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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.
We're now to the point in the course where we can start talking about creating sketch geometry. And we're going to start out with drawing basic lines. But since basic lines are incredibly simple to create, we're also going to talk about some of the Heads-Up display options and some of the automatic constrain options that happen while you're sketching. So that you can understand how some of the other drawing tools are going to work, because they all use very similar interface components. To do this, I'm going to go ahead and create a new part by clicking on the New button in the toolbar. Selecting standard.ipt as my template and then clicking Create.
Now in order to create a line, you need to create a sketch. That's where all the line creation and drawing creation tools are used. To do that I can click Create 2D Sketch, my origin geometry is presented, and I can simply click the plane I want to sketch on. Now that I'm in the sketch environment, we can talk about drawing a line. Drawing a line is incredibly simple. All you have to do is either right-click and select Create Line to enter the command, or you can select the Line command from the draw panel on the sketch tab.
Either one is perfectly fine. I prefer to use the right-click menu just because it keeps me from moving my cursor from back and forth across the screen, and the tools are readily available in the right-click menu. Creating a line is a matter of just left-clicking to define a start point and left-clicking to define an end point. You can then continue defining consecutive end points to chain lines together. I'm going to hit Escape on my keyboard to get out of that command, and I'm going to use Ctrl+Z to undo the lines I just drew. Now, we can talk a little bit more about the Heads-up display now that you know it's as simple as clicking twice to create a line.
What I'm going to do is I'm going to right-click and enter the Create Line tool again. And you'll notice a couple of things in the Heads-up display that I want to call out. First, since we're in the Line command, the Line command is highlighted in the toolbar, which is just a nice indication that you're active in the command. The other thing you'll notice is the Heads-up display is now showing me the exact position of my cursor because knowing where the starting point of my line is, is important to the design. As I move my cursor closer to this point in the center, you'll notice that it gets closer to zero.
Which is, the exact position that point is in, is at zero, zero, zero on the coordinates system. You'll also notice that a little green dot pops up. This indicates that Inventor is going to apply a coincident constraint. Which simply means that the start point of this line, is going to be locked to the zero, zero point in this sketch. If I left-click, I can begin creating that line. If I were to left-click again, I would create the end point of the line, and the line would be generated. But before I do that, I wanted to talk a little bit about the Heads-up display.
What you're seeing on the screen are the dimensions for this line. I have the length, and I have an angle that it's going to be drawn at. The Heads-up display, if I choose to use it as reference, can be ignored. I can just use it as reference. I could left-click and create a line and nothing, nothing acts, else happens. But, I could actually define through the Heads-up display the exact dimensions of this line if I wish. You'll notice that the 1.011 inch is highlighted in blue, which indicates I could type and replace that text.
If I, for example created entered 0.5, and then hit Tab on my keyboard, the line shrinks to be a half inch long. And I'm now able to move my cursor and change the angle but not the actual length of the line. If I want to go back and make a modification to that, I can simply use my tab to switch back and forth between those two dimensions. I'm going to go ahead and set this to one inch, hit Tab to enter that value. And I'm not going to use the angle of dimension in this case because what I really want to do is create a horizontal line.
Now, as I move my cursor down near where horizontal would be, you'll notice the Heads-up display changes a bit. It moves my angle dimension out of the way, and it brings up the horizontal constraint icon. That indicates that the line is in a position where Inventor will automatically add a horizontal constraint for me. So that I don't have to do it after the fact. By left-clicking, I can generate the endpoint of the line. The dimension I entered was created automatically, and I'm ready to continue drawing my lines.
As I do that, you'll notice another thing that changes. In this case since I already have a piece of geometry created, the Heads-up display is now showing a perpendicular constraint when I near vertical rather than a vertical constraint. Because what it's doing is using the existing geometry that I just created. To define the type of constraint that's being applied. In this case, I do want it to be perpendicular, so I'm going to go ahead and just left-click to define my endpoint, and I now have a horizontal line with a line perpendicular to that also created.
Now, as I continue around to create this rectangle, you'll notice as I hover near what would be horizontal, I'm getting another perpendicular constraint. What it's doing is using the last used geometry to generate that constraint. But in this case, I do not want it to be perpendicular to the line that I just drew. I actually want it to be parallel with the original line I drew. So if I simply just touch my cursor on that line and return to what would be a horizontal position. You'll notice that the Heads-up display now says these lines are parallel.
It's going to be parallel to this line down at the bottom. I can always switch back and forth by simply touching a piece of geometry to make it the active component that's being used in the automatic constraint generation. I'll touch this bottom line, and now I'm going to be parallel to it, as I create the endpoint here by left-clicking. Finally, I can move down to the bottom, and left-click on the starting point to close this loop and complete this process. This should give you a basic understanding of how to draw lines, but also how to understand the Heads-up display a little bit.
So that as we move on to the other drawing tools, you can be familiar with the interface.
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