Now we’re going to take a closer look at Inventor’s User Interface.
First, activate the Projects Window and make sure the Accelerated Productivity project is the active project. It doesn’t have to be the highlighted project although it can be, but it does have to have the green check next to it. Double click it or highlight it, and then select the Apply button to place the check mark next to the Accelerated Productivity project.
Now click the Done button to close the dialog box, and then open the New File dialog box.
Each template has a different interface mode, but the differences are subtle. We’ll start by looking at the user interface in the Part Modeling and Sketch environments, and then we’ll look at the other environments as you proceed through the course. Double click the Standard Part Icon to open a new standard part.
This is the Sketch environment. You can tell that we’re in the Sketch environment because you can see the grid lines of the first sketch of the part, Sketch-1 is the active line item in the browser, and the Sketch tab is the active tab in the ribbon.
To exit the Sketch environment, click the Finish Sketch command.
Now we’re in the Part Modeling environment. Part1 is active in the browser, and the Model tab is the active tab. If you look in the Title bar you can see that Inventor has given this part the name Part1. The default name is Part and it’s indexed with 1, 2, 3, and so on. When you save the file, the name will appear in the Title bar, and at the top of the tree in the browser.
The general process of creating parts is to create sketch geometry in a sketch, and then use the geometry in the Part Modeling environment to create 3 dimensional features. So when you’re creating a part you’ll bounce back and forth between the sketch environment and the Part Modeling environment, and as you build your part the steps used to build it are added to the tree in the browser.
Anytime you want to edit an item in the browser you can right click the item and select Edit to edit it. In this case we’re editing a sketch, so the option is Edit Sketch. If we were editing a feature on a part, the option would be Edit Feature. So the process is the same.
Select Edit Sketch, and now we’re back to the Sketch environment, and we’re editing Sketch-1.
When you’re in the sketch environment the Sketch tab is active and all the sketch commands are available in the tab. You can hold you’re pointer over a command to get a detailed tool tip describing it, and a command has a down arrow has a drop down list of alternate forms of the command. For example you can draw a three-point arc, a tangent arc, or a center point arc. All three commands will draw an arc. The drop-down menu simply gives you more choices of how to draw it.
If you hold your pointer over the undo command you can see what will be undone when you click it. In this case clicking the undo command will return us to the Part Modeling environment.
Now you can browse through the commands in the Model tab to familiarize yourself with them. When you’re finished, edit Sketch-1 and then proceed to the next lesson. An alternate method of editing a sketch is to double click it.