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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.
Next, we'll look at the navigation tools themselves. Just below the view cube you have a series of commands that will pan, zoom, and orbit the model that you're working on. The first one in the list is the Full Navigation Wheel. We'll come back to that in a second after we go through a couple of these commands, the Pan command. Panning is simply like grabbing the model and moving it around on the screen. A simple left-click and drag will allow you to move the model from side to side on the screen. This is typically used in conjunction with a Zoom function so that you can find exactly the right position for viewing your model based on the work you're doing.
Next, we have the Zoom command. This command on the toolbar is actually a split button. You'll notice it has a top half with an icon and the bottom half that has an arrow. Based on where you are in your design process, that button may be different. If you've never used the button before, it'll have whatever the default action was. If you've used the command, it will use your last known command. I'm going to use the dropdown here and select Zoom and show the basic zoom functionality. With the Zoom command launched, you can simply left-click on the screen and push away from you to move the model away or pull back towards you with a mouse to move the model closer to you or zoom in.
Now for those people who might be coming from AutoCAD, this might seem very foreign. In AutoCAD the Zoom functionality is reversed, and before we move any further I wanted to do a very quickly call out where the option is to reverse that so that if you choose to have your Zoom work like it has an AutoCAD you can simply do that and move forward with learning Inventor rather than having to relearn how to zoom. The Zoom setting can be found under the Application menu by selecting Options and then selecting the Display tab.
In the 3D Navigation section at the bottom, there's a Zoom Behavior option, and there is a check box to reverse direction. By checking this check box and applying the change, you can reverse the direction to be more like AutoCAD. In this case, I'm going to cancel because I want to keep it the way it is, but if you need to you can go ahead and change that based on your preference. You notice because I used the Zoom button it is now the last active command, and you can see that icon on the toolbar. The other options are Zoom All, Zoom Window, and Zoom Selected.
I'm going to go with Zoom Window first, and this allows me to left-click and drag a window on a specific portion of the model and zoom directly to that location. The Zoom All simply zooms out so that you can see everything. And finally, we have Zoom Selected. Zoom Selected allows you to select a specific piece of geometry and actually zoom just on that item. The next option is Look at. Look at allows you to look directly at a specific face on the model.
At any point you can select Look at, you can pick a face, and the object will look at a normal view to that face on the model. Now that we've gone through a few of the commands, I'm going to circle back to the Full Navigation Wheel. The navigation wheel brings all of these components together into one piece of an interface. You have the Zoom functionality, you have Orbit, and you have Pan all in one command item. The other item that I wanted to call out here that comes in handy from time to time is the Rewind functionality.
As I've been going through showing these items, I've been moving and rotating the model. If you click on the Rewind option, you'll notice that Inventor has saved these views for you so that if you found a specific view that you like and you need to return to it, you can use the Rewind tool to go back in time essentially to find that one piece of geometry that you were working with that was important. Having gone through all the navigation tools, I think it's important to call the fact that I rarely use them. The reason for that is you can do all the navigation commands from your mouse by itself or in combination with the keyboard.
The zoom can be done by simply moving your wheel mouse in and out, and it corresponds to the same settings that you have in your options. If, for example, you swapped because you're an AutoCAD user, that will affect the mouse scrolling as well. The other option is Pan. By clicking my middle mouse button, I can get the into the Pan operation. Finally, to get a free orbit, I can hold Shift on my keyboard and do the middle mouse button similar to the way I would with pan, and I get a free orbit. Between these shortcut keys and the mouse combinations, you can get all your navigation done through the mouse itself.
I do use the navigation toolbar, but I actually customize it a little bit because there's a couple of commands that come in very handy, and these are commands I talked about in an earlier video that affect some of the settings I use frequently. The arrow at the bottom of the navigation bar brings up a list of tools that you might want to have readily available on the navigation bar. The ones that I want to call out are Projection and view Styles. These are two items I called out in the Settings video that I switch back and forth between on a regular basis during my design process.
I can either switch from Orthographic to Projected view, or I can change the style of the model. Perhaps I want to see this model shaded with hedges turned on. I might even want to see an artistic view of this model, maybe in a watercolor. You'll notice that as I change these visual styles, those are applied to the model, and navigation happens as it normally would, just with a different view style.
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