Now you're going to continue learning about Inventor’s User Interface, and you'll learn a little more about sketch geometry. You should have a new part file open, just as you had in the last lesson.
Inventor is a modal and visual program. You’ve already seen an example of Inventor’s modal nature when you set the current project to the Accelerated Productivity Project. Currently, you’re in the Accelerated Productivity Project mode, and anything you do in this mode will have different results than doing them in a different project. In particular, files will be stored in the Accelerated Productivity folder.
Another example of the modal nature of Inventor is the sketch and part modeling environments. When you’re in the sketch environment or sketch mode you draw 2 dimensional geometry, and when you’re in the Part Modeling mode you create 3 dimensional features.
One of the visual aspects of Inventor is the ribbon. You can see all the commands, and they’re easily accessible from any environment.
Another visual component of inventor is the use of the status bar. Click the Circle command and I’ll show you what I mean. If you look on the left of the status bar you can see that it says, Select Center of Circle. The status bar explains what the next step is. So the next step is to select the center of the circle. I want you to notice how the yellow dot on the pointer tends to cling to the X and Y-axes.
The yellow dot is called the yellow snap dot because it snaps to features in the graphics area, but when it does the constraint is not a permanent constraint, which means you can move it after you’ve snapped to the location. Go ahead and snap the center of the circle on the X-axis. Now the status bar says, Select a Point on the Circle. If you look on the right side of the status bar you can see the coordinate point for the yellow snap dot, and the radius of the circle. These values will change when you move your pointer. Click anywhere in the graphics area to create the circle.
Now I want you to notice that we’re still in Circle mode. The Circle command is highlighted on the ribbon, the status bar says to select the center of the circle, and the crosshair pointer and yellow snap dot are still visible. As I said earlier, the yellow snap dot does not permanently constrain a point, so let’s look at how the center of the circle is constrained. Type the escape key to exit the Circle command. By the way, you can exit any command by typing the escape key on your keyboard.
Now place your pointer over the center of the circle to highlight it, and then hold your left mouse button down to drag it to a new location. As you can see the center of the circle is not constrained to a specific location on the graphics area, so you can drag it to a new location.
Now let’s look at the yellow node on the origin of the sketch. The first sketch of a part has this node, which is constrained to the origin, and you can use the node to constrain the location of geometry in the sketch. Click the Circle command, and then place your pointer over the node. When you do the yellow snap dot turns into the green snap dot. The green snap dot permanently constrains geometry, and it’s what I like to call a hard snap. Click the node, and then click anywhere in the graphics area to draw the circle. Now type the escape key to exit the command.
Now if you try to drag the center of the circle you can see that you can’t move it. We used the yellow snap dot to draw the first circle, which we were able to move, and we used the green snap dot to draw the second circle. The yellow snap dot is a soft snap because the location constraint is not permanent, and the green snap dot is a hard snap because the location is permanently constrained. To delete the circle, click it to highlight it, and type the Delete Key.
In the next lesson you’ll learn more about sketch constraints.