Autodesk Inventor
Tips and Tricks

Master Inventor!

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by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Inferred constraints are great because they quickly add constraints to your sketches, and this speeds up your work.

But what if you don’t want to add a particular inferred constraint? This tip shows you how.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Tolerances are an integral part of your designs, so you might want to use them in your sketches, and you’ll be surprised to learn what you can do with them.

This tip will show you how to add tolerances to your sketch dimensions, and you’ll learn a few tricks for using them.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Relax mode will allow changes to a sketch even if it is fully constrained, but did you know you can use it to quickly remove unwanted constraints? This tip will show you how Relax Mode works and how to use it in ways you may not have thought of.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

There are many reasons you may need the centroid of a face. You can use it to control sketch geometry, connect bodies, drill holes, the list goes on.

This tip shows you a simple way to find the centroid of a flat face. The face can have any shape, and the centroid will automatically update when the shape changes.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This tip can either be a solution to a problem or a fast way to draw perpendicular lines.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

The Bend Minimum option in the Bend Part command is used to localize the bend so that only the portion controlled by the sketch line is bent. With older versions of Inventor you could uncheck the option and the bend would propagate across the whole part.

You can’t do this with newer versions, so I’ll show you a quick workaround.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You’ve created an assembly containing Content Center parts, and now you want to replace them with a different part. This tip will show you how to do this along with a few suggestions.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You use the Quick Access Toolbar all the time, but did you know you can customize it? This tip shows you how.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

In this tip you’ll learn how Sticky Panels work and a few reasons why you might want to use them.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This tip shows you how to put an existing sketch on a different plane.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

After you’ve fully constrained a sketch you might find it necessary to change several dimensions at the same time. This tip shows you how to drag sketch geometry to quickly change multiple dimensions.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You may know how to add aligned dimensions in Autodesk Inventor sketches, but this tip shows you how to speed the process.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Autodesk Inventor’s General Dimension command is easy to use, but there’s one trick you really need to know.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This tip shows you why projected geometry is so important and how to use it. You’ll also learn which auto-project settings to use.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This tip shows you how to create a template that has the origin of the sketch projected onto the first sketch.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You’ve used the Content Center to add parts to an assembly, and now a Resolve Link dialog box appears when you try to open it. This tip will explore some of the reasons you may get this error, and it gives you some solutions.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You’ve created an assembly only to find that the UCS (User Coordinate System) is not where you want it. This tip will show you how to move the UCS relative to parts in the assembly.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

In this training tip I’ll show you how to use the Split command in the Sketch tab of the ribbon, and you’ll learn a few helpful ways the command can be used.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

If you’ve used the New Document drop down list to create new files you may know that this method does not use your custom templates. This tutorial shows you how these commands work and a workaround for customizing them.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You may know how to hide lines in a drawing view, but un-hiding them can be a little tricky because it takes more steps. So this tip shows you how to hide and un-hide drawing view entities.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

This training tip shows you a simple trick you can use to assure you do not receive spelling errors.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

This tutorial shows you the basics of the If Then Else statement.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

In this tip you’ll learn how to use the Copy sketch command to copy geometry, and you will need to know how to use the Move Copy sketch command to follow along. Please read my Move Copy Sketch Geometry with Autodesk Inventor tip before you read this tip.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Let’s say you want to duplicate geometry on a sketch, but none of the pattern commands will do what you want to do. You can either draw each entity or you can use one of two ways to copy it. In this tip you’ll learn how to use the Move command to copy geometry.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You’ve drawn an intricate sketch only to find that some of the geometry was drawn on the wrong feature. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just move the geometry to the correct location? This tip shows you how to move sketch geometry.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This tutorial shows you how to use the Scale command and how deal with constraints when they interfere.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Autodesk Inventor’s Stretch command in the Sketch environment can be a useful tool for adjusting geometry that already has dimensions. In this tip you’ll learn a process that will help you successfully use the command.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

It’s rare, but you might find the need to add an arc length dimension to your drawings. This quick tip shows you how it’s done.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This is the last part of a short mini-series of training tips focused on strategy. How to plan ahead to simplify your work.
Parameters are extremely helpful for guiding part construction with design specifications…

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This is the first part of a short mini-series of tips focused on strategy.  How to plan ahead to simplify your work.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This is the second part of a short mini-series of tips focused on planning ahead to simplify your work. When to add fillets.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

A Face Fillet is a robust fillet that can be created where you normally wouldn’t be able to and your geometry doesn’t need to be as clean as it does with standard fillets.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

One of the more powerful yet less known commands is the Full Round Fillet command. With just a few clicks of your mouse you can easily create shapes that would otherwise cause you to ponder, or at least stare off into space for a while.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

As your assemblies get larger, you’ll find that it can get difficult to find parts in the graphics area and in the browser.  This tip will show you how to quickly find parts and subassemblies in both places.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Some parts and assemblies are just not user friendly when it comes to section views. For example, the image below shows a hollow sphere.  It has some indistinguishable features inside the hollow area, and a flat surface on the left side. How can you use the Section View command to look at the features inside?

