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In this portion of the course, we'll be looking at how to create configurable iParts and iFeatures. IParts and iFeatures can speed the design process by allowing you to create a single part that represents many different variations or by creating an iFeature that includes a group of features you may find yourself creating over and over again. On the screen, you can see a simple door handle we will be using to explore how to create these features. From the look of the parts in the graphics window, they look no different than any other part. Where they differ is how they were created and how they can change.
The plate itself includes an iFeature that defines the whole pattern, which the handle will connect to. The handle itself is the actual iPart. In the browser, you can see that the icon is slightly different than anything we've seen up to this point in the course. It's a small part icon with a table on it, because this part, and any iPart, is essentially a table-driven part. If we expand this in the browser, you can see the constraints that locate this, and you can see the table that defines the specific variations of this part.
I'm going to go ahead and right-click on this part and select Open to open in its own window. Now that we have the part opened in its own window, we can look to see, in the browser, the different features that were used to create this part, but also what makes it unique, or what makes it an actual iPart, and that's this table here at the top of the browser. If we expand this table, you can see that we have several variations of this part. And if we expand each of these variations, you can see that each of them has slight variations as well.
In this case, we're looking at a handle that is two inches in length, so it's two inches between this post and this post. And it's three-quarters of an inch high, from the bottom of this part, to this top handle. The next variation is a version of this part that's two and a half inches long, and it has two different variations of it. It has one that's one inch tall and one that's 1.5 inches tall. If I double-click on height1, you can see that the model updates to show the different variations of this model. So now, if I double-click on this 1.5, the length between the posts won't change, but the distance from the top of the handle to the bottom of the handle will.
By double-clicking on it, you can see that Inventor has pulled those variables from the table in the background and updated the model accordingly. I'm going to go ahead back to the original component and close this, and I'm not going to save the changes. What I want to do before I move on, is just mention that, again, the plate is where the iFeature sits. If we right-click on this and select Visibility to turn the handle off, you can see the holes that the handle was attached to. If we double-click on this plate in the browser to edit it, you can see the features that were used actually create this as well.
In this case, the holes are the actual iFeature. And what I did was actually rather than create these manually by drawing them in, I created them first and saved them as iFeature. And simply placed both holes and the sketch in one motion in one single action. We'll look at this as we move further into the course.
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