10 YouTube Inventor Tips for Constraints, Lofts, Bolted Connections, Sweeps, Sheet-Metal Design, and More

by Jeff Yoders
- Oct 17 2013 - 2 min read
Micke Tong

Autodesk Inventor 3D CAD software gives users tools for product simulation, 3D mechanical design, tooling creation and design communication. The CAD/CAM software package allows part and product designers to create 3D digital prototypes that have been used in the design, visualization, and simulation of millions of products to date.

Inventor’s Parametric Studies and Optimization technology lets users modify design parameters from within the assembly stress environment, compare various design options, and update the 3D model with optimized parameters. Use these 10 YouTube Inventor video tips and tricks to get the most out of your Inventor experience.

1.    Constraint Limits. In Inventor 2011 and later versions, constraint limits allow you to limit the range of motion for an assembly. Previously, this could be accomplished using positional representations and contact sets to create constraints, but it’s quicker and easier using the constraint limits functionality. Video from KETIVtechnologies:

2.    Loft. The loft function allows product designers to create unique curvilinear and creative shapes within Inventor. This video shows the use of the G2 smooth condition when blending across loft profiles and the use of the tangent condition when lofting to a sketch point. There is no audio, as the video was intended for audiences that speak several different languages. Symetri UK:

3.    Easier Bolted Connections. Adding bolted components to an existing assembly design has been much easier in Inventor 2011 and beyond. Thousands of components are included in the Inventor library, and once all components are set, you can save them to favorites. That means they’ll be ready to use every time you make new bolted connections. Andy Rahden:

4.    Sweep Using Guide Path and Guide Surface. Within the sweep function in Inventor 2011, there is also an option of having the profile follow a guide path and a guide surface. This video shows how to have your sweep follow them. Symetri UK:

5.    Advanced Sheet Metal Design. In Inventor 2010 and newer versions, there are a number of tools that make sheet-metal design much easier. Autodesk Technical Evangelist Rob Cohee gives you a look into Lofted Flanges, Contour Rolls, Fold and Un-Fold, Punch tools, and more. Rob Cohee/Autodesk:

6.    O-Ring Generator. Many longtime Inventor users still create o-rings manually. Since Inventor 2011, there has been a built-in o-ring generator that automates the process. Symetri UK:

7.    Optimizing Stress Analysis Calculations. Bob Van Der Donck, Autodesk Inventor product support technical lead, explains several ways to optimize your assembly designs when using the stress analysis module in Inventor. Using Inventor for Finite Element Analysis opens up many different possibilities in both material selection and design. Autodesk:

8.    Frame Generation: Inventor Professional has a frame generator. Dave Whiteley of Envisage UK shares several tips on how to best use the frame generator to create frames and assemblies. Envisage UK:

9.    Animate a Camera within Inventor: How do you get a camera revolve around an assembly in Inventor 2010 and later versions? By utilizing two camera views you can give a full rotation of view of your product. Symetri UK:

10. Subtract One Solid from Another: Using the copy, object, sculpt, and delete face commands, you can subtract one solid from another in Inventor. Symetri UK:

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