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This course introduces you to the interface and key processes of Inventor, the parametric design system from Autodesk. Author John Helfen covers sketching, part modeling, assemblies, and drawings. These tasks work in conjunction, allowing you to create parts and assemblies and document them in a way so that the manufacturing process proceeds faster and more efficiently.
In this chapter, we are going to be covering part modeling. Up to this point, we've learned about the interface, we have learned how to sketch geometry, we have even learned a little bit about part modeling along the way. Now we are ready to dive into the details. On the screen is the part we are going to be creating throughout this chapter. I am going to use my Visual Styles icon to enable part edges. I have selected that from my Navigation bar which we added earlier. But if you didn't add that, you can access it from the view tab, under the Appearance panel, the Visual Styles button. All you do is simply select Shaded with Edges.
This simply lets you see the edges a little more clearly and better understand the part. On the left in the browser, you can see the features that have been built to create this part. The browser is essentially a view into what you're seeing on the screen. So, if I hover over Extrusion 1, it will highlight in the graphics window as well. As you slowly work your way down the list, you can actually see how the part was built piece by piece. Because Inventor is a history based modeler, each feature you create is added to the browser, and each subsequent feature is added below that in the browser.
If you look at the bottom of the browser tree, you'll notice an End of Part icon. This icon can actually be moved to essentially go back in time, and see how this part was built. I often use this to interrogate models that others have built in order to learn how they're doing things, perhaps slightly different than myself. I also use it to double-check my own work just to remember how a part was built. If you left-click on the End of Part icon and drag up the browser tree, you have the ability to locate that at any position. By releasing my mouse button, essentially, all features beyond the End of Part are suppressed-- or temporarily turned off--and I can see this part at its very first base feature or Extrusion 1.
I can then take the End of Part icon, and drag it down below Extrusion 2, and you can see a new feature is displayed in the graphics window. If you work your way down the model, you can actually see how this part was built over time. Now, we are going to build this part from scratch, and we are going to cover each of these items. But in the first movie covering extrusion, we'll create the first eight excursions. Now, this might seem a bit repetitive, but part modeling is. It's important to understand how to sketch, and connect that with modeling features like extrusion to build a complex part.
Overall, the process is fairly simple, but in the end, the part might be much more complex. Hopefully, this helps you understand how part modeling happens and how the browser is connected to the graphics window. We will be using both throughout this chapter to learn how to build this part.
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