Join John Helfen for an in-depth discussion in this video Drawing lines, part of Autodesk Inventor 2017 Essential Training.
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- [Voiceover] We're now ready to begin looking at how to create sketch geometry and we're gonna start with drawing lines. Drawing lines is really the most basic type of sketch geometry and it's really one of the most commonly used items. In order to begin sketching, we need a sketch to start from. To do that, we're gonna click Start 2D Sketch from the 3D Model tab in the Sketch panel and we'll select any of the planes. I'm gonna select the XY Plane to initiate our sketch. You'll notice now we're in the sketch environment, indicated by the Sketch tab and I've panned the window down to the left just so we have a little more room to work.
Now to start a line, we can either right click in the graphics window and select, Create Line or we can go to the Sketch tab under the Create panel and click Line there as well. I'm gonna generally use the right click method because it reduces the amount of mouse travel and the commands are readily available there. Now the act of creating a line is incredibly simple. We can start by left clicking somewhere in the graphics window to initiate the line. That places our starting point and then left clicking anywhere else in the graphics window will produce the endpoint or the second point of the line and it will connect the line between those two points.
Now you'll notice if you move your cursor without getting out of the command, you're ready to create another line starting from the endpoint of the previous line. And you can continue left clicking around the screen and you can create a series of lines. You can right click and select OK or Cancel and you're done creating your line. Now because creating a line is so simple, simply clicking twice in the graphics window will create a line. Let's take a minute to undo this and talk a little bit more about the heads-up display that is presented because even though we're creating lines, this same heads-up display information is used when creating all sketch geometry.
So, let's take the time to learn a little bit more about that as we move along. I'm gonna use Ctrl + Z on the key board to undo the lines that I just created and I'm gonna get back into the line command by right clicking and selecting Create Line. Now let's look at the heads-up display a little bit. Now that we're in the line command, you can tell we are indicated by the Line icon being highlighted in the ribbon bar, but as we move our cursor, something important happens. The X and Y position of the cursor is updated based on where our cursor's at.
As we move our mouse or cursor closer to the center point, you'll notice that the value of X and Y becomes closer to zero. And the reason for that is this center point is the one from the origin that was projected to this sketch and if you remember from the previous movie around origin geometry, the center point literally is the center of the universe. It is zero, zero, zero on the coordinate system. Because that's projected to every single sketch, it's incredibly useful to mount geometry or lock geometry to that center point so that it scales and sizes in a predictable fashion.
I'm gonna start by left clicking on the center point, which will also create a coincident constraint at the same time and now we're ready to create our first line, but we have some heads-up display that's presented. The first one, highlighted in blue, is the length of the line. If we want to, we can simply press 1 on our keyboard and then Tab to switch to the other dimension and you'll notice that our line is now exactly one inch long. There's a lock next to that dimension, indicating that we manually entered something and that we switched over to the angled dimension that if we wanted to, we could type in a value and lock this to a specific angle dimension as well.
We're not gonna do that now, but what we're gonna do is as we move, we're gonna move our cursor down closer to horizontal and what's gonna happen is when we get very close to horizontal, you'll notice this, it'll snap to horizontal. It's very light and very minor, but you do feel or notice a snapping when it gets to horizontal. So we now have our line that is one inch long and we're at a horizontal plane, indicated by the horizontal icon at the end of the line. If we left click now, we will place the line, the dimension that we added, the one inch value is automatically applied as a dimensional constraint and this line has a horizontal constraint as well.
And just like before, we're ready to continue creating geometry. Now, we're gonna go ahead and continue and we're gonna drag this out till about half inch or so and as we move to what will become vertical, you'll notice something changes again. Here we have a perpendicular constraint. So what's happening is as you're drawing, Inventor's using the previously drawn piece of geometry to infer constraints from. Because you just drew this line that's horizontal and now you can see the heads-up display says you're at a 90 degree angle from the previous line, it recognizes perpendicularity and it's trying to apply that automatically and that's fine in this case.
So let's go ahead and left click to place that. We now have two lines and they're perpendicular to each other. The first line is horizontal. As we continue drawing in what would be a horizontal fashion, just like I mentioned before, the current line is using the previously drawn geometry to infer constraints. Again, we're at 90 degrees from the previously drawn line so it's inferring perpendicular. But now that we have multiple pieces of geometry on the screen, there might be times where we don't want this to be perpendicular to this line, but instead parallel to the first line we created.
To do that, we could go ahead and click this line, remove the perpendicular constraint, apply the horizontal constraint, but instead there's a much easier way. We can simply move our cursor down and touch the line or scrub on the line that we first drew and now when we return to what was the perpendicular position, you'll notice that we have parallel constraints now. This allows you to very easily select what piece of geometry you want to infer constraints from. The other thing in the heads-up display I wanted to show was the automatic referencing of other geometry.
If you move the cursor closer to what will be the midpoint of the first line we created, you'll see that a dotted line is presented indicating that we're in line with the midpoint of the first line we drew. Now the dotted line doesn't imply that we're gonna constrain that in any way, it's just for visual alignment. So if we left click, we know that this line is now right in line with this midpoint. We can continue drawing geomety and if we return to the original center point, the starting point from this sketch, we've closed this off to make a closed profile.
You can also see all of the constraints that we're applying. If we right click and select OK, we're now ready to apply 3D modeling actions to this or we can move geometry around, we can add other geometry or we can go ahead and as I mentioned, turn this into a 3D model.
- Changes in Autodesk 2017
- Creating a new project
- Using the ViewCube
- Sketching geometry
- Drawing lines, shapes, and splines
- Modifying geometry
- Creating work planes and axes
- Projecting geometry
- Importing AutoCAD data
- Modeling parts
- Adding holes and edges
- Creating feature patterns
- Sculpting objects
- Adding parts to an assembly
- Using constraints to position parts
- Adding materials and visual style to a drawing
- Creating drawing views
- Annotating a drawing