Join John Helfen for an in-depth discussion in this video Create work planes, part of Autodesk Inventor 2018 Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] Now that you understand how to create offset work planes, I want to walk through how to create several other types of work planes, and explain how the creation of work planes actually functions so that you can easily create any type of work feature or work plane that you need as you continue on in your learning. The work plane tools can be found in the 3D Model tab under the Work Feature panel, here under the Plane tool. The Plane tool is a split button. The top half shows the default command and the bottom half is a drop down menu that exposes all the different types of work planes that you can create in Inventor.
Here you can see the offset plane that we've already discussed. Below that you have Parallel to a Plane through a Point, Midplane between Two Planes and many other options. What's important to know here is that depending on the type of work plane you select, Inventor is going to change the type of selections that you can make to help ease the process. For example, if we use Parallel to a Plane Through a Point, Inventor is going to limit our selections to planes and points. You can see if we hover around the model to endpoints or midpoints, we can select those, or to any plane.
We're going to start by selecting the angled face here on the front of the model. Now, because we've already selected the face, we now can only select points. Once you've satisfied one of the inputs, Inventor will eliminate that from the selection set, so that it makes it easier for you to understand what comes next. I'm going to go ahead and select this point that runs through the midpoint of this line along the side of the model. If we look at this from the top, you can see that we've created a work plane that's parallel to the plane we first selected, and it runs through the midpoint of this line here.
Let's go ahead and return to the home view, and let's try another one. This time, let's select Midplane between Two Planes. This time we can only select planes because we're selecting a midplane through two planes. I'm going to start by selecting the vertical edge on the side of the model. As we hover around the model, you'll see that Inventor is automatically creating a work plane that is directly in the middle between two planes. In some of these cases, they might look a little strange because our faces on this model are angled, but if we were to rotate around to the other side where we have a parallel plane, as a matter of fact it's the only other parallel plane, we can left click on that and you can see what we've created is a work plane that runs right through the middle of the part.
Let's go ahead and return back to the home view, and look at one more option. This next option we're going to look at is Angle to a Plane around an Edge. Now that we've selected that, Inventor only allows us to select edges and faces, or planes. We're going to start by selecting this angled face again. This time, rather than selecting a midpoint for example, we can't do that because we've told Inventor that we want to create something through a plane and an edge. but not only any edge.
It's got to be a vertical edge that will allow Inventor to create the type of work plane that you told it you were going to create. We're going to select this vertical edge here on this front corner, and Inventor brings up a display that allows you to change this angle. You can change the angle to anything you want, but we're going to go ahead and leave it at 90. When we click the green check mark, you'll see that plane is created. Now what's important here is that while Inventor is creating these planes, it's also associating those planes to the geometry that was used to create them.
This can be incredibly powerful or incredibly frustrating, depending on your understanding of work planes. Let me show you what I mean. If we return to a home view and we select this top face of the model, we can use the heads up display to modify or change this model. The button on the left is the Edit Extrude button. By clicking on that, you return back in time to editing Extrusion1, the very first base feature. We're going to change the overall length to something like two inches.
It's really not important how long you make this. What's important is that when you click the green check mark you recognize that the work planes have all updated based on the changes to the model. If I go undo and redo, you can clearly see these changes. If we undo, you can see that the angle of all these lines are either changing or their position is changing based on that model. If I redo, you can see the midplane moved, and both of these angles were changed based on the model and that's what we expect.
That's where the power for work planes really comes in. Once you understand that it's associated to the model, you can do amazing things with work planes. Now that you understand how to create some of them, and we didn't go through all of them. They all work in a very similar fashion. I would suggest that you go back and try this on your own when you have some time, just so that you can know that certain types of work planes are available while you're designing, but before we finish up, I want to show a shortcut. I'm going to go ahead and left click on Work Plane1 in the browser. Hold my Shift key down and select Work Plane3 to select all three work planes.
Then I'm going to hit Delete on the keyboard to remove them. The reason for that is I want to show you how to create all of those work planes with a single tool. If we return to the plane command and click the drop down menu, you'll see one thing that's fairly unique in this list, and that's the very first option which is the Plane tool. What's unique about the Plane tool is it doesn't limit the selections that are available to you. With the offset plane, you're only going to be able to select planes. With the Parallel Plane through a Point, you'll get planes and points.
With the Plane tool, we won't limit that. The reason for that is once you understand how the work plane creation process happens, you don't necessarily need that help. Let's go through and create those same work planes very quickly using just this Plane tool. Because it doesn't limit your selections, you have much more capability here. We can select this plane. We can then continue either selecting other planes, or other points or other edges. In this case, let's go ahead back to the midpoint on that line.
What you'll see is we created that same work plane we did originally, that's parallel to this line through this point, but we did it without having to get into the drop down menu and select a specific type of plane. If I launch that command one more time, now we can select this vertical face we did before, rotate around and select the back side of this model. Again, we've created the work plane that runs through the center of this model. Finally, we can use that command one more time and we can select the angled face in the front, and we can select the vertical edge at the end of that face, keep the settings at 90 degrees and we have all of those same planes, but using a single tool.
So once you get an understanding of how to create planes, I suggest that you try using this tool. You can always go and continue using these drop down menus, but I think you'll be more efficient once you have some practice with creating work planes, and this will be the best way to do it.
- Reviewing interface changes
- Projecting and importing geometry
- Working with Autodesk AnyCAD
- Understanding part modeling
- Building parts with placed features
- Working with partial chamfers