Design Engineering

Creating and locating the next sketch point in Autodesk Inventor

By IMAGINiT Technologies   

CAD/CAM/CAE General Autodesk Imaginit Technologies Inventor

Sketching in Inventor is easy but the following tips will speed the creation of geometry points in Inventor 2016.

Most Inventor users find sketching a pretty easy task. With implied sketch constraints, automatic sketch dimensions and heads-up display, you can most of the time create a feature sketch in a short order. In this article, I will be presenting some of the various methods of creating and locating points during sketching that may not be so obvious.

I would like to start with the Heads-Up Display settings dialog box located under the Sketch tab in Application Options. Using this dialog box, you can specify if you use either Cartesian coordinates or Polar coordinates in Pointer input and Dimension input.


Pointer input will appear when you are placing a point either at the beginning of a sketching command or when using the Point command.



Dimension input will appear when you are sketching the second point of various other sketch geometry such as a line, rectangle or arc.


During the sketching process you may desire to change from one coordinate system to the other on the fly. This can be done at any time by right clicking, before placing the next sketch point, and selecting the coordinate system desired.


Also note the keyboard shortcut keys for each coordinate system. The check mark indicates which coordinate system is currently active.

Another point specification option is Absolute