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Now that you've seen how to create work planes and understand how they can benefit the part design process, it's time to step back and focus on how to create those work planes. And in this video specifically, we're going to focus on creating an offset work plane. We're going to show how to do it by selecting it from the menu and I'm going to show you a tip on creating them from within the Sketch command. To create an offset work plane, you need to go to the 3D Model tab, to the Work Features panel. And, what you'll see here is all the different work features that can be created in Inventor's part modeling environment.
We're going to focus on the plane here, and you'll notice that it's the largest of the buttons in this panel. And, the reason for that is it's the work feature you're going to use most frequently. You'll use it when you're mirroring features, you'll use it when you're creating the lofts, you'll use it when creating sweeps, and even other construction needs. The other thing you'll notice is that it's a split button. The top half is the default Plane command, and the bottom half is a drop-down menu that shows all the different types of work planes that you can create in Inventor. When selecting any of the planes other than the default plane at the top of the menu, Inventor's going to change the type of selections that are available based on the type of plane you selected.
For example, with an offset plane, we are going to need to select an existing plane on the model to create that plane from. Because we need to link it to a plane, Inventor is going to limit our selection capabilities down to only selecting planes. Unlike the next option, which is Parallel to a Plane through a Point, where Inventor will limit the selections to specific planes or points. Same with On an Edge. Depending on the type of plane you select, and again, Inventor's going to limit those selections to the type of input that's required to create that type of work plane.
We'll start with the offset plane. I'm going to rotate around to the backside of this model, and if I hover around the model you'll notice that I'm only able to select planes. That's because we picked Offset from a Plane. If I were to simply click on this plane, it would actually offset it at a distance of 0 and create it directly on that face. In this case, if you left-click and drag, what you'll find, is a heads-up display is presented where you can actually enter an exact value. In this case, I'll enter 0.5, the preview updates, and I can then click the green check box.
And if we look at it from the front view, you can see that the work plane is parallel to the plane we selected and it's offset at a distance of half an inch. I'm going to go back to that same view, but this time I'm going to undo the work plane that we just did. And the reason for that is I want to show you the shortcut to creating these. Often when creating an offset work plane, the reason you're doing that is because you want to sketch on that work plane. So to shortcut the creation process, Inventor has combined the Offset Work Plane capability into the Sketch capability.
If I create a new 2D sketch, again, I could pick any face to begin sketching on that face. Or, in this case, I know that I want to start sketching on an offset work plane that's a half-inch away from that face. So just like when I'm creating the work plane, I can left-click and drag, and Inventor will create a work plane for me during the Sketch command. You can see I get the same display. I dragged it out to half an inch. And if I clicked the green check box, I'm rotated into a sketch view, I'm entered into the Sketch tab, and, I'm actually sketching on that plane.
I can now go ahead and create, let's say, a basic circle shape. I can finish my sketch, and you can see that I've created that 2D sketch on a work plane that's offset from that face. The reason I would do that, is for example to create a loft. And you don't need to understand how to create the loft yet, we'll cover that in a later movie, but I can select the edge I want to loft the first profile from, and then I can select the sketch I just created. And you can see I've created a feature that transitions from a rectangle to a circle.
Hopefully that tip will save you a couple extra steps when creating some of those offset work planes.
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