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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 ready to begin looking at the part modelling environment. As we begin, I want to start by talking about work features. I wouldn't ask you to go build a house without telling you that you have a hammer and saw available to you. So I don't want to send you off into the part modelling environment without letting you know about work features. Work features are going to make certain types of design a little bit easier and they're going to make more complex shapes possible in the first place. You might not use them all the time when you're just starting out, but I wouldn't want you to struggle to do something that could be completed quite easily if you only knew about work features.
The best way to understand it is to actually see them in action. So I'm going to do that right now. And you don't need to understand everything that I'm doing. We'll cover all of this during the part modeling section of the course. But I want you to understand how they work so that you can keep that in the back of your mind as we work through some of these other courses. I'm going to start by creating a new part file by clicking New on the toolbar. I'll select Standard.ipt as my template, and click Create. Another thing I wanted to call out is that you've already been working with work features. The work features that you've seen so far are in the Origin folder in the browser.
The three work planes, three axes, and the center point, are the origin features and they are work features. It just so happens that Inventor creates them for you automatically. But you can also manually create them as you need. I'm going to start by creating a new sketch and you can see the origin geometry is presented to me so that I can select a flat surface to sketch on. And I'm going to create a basic shape of maybe of a salad dressing bottle, or a soap bottle. Maybe a shampoo bottle. And I'm going to do it without any dimensions, without any size, without any constraints, anything like that.
Just so you can see the basic process. Now that I've created that feature, the origin geometry has been turned off, but I do want that piece of geometry visible. So I'm going to right-click on it and select Visibility, and the reason I want that is because I'm going to create my other work features from that work plane. I'm going to create another sketch, and as a shortcut, I can left-click and drag on an existing work plane, and offset a work plane from that point, and automatically create a sketch on it.
We'll talk about that a little more as we go along, but, on this second sketch, I'm going to go ahead and create another ellipse, slightly larger than the first, and I'll finish that shape. And I'll create a couple more items here. What I need now is the shape of the bottom of the neck of the bottle, and I'm going to just use a circle for that. And I'll finish that sketch. And I'll do one more sketch with an offset work plane, and then this time, I'm going to project the circle I just drew to that final sketch.
I now have the bottom of the bottle, the middle of the bottle, the bottom of the neck and the top of the neck or the opening or the mouth of the bottle. And what you can see here is I've used work features to enable the ability to create these sketches. In the browser, you can see what I've done here. I've created Sketch1, and that exists on this x y work plane, which is the origin geometry. I then manually created Work Plane1 with Sketch2 on it, Work Plane2 with Sketch3 on it, and Work Plane3 with Sketch4 on it.
Now that I have these features available, I can use the loft command, and simply select those shapes that I created to create a more complex shape. So as you can see, you may have been able to create this shape by using extrudes, and fillets, and some other things. But it certainly wouldn't have been as easy without work features. So now that you've seen this, we can talk a little bit further about the specifics on how to create them, and all the different options we have available.
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