Join John Helfen for an in-depth discussion in this video Dimensioning, part of Autodesk Inventor 2018 Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] We're now ready to explore how to create dimensions. Now you've already seen this in several of the previous movies. When we were learning how to create lines we talked a lot about dimensions, specifically the Heads-Up Display dimensions. But we really didn't talk about how to add them manually, and that's what we're going to do here. To begin we need a new part file, which I have open on the screen. And then we need a new sketch. I'm going to right-click and select New Sketch from the Marking menu. We'll select the XY plane to sketch on, and we can begin creating geometry.
Since we already talked a litte bit about the Heads-Up Display when learning how to create lines, this time we're going to right-click and create a line, but we're not going to use the Heads-Up Display. Instead we're going to drag to the right and make it roughly one inch long, and then we'll drag up and to the left and create a second line that's on an angle. With a right-click and selecting OK, you can exit the command. We're now ready to manually add dimensions, and there's a couple ways you can launch that command. You can either go to the Sketch tab under the Constrain panel and select Dimension, or, like many other commands, you can right-click and select General Dimension from the Marking menu.
Now to dimension a line on the bottom, we can either select the endpoint on one end and the endpoint on the other, and you can now see we now have a linear dimension. I'm going to go ahead and hit Escape on the keyboard to get out of the command, because that's not exactly what I wanted. I mean it's the right dimension, but there's an easier way to do it. If we right-click and select General Dimension again, rather than selecting each individual endpoint, you can also simply select the line. When you move your cursor down below that sketch geometry, you can left-click the place and enter 1 as your value.
The geometry updates and we now have our dimension. While we're still in the Dimension command, we're going to go ahead and add an angle dimension between the bottom line and the green line. You can tell we're in the Dimension command, because the icon is highlighted blue in the ribbon bar. This time I'm going to select the line on the bottom, and it looks as if we're going to place another linear dimension, but if you hover your mouse near the green line, you'll see a Heads-Up Display changing to an angle dimension. By left-clicking to select that piece of geometry, we now have an angle dimension between those two lines.
We could simply drag our cursor out to place it between the two lines, or, while you're in a position to place the dimension, you can move your cursor around the screen, and the dimension will update based on its location within the geometry. I'm going to go head and left-click between the two lines and enter 45 degrees and hit Enter on the keyboard to enter that value. The next option is to give a dimension for this overall length of this line. I'm going to go ahead and left-click on that line, and if you move your cursor off to the left, off to the right, or up, or down, you can see that we can get linear dimensions.
But that's not exactly what we want. What we really want is an aligned dimension. Now, while you're in a position to place your dimension, you could force this to be a specific type of dimension by right-clicking and selecting one of the options in the right-click menu. You have Horizontal, Vertical, or Aligned. Now I'm not going to do this, because there's an easier way. What I wanted to do is show you that you could force it by using the right-click option, but if we escape out of the right-click menu, we can also move our cursor back closer to the line, and you'll notice the Heads-Up Display changes again.
This time it's a dimension line with a line next to it. That indicates you want to use an aligned dimension. And the way you activate it is simply left-click. That will tell Inventor that you want the aligned dimension, and then it changes so that you can place it in the proper location. Left-clicking a second time allows you to enter a value, and now you've completed that dimension. Next, let's look at how we can dimension a circle. I'm going to right-click and select Center Point Circle. I'm going to left-click to place the center, and then we're going to just set any random dimension.
The dimension isn't important. While we see we could enter a value here and enter a diameter dimension, I'm simply going to left-click to create the circle. Next I'll right-click and select General Dimension. And we can now select the circle to add a dimension. What you'll see is that, by default, you get a diameter dimension, but just like with the Align tool, if you right-click you can change the dimension type from diameter to radius. By doing that, you're just telling Inventor you want to dimension the radius versus the diameter, and it works just like any other dimension.
Left-clicking on the screen will place it, and then you can enter an exact value and hit Enter on your keyboard to apply that. Hopefully that gives you a little more view into how to create different types of dimension with the single dimension command Inventor has.
- Reviewing interface changes
- Projecting and importing geometry
- Working with Autodesk AnyCAD
- Understanding part modeling
- Building parts with placed features
- Working with partial chamfers