Autodesk Inventor

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Cylindrical Cams with Autodesk Inventor

By David Melvin, PE, TEDCF Publishing

You can also use this technique to construct a barrel or end cam. All you have to do is draw the cam shape on the end of the plate instead of the middle.

cylindrical-cam cut extruded

Cut an extrusion of the profile through the plate. Use the Through All Extents option.

cylindrical-cam center line

Make a sketch on the surface of the plate, and draw a line on the middle. Make sure to fully constrain the sketch.

cylindrical cam bend part command

Use the Bend Part command to roll the plate. The direction on the top-right of the dialog box is set to both sides. The radius in this case is 0.5 in, and the angle is 360 degrees.

This creates a cylinder with a small gap. In this case the gap is less than .00001 in. This is why the circumference is calculated with too many digits. It helps to create an insignificant gap. You can fill the gap by making a sketch on one side of it and then extruding to the other side.


cylindrical-cam extrude core

Once you’ve finished the cam portion, extrude the core.

How is this Beneficial?
The Bend Part command is a powerful command that is quite often forgotten. This example shows how to create a cylindrical cam, but there are a lot of other shapes that can only be made using this command. It just takes a little bit of imagination.

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