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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 portion of the course where we're going to start talking more deeply about part modeling. We've seen bits and pieces of part modeling throughout the sketching portion of the course. Because when I teach Inventor, I want to make sure people understand why we're sketching and why we're part modeling, and the connection between the two. So I always introduce part modeling at least at a basic level even in sketching. I think it just provides a better context. Now we're ready to start looking at the differences for types of parts features we can create. I'm going to create a new part to show this.
I'm going to click New on the toolbar. Select standard.itp as my template and click Create. I'm now in a blank part file. And I want to explain the difference between sketched features and placed features. The very first feature you're going to create in any Inventor part model is a sketched feature. What that means is, you have to create a 2D shape that you can apply a 3D modeling action to. I'm going to in this case create a quick rectangle. And you don't need to understand the steps I'm taking.
I just want everybody to understand the concepts, and then we'll get into the details as we move further along in the course. I'm not going to even add dimensions here. I'm just going to simply draw the shape, and show that we have a couple of different modeling actions that we can take on this shape. I'm going to right-click first and select Extrude. And what you can see is the shape that I created is now selected, and it's extruded to a depth of one inch. I'm going to hit Cancel, the red X in the heads-up display, and show that if I right click and select Revolve.
I can take that same shape, but instead of just extruding it to a depth, Inventor asks me for an axis. And I can select that axis, and you can see that we will revolve that shape around that axis to create a cylinder. I'm going to go back and right click and select Extrude again, just to get our cube shape. This will allow me to show sketched features and placed features. In the browser, you can now see that I have my first extrusion. And the plus symbol next would click, exposes the sketch that drives that feature.
This is a sketched feature. We can continue creating sketched features throughout this model, and that's how design happens. It's a repetitive process of sketching features and adding or removing material to sculp the shape to the final result. If I, for example, select the top face and sketch on it, it projects the edges. I can then go ahead and create a new shape. In this case, I'll just add a simple circle which I can then finish the sketch and apply a modeling action to. I'm going to again extrude this shape.
Let's set it to distance of 0.5. And you can now see in my browser that I have two sketched features. Each are being driven by the sketch underneath. You can always go back and edit those by double clicking on them in the browser, and potentially, perhaps move this over a bit. I could add dimensions, I could change it's size. But the point is the sketch underneath it is what is driving the overall shape of the model. Placed features, on the other hand are different in the sense that they don't require sketches. They're actually placed on the model.
So what is required for placed features is actually physical edges or physical components within the model. The most commonly used are, Fill it and Chamfer, most likely. Potentially whole, but whole is a little bit different in the sense that it can placed or sketched. It's very unique in that sense. We'll start by looking at the Fill It command. If I select an edge, I can use the heads up display to round or fill it that edge very easily. I can then adjust the size of the radius so that I can define exactly what I need in my design.
The other option would be the Chamfer command. It simply slices off the edge at an angle, at an equal distance to both sides. And you can change that. You can do different angles or different distances on each side, but the default is an equal distance, Chamfer. You can now see that we have, in the browser, placed features. The difference between the placed features and sketched features, as you can see here, are placed features don't have a plus symbol next to them, because they're not driven by a sketch.
You can still go back and edit these by double clicking it. And you'll notice that when I do that, the chamfer is grayed out. And the reason for that is the chamfer didn't exist when we first created this fill in. So I can now go back, and I can change this to maybe a quarter inch, hit the green check mark, and you'll notice that the model updates. I could do the same here with the chamfer as well, I could even go back and add additional edges. You'll notice I'm in the Edge command. I could select an additional edge to edit that and add new chamfers to that specific feature.
Now that you've seen the basic difference sketched features and place features, we can look into how to create each of those and dive into the settings on each feature.
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