Up to this point, we've learned about Autodesk Inventor from a conceptual standpoint, and now we're ready to begin looking at the user interface. The user interface is made up of a few different components that you'll interact with while you're building your models and creating your designs. First, you have the browser on the left, above that you have the ribbon bar, above the ribbon bar is the Quick Access toolbar, on the right- hand side of the screen you have your navigation tools, and finally you have your Graphics window which is the gray window that the model is actually being displayed in. I'm going to go over the navigation tools first, because I'll use those throughout this section of the course to manipulate the model and show how the interface changes, based on what type of action is taking place on the model itself.
We'll start with the view cube. The view cube is simply a cube that has labels that are linked to specific views of the model. As I hover my mouse near the view cube, you'll notice that it highlights and a Home button becomes available. As I move away, those hide. That's so that the view cube in navigation tools are not really visible or active while you're working on your design. It's just to help keep things clean. As I hover over my view cube, you'll notice different sections of the view cube are highlighted. By clicking on any of those sections, the view cube and the model will both rotate to represent that orientation.
By simply returning to the view cube and clicking the Home button, I return to a default Isometric view. Now again, as I mentioned, you do have different sections on the view cube that highlight. By clicking on each of those, you'll very quickly see how the model is connected to the view cube and moves accordingly when selecting different views on the view cube. When we select the Front view, for example, you'll also notice that several other tools pop up. We have a couple different rotation arrows, and we now have arrows around the view cube on every side.
By clicking on the rotation arrows, you can rotate the model in 90-degree increments. Simply clicking four times, and you'll actually rotate 360 degrees in 90-degree increments. The same happens with the other rotation arrow, just in the opposite direction. The arrows that are located around the view cube work in a similar fashion, but rather than maintaining the current orientation, they simply rotate to the naked view on the view cube itself. Again, selecting that several times, you'll actually rotate back to where you started.
It works the same for both the top and bottom and the right and left arrows. Now you might look at this model and say when you click on the left view this is actually something that represents the front view rather than the side view, and I would agree with that. It's not very uncommon that you work with other designers or other companies and receive files that are in an orientation that doesn't quite make sense for the work that you're going to be doing. To change that, we have a couple of different options. First, if you view the model from the orientation that you consider the front view, you can right-click on the view cube to select Set Current view as, and you have options for Top or Front.
In this case, I'm going to select Front, and you'll notice now my view cube is representing the Front view, and that is the view that I am viewing on the screen. When I click to my Home button again, you'll see that I have Top, Front, and Right, rather than Top, Left, and Front. This makes sense to me, and I can change it at any point during the design as I need to.
- Navigating drawings with the View Cube and other navigation tools
- Sketching geometry
- Dimensioning parts
- Creating parameters
- Drawing circles, squares, and other shapes
- Creating extrusions
- Creating and managing constraints in assemblies
- Setting basic drawing dimensions