- As we move through designing this 3D project, you'll notice a pattern to the workflow. Moving from creating individual 3D parts, to placing the parts relative to each other in an assembly environment, and finally to generating documentation of the parts and assembly in 2D. So, there are four major work environments in Inventor that aid in organizing the 3D model workflow. The first is the Part Environment, where basically we are sketching and modeling the individual components, so, in this case, we'll model the caddy base, the feet, the arm, the support rings and the tumblers in the part environment.
Next we'll move to the Assemby Environment where each component or part is inserted and constrained in their correct position according to the model design. So we'll bring the five caddy parts into the Assembly environment to form an overall caddy model. Next is the Drawing Environment where we'll actually create 2D drawings of the parts and assemblies and we'll add notes and dimensions to communicate the model's features and physical properties. Finally, we'll do the Presentation Environment where the assembled model is exploded or disassembled to generate animation or other visual documentation of how the parts interact.
We'll also create an exploded view of the caddy to highlight the positional relationships of each caddy part. As we move through each of these environments, we'll generate a specific type of file which will have a unique file extension. We'll have a Part file, which will include the .ipt file extension. We'll have an Assembly file, which will include .iam file extension. A Drawing file, with .idw file extension. And a Presentation file with a .ipj file extension.
Just having a general knowledge of these filetypes as well as their extensions will help you with editing and file management down the road. Finally, you may or may not be working in a 2016 version of Inventor so your Home screen may look a bit different from this. However, if it does, fear not. Because most of the icons are still the same and it will definitely continue to generate the same filetypes with file extensions.
Jana reviews techniques such as setting up your project file; creating and modifying geometry; creating extrusions, sweeps, and lofts; and working with Inventor's freeform tools. She also shows how to combine your parts in an assembly, create presentation-quality animations and still renders of the design, and document the product design with working 2D drawings.
- Modeling the caddy base with the Extrude and Hole commands
- Modeling a caddy foot with Revolve
- Modeling ring supports using the Pattern command
- Placing and constraining the model parts in a caddy assembly
- Adjusting materials and appearance
- Adding a handle with the freeform tools
- Creating an exploded view, a technical drawing, and an animation