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Now that you have an understanding of the interface, it's time to begin working on the first step in building a 3D model, that is sketching. Sketching is the foundation of all modeling in Inventor. At the most basic level, if you can sketch a rectangle then you can build a 3D part. Perhaps, it won't be the most interesting part, but it is a part nonetheless. Within a sketch you build intelligence into the model by adding dimensions, constraints, and formulas to define how the part can change over time. The best way for you to understand this is for me to show you. I'm going to create a New Part File and walk through a few basic steps of taking 2D geometry and creating 3D features or parts out of that.
It's not important that you understand each of these steps. Only that you understand the connection between sketching and part modeling. We'll get into the details of each of those as we move forward in the course. I'm going to begin by sketching a basic rectangle and extruding that. This should give you at least an initial feel for what 2D shapes turn into when you apply a 3D modeling action to them. In this case, I'm going to go ahead and extrude, and this rectangle can become a cube.
Next what I'm going to do is I'm going to create a new sketch, and this time I'm going to sketch a simple circle. When I finish my sketch, I can now apply a modeling action to it to create a 3D shape. When applying the modeling action, I do have the ability to add material like I'm doing in this case, or I can always go back and Edit--or choose to do this in the first place-- and change things to a Cut to remove material from this model.
So the shape can either be a positive or a negative. And it's your choice as a designer to determine which makes most sense in your design. I'm going to go ahead and create another part to show a little bit more advanced functionality. This time I'm going to combine the two items that I just created. I'm going to go ahead and create a rectangle, but I'm also going to combine that with the circle.
Now the size doesn't matter right now, we'll get into those details later. But what's important here is I can combine multiple sketch profiles in order to create that 3D shape. Here I can select a rectangle and the circle to get a new more complex 3D shape. Now it's also important to understand that it's not just extrusions that we're going to be doing. If I undo that extrusion, the same shape that I drew to extrude, I could apply a revolve action to that. It's a similar function where I select what profiles are going to be used, but in this case the modeling action allows me to select an axis.
With this axis selected, you can see that I get a very, very different shape from just adding extrude to that. Based on this, you should have a basic understanding of the connection between sketching and part modeling. The shapes you sketch become 3D features. That can then add and remove material to define what your part looks like. Not only can you sketch different shapes, but you can apply different modeling actions to those shapes to meet your design needs.
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