts how they connect and how they can interact with each other. The problem we have here is the part is upside-down, and that happens from time to time and is perfectly acceptable and expected.

We are going to go a head and use the Marking menu by right-clicking and select the Constraint option to bring up the Constraint dialog box. We are now ready to create a second constraint here. This time rather than selecting the axis, I'm going to select the bottom face of the Piston Shaft and the top face of the Engine Block, because I want those two parts connected. Now you'll notice from the preview the part has remained in the Engine Block but now it's been flipped over and positioned properly. If I zoom in a bit and orbit just a hair, you can see that these two faces are touching each other now.

This is a point I want to show you the two different Solution options. Right now we have the two faces touching each other. The Flush option allows me to just flip that option over, and if I zoom in a bit you can see the two faces are perfectly flushed with each other. Again, you can toggle back and forth between these to see the result. I do want to go ahead and continue with the Mate constraint, so I'll go ahead and leave that as it is. The next item I want to mention before we continue on is the Offset. The Offset in the dialog box allows you to determine how far apart the two faces are.

For example, if I enter .25, you'll notice that the preview updates to show that result, if I make it .5, that moves up even further. In this case, I do want to go ahead and leave it at zero, so I'll return that, and now I am going to click OK to accept that constraint and close the dialog. Now that we have the part constrained, I am going to rotate it around and show you one more time what just took place. If we left-click and drag on the part, it now will rotate, but it won't move up and down because the bottom of the Piston Shaft and the top of the Engine Block are connected, and the axis of the Piston Shaft and the axis of the Engine Block are locked together.

Now you'll notice as I move this around we do have an Exhaust port down here, and this is important, because if we rotate around to the other side, you'll notice that there is corresponding Exhaust port on the side of the Engine Block. In the Piston Shaft component, you'll also notice that there's a little notch here. As we drag the component around, you'll notice a little notch on the top of the Engine Block. The purpose for that is to align the two components so that the Exhaust Ports match up. So the final constraint we need on this component is an axis-axis constraint between these two components.

I am going to right-click and select Constraint from the Marking menu, and this time I'm going to select the axis on the Piston Shaft and the axis on the Engine Block, and those two components align, and now I can select OK, and that constraint is created. This time if I go to click and drag that part I get a no-go symbol, essentially it's telling me that there is enough constraints on this, that it's permanently positioned, and the only way I can move it at this point would be to remove a constraint or edit an Offset.

Now that we've created a few constraints, let's look at the browser to see what's actually happened. If we expand the Engine Block, you'll see a couple of things. You see some hidden work planes and then you see the constraints that have been applied to the Engine Block. Let's zoom back in on the Engine Block so we can see this in the Graphics Window. If you hover over the first Mate, you'll see that it highlights in the graphic screen. This is the Mate between the axis of the Piston Shaft and the axis of the Engine Block. Because there are two components involved in this constraint, sometimes you might want to find the other half of that constraint or what part is contained in that other half of the constraint.

To do that, you can right-click on the constraint in the browser and select other half, and you notice the browser expands the Piston Shaft part and highlights the other half of the Mate constraint. This is just a nice way to find out how components are interacting with each other, and it comes in handy if you ever run into a problem and you need to interrogate the model a little bit closer. The next item we have is this Mate here. This is the Mate between the top of the Engine Block and the face on the bottom of the Piston Shaft. Finally, we have the last Mate we just created, the axis between the pin and the corresponding notch on the Piston Shaft.

At any point we can go back and right-click on any constraint and make some edits to it. For example, if we wanted to update the offset, we could go back and hit Edit and change that after the fact. Here we have a .05 offset, we can set that to .25, and you see the preview updating as well. In this case, we don't want to make that change so we'll leave it at zero, but you can always go back and make changes. Now that we have a solid understanding of what constraints are, what they do, how we can edit and manage them, we're ready to move on and continue assembling parts.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Up and Running with Autodesk Inventor
Up and Running with Autodesk Inventor

40 video lessons · 9525 viewers

John Helfen
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 28s
    1. Welcome
      41s
    2. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 8m 3s
    1. Exploring major workflow steps
      2m 19s
    2. Reviewing different file types
      4m 43s
    3. Exploring essential settings
      1m 1s
  3. 21m 39s
    1. Navigating using the ViewCube
      3m 26s
    2. Navigating using the navigation tools
      5m 36s
    3. Using the browser
      3m 17s
    4. Using the ribbon bar
      2m 10s
    5. Using the Quick Access Toolbar
      1m 4s
    6. Customizing the toolbars
      3m 7s
    7. Using the Marking menu
      2m 59s
  4. 48m 42s
    1. Introducing sketching
      3m 18s
    2. Working with origin geometry
      3m 47s
    3. Understanding constraints
      8m 43s
    4. Drawing with the Line tool
      8m 8s
    5. Dimensioning a part
      5m 0s
    6. Creating parameters
      8m 50s
    7. Creating circles and rectangles
      10m 56s
  5. 38m 31s
    1. Introducing part modeling
      2m 34s
    2. Creating a base extrusion
      5m 12s
    3. Creating multiple extrusions
      7m 35s
    4. Creating a cone by revolving
      6m 12s
    5. Creating holes
      6m 12s
    6. Creating a threaded hole
      3m 3s
    7. Using placed features
      2m 33s
    8. Editing part features
      5m 10s
  6. 25m 52s
    1. Introducing assemblies
      54s
    2. Placing components
      6m 29s
    3. Creating and managing constraints
      7m 50s
    4. Assembling parts
      7m 16s
    5. Understanding the Insert constraint
      3m 23s
  7. 25m 12s
    1. Exploring initial drawing creation
      4m 43s
    2. Placing views
      6m 11s
    3. Creating section and detail views
      5m 10s
    4. Setting basic dimensions
      2m 43s
    5. Changing dimension precision
      1m 24s
    6. Creating baseline dimensions
      1m 52s
    7. Creating center lines, center marks, and hole notes
      3m 9s
  8. 1m 20s
    1. Next steps
      1m 20s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Up and Running with Autodesk Inventor.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.