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Custom UCS (User Coordinate Systems) are a fast and powerful way of creating work planes and work axes.  If you’ve ever had a difficult time creating the work plane or work axis you want, you might try using a custom UCS.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

The Save Reminder helps you remember to save your work, but after you’ve conditioned yourself to periodically save your work you might find the message prompt a little annoying. This short tip shows you how to turn off the Save Reminder, as well as how to turn on or off other prompts.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This training tip explains how the Bend Minimum option works.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

If you’ve wondered how Autodesk Inventor uses linear interpolation to find values that are not listed in a table, read this short tip.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

Learn how and why you should fully constrain your sketches.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

This is the first part of a three part series showing how to work with iParts.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

This is the second part of a three part series showing how to work with iParts.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

This is the third part of a three part series showing how to work with iParts.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

This short tip will show you how to legally get free Autodesk software.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

This tutorial shows you how to set limits on constraints.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This short tip will show you how to draw 2D equation curves.  You will also learn how to fully constrain equation curves.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Autodesk Inventor section views are very helpful when it comes to looking and working inside assemblies.  This short tip will show you how to use the section view commands.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You’ve started a new sketch only to find that you can’t snap to geometry with the green snap dot.  It seems to have disappeared.  This short tip will show you how to turn it back on.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Learn how to create custom libraries using the new Material Library.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

It happens. For some reason the Browser is gone. Read this tip to learn how to get it back as well as how to make other features visible.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

If you can’t figure out how to fully constrain text boxes, read this tip.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

If you can’t figure out why work planes are visible in your assemblies, read this tip.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Learn how to turn off automatic constraints.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This tips shows you rules to follow that will help prevent lost reference geometry.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Learn how to rotate drawing views to get the orientation you want.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Learn how to create a cylindrical cam with a slot that has parallel walls.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

How to make a pattern of round holes on a cylinder.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

How to create complicated sweep paths and guide rails along surfaces.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You really can create any shape using Autodesk Inventor. You just need to know how to combine the commands.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Constructing a cylindrical cam using Autodesk Inventor may seem like a daunting task, but it’s really quite simple.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

How to turn a surface body into a solid body so that it can be edited.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

How to reduce eye strain by customizing the position of the mini-toolbar in Autodesk Inventor 2012.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

The easiest way to deal with a component that has no surfaces.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

The best way to edit an imported Autodesk Inventor 2012 file is with Fusion.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

How to deal with a component that has no surfaces.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Find the Marking Menu commands more easily by customizing them.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

The new Marking Menu in Autodesk Inventor 2012 significantly speeds up navigation.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

Learn how to quickly create asymmetrical profiles using the Mirror Sketch Command.

by John Koop, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This tutorial will show you how to keep your assemblies from getting sluggish by using Levels of Detail in Inventor.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

The Inventor Undo command is not always the best way to fix mistakes in complex parts – this article shows you a better way.

by John Koop, TEDCF Publishing

If your computer is losing Inventor files or you are having trouble saving them you may need to turn off your Windows Virtual Store.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

The most common mistake in making a contoured key-way is to attempt to make a Sweep along a 3D spline. This usually causes more problems than it solves, and it’s really not necessary.  This short exercise will show you how to do it.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Tangency edges are the lines that are formed when two adjacent surfaces meet. By default the lines are drawn on you parts, but you can turn them off to make your parts look more realistic.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Embedding Autodesk’s DWF Viewer in your PowerPoint can greatly enhance your PowerPoint presentations. You can rotate and markup your DWF files within each slide while you give your presentations, which in turn promotes interactive discussion with your audience.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

Install the JT2Go software and then export a JT file from Inventor. When you do your documents will come alive. Your readers will not only be able to see your Inventor documents, they will be able to dynamically pan, zoom, and rotate them.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You can easily show your files to vendors, colleges, and clients using Autodesk Design Review DWF Viewer, and it’s free. This short exercise will show you how to do this.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You can use 3D splines to draw the path for 3D sweeps, but if you’ve ever tried to do this you may have found that it’s difficult to make the profile perpendicular to the path. This short exercise will show you how to do this.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

In this short training tutorial you will learn how to use Spline Commands to control the shape of splines.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

In this short exercise you will learn a general process for drawing splines that will increase the accuracy of your splines and assure that your splines are fully constrained.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

In this short exercise you will learn how to add Spline Points to a spline, and then you’ll use Construction Lines to gain more control over the shape of the spline. First you’ll create a spline loop, and then you’ll modify it to create a fully constrained elliptical shape.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

For those special circumstances when you need to draw complex geometry, this exercise will show you how to draw and reshape a 2D Spline. Subsequent Tips and Tricks will show you how to take control of your splines by mastering all the commands associated with them, and learning how to constrain them.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This short exercise will show you how to create two types of custom texture maps. The first type is a standard texture map that can be made from a picture of a real surface or it can be designed manually using image-editing software. The second type of texture map has transparent pixels.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

This training tip shows you how to create a custom template and how to take charge of the location of sketch geometry.

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You can use 3D Grips to edit features on your models, but how does this affect existing constraints on your sketches?

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You’ve mastered the art of creating iParts and iFeatures, but did you know you can apply logical operators to your parts and features to make them even more intelligent?

by David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You can easily find the number of constraints required to fully constrain your sketches by using the Auto Dimension command, but how do you know when components in your assemblies are fully constrained?

Interested in adding your own tip?

We would love it if you shared your idea with us. Please fill out our contact us form and let us know.

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