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Autodesk Inventor 2016 Training Lesson - Getting Started

Autodesk Developer Network

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Hi. I’m David Melvin and I’m looking forward to helping you master Autodesk Inventor.

As you know, Autodesk Inventor has a broad range of uses. In fact we’ve trained professionals that build ocean bearing ships, NASA engineers that build space ships to furniture makers and chemists studying the molecular structure of molecules. But even though Inventor has a broad range of uses, the commands and mechanisms that make it work are the same.

So the key to learning how to use Autodesk Inventor is to learn how to go beyond the commands. In this course you’ll learn the details of how the commands work and how to take control over their use. We’ll start by looking at the Inventor User Interface, and then we’ll change a few settings so that your screen looks the same as mine.

When you first open Inventor it’s a little like a web browser, and this is your home page. You can open your Team Web page by clicking this command, and this page can be used for anything you want. So you can set it to your favorite web page or your favorite forum for example, or you can set it to any web page you want. I’ll show you the setting that controls this page later in the course.

You can get help about Inventor, and the back button works the same way it does on your web browser. The New section of your home page has templates that are used to open new files. So you can start a new part file, an assembly, a drawing, or a presentation by clicking one of these templates.

Our goal is to quickly turn you into an advanced user. So click the Advanced button. The Standard templates shown in this list are the same templates shown in the basic view. All you have to do here is double click at template to start a new file. You may also have noticed that there are more templates here than there are in the basic section, and the folders contain even more templates.

You’ll create your own folders and custom templates after you’ve learned the details about how templates work. So for now we’re going to work with the advanced templates that came with Inventor, which is the first step in becoming an advanced user.

As I said, the templates named Standard are the same templates in the basic menu, and just above the templates is the default path to the templates folder. Even though it says Advanced Templates, the path to the basic templates is the same path, because as I said, the Standard templates are the basic templates. You can also see that there’s a Weldment template and a Sheet Metal template. All of these templates including the standard templates are the default templates. So if you had a chance to select a drafting standard and a default unit during the installation of Inventor, the default templates will use the drafting standard and units you selected. Another way to do this is to click this glyph.

This dialog box is used to set the units and drafting standard for all the default templates. This course uses both Inches and Millimeters. So it doesn’t matter which unit you use. We also use the ANSI standard, but it doesn’t matter which drafting standard you use. Just select the standard you use and you’ll find that it won’t affect your ability to learn from the course. So if you need to change the units or drafting standard, this is a good time to do it.

As I said, this dialog box changes these files. When you change a setting, and then click OK, a dialog box will appear explaining that the Standard files will be overwritten. While this is true, the sheet metal and weldment templates will also be overwritten. As I said, all of these files are the default templates. For now I’m going to keep by templates set to Inches. So I’m going to cancel the command.

We also need to make your screen look the same as mine. So let’s quickly change a few settings. Open the Tools tab, and then click Application Options. This dialog box controls the Inventor software. You can change the defaults for document files and other file types in different dialog boxes, but this dialog box is used to change setting that control how Inventor program works. We’re going to change the screen colors so that your screen looks the same as mine. So open the Colors tab.

This page controls the background and line colors for modeling and drafting, and as you can see the default settings have a gray background with light and dark gray line colors. We’re going to change this setting to make it easier to see our work. It will also make it easier for you to see all the details shown in the course. Select Presentation. This option has a better contrast between the lines and the background color.

My system uses a background image to produce the white color, but let’s set this setting to white. Click the down arrow and select 1 color. This will set the background to white instead of the color of the image.

We’re also going to show gridlines on our sketches. So open the Sketch tab, and then check Gridlines. Confirm that Minor Gridlines and Axes are checked, and then click OK.

So far you’ve learned that the Advanced view shows all the templates, including custom templates, and the Basic view shows just a few of the default templates, but typically when you’re working with Inventor you’ll use the New Document command to create new files. This dialog box shows the same templates that are in the Advanced section on your home page. So in most cases we’ll use this dialog box instead of your home page.

One thing that’s helpful about your home page is you can use it to open recently opened files. This section of your home page shows documents you’ve recently opened. You may not have opened any documents, and if you haven’t, this is what your screen looks like. After you’ve opened a few documents you’ll be able to open them from here. An alternative to this is to use the Open dialog box. You’ll learn more about this command in the next lesson.