The following post is an Autodesk Inventor Tip that shows you how to zoom around inside of your Autodesk Inventor 3D models. I use the technique quite a bit when creating multi-solid bodied layout parts to visually check for interference.
For those of you looking for the next post in the Shaker Table series of Autodesk Inventor tutorials –I will be getting back to it in the soon (next post or four). I will be adding an iLogic feature that automatically chooses and swaps out some hardware based on design parameters. Should be good-to-go in one to nine days –give or take………………..
Back to the subject at hand. I have always used this technique –zooming inside of models, and assumed everyone else did as well, until a coworker gave it a try –—–and couldn’t do it!
In fact, none of the people I worked with at the time could get it to work! When they tried to zoom into their models, the program would bog down and not let them do so.
For example, this is what I would see if I zoomed into the corner of the Shaker Table tutorial model…
If you want to save yourself a huge amount of grief, there is a default setting in Autodesk Inventor that you should change immediately! The setting in question is the Parallel and perpendicular constraint for Constraint placement priority.
By default, Autodesk Inventor sets the constraint as mentioned above, to Parallel and perpendicular (as seen in the image to the right) as opposed to Horizontal and vertical –the other choice in the Application Options. This default setting can screw you up big time –but it all depends on what you design. We’ll get into that a bit more later, and I hope others will weigh in the comments as to why they have the setting from hell enabled.
My first run-in with this setting happened while creating a three dimensional floor plan for a yacht I was working on (now called Ingot –back then it was Hull 503). Basically I was designing four stacked decks ranging in length from 150’ for the main deck to 30 feet or so for the fly bridge. It was a huge improvement over the previous designs created in AutoCAD in many ways, but a nightmare in others.
In this very basic tutorial we will be creating several new Inventor colors and a new Inventor material based on stock items found in Inventor’s extensive material library. There is far more that can be done via the Styles Editor, but we will just stick to doing what is necessary to make wood look realistic in Inventor. The only problem I foresee is that some of you may not have the correct permissions to proceed, but here we go regardless…
As I stated before, you need to check your permissions to make sure you have Read-Write capabilities. If not, you would be able to create the material and color, but they would be stored in the document that is open when they are created, and you will not be able to apply them to future parts. To get started, with nothing open in Inventor, click on the Projects icon on the Launch panel of the Get Started tab to bring up the Projects editor…
If all you wish to do is use one of the pre-packaged options, click on the Application Icon up in the top left of the Inventor window (the big, ugly, mustard colored I), and go way down to the bottom of the Application Options that appear and you will see a little box titled ‘Options’. Click on it to bring up the Application Options window that contains the application variables that Autodesk deems you worthy of futzing with. The color schemes haven’t changed since I started using the program, so I generally make my own images to use as a background which will be explained more below. If you just want to change the stock settings, click on the ‘Colors’ tab, then chose the color from the ‘Color scheme’ box, and whether you want a solid color or a gradient from the ‘Background’ drop-down.
If you want an image, change the ‘Background’ setting to ‘Background Image’ and select from one of the stock images by clicking the little folder icon next to the ‘File name;’ box, which is just below the ‘Background’ drop-down you just used. Hit apply to see the changes. If you like it, click close and you have it. Its always a good idea to close Inventor after making changes to the Applications Options because the next crash will loose the options unless the program was shut down in-between.
If you have downloaded the backgound image from one of the tutorials, save it to C:UsersPublicPublic DocumentsAutodeskInventor 2010Backgrounds and your own backgrounds will show up when you click on the file search icon as is shown above. To customize, just make your own .png backgrounds at 1276 x 922 and save them in this same folder.
The image above is a full sized Autodesk Inventor Background set to display as a thumbnail – just right click, choose ‘Save Picture As…‘ and save it to C:UsersPublicPublic DocumentsAutodeskInventor 2010Backgrounds and it will show up in the list when you choose ‘Use Image‘ in the ‘Colors’ tab in ‘Application Options’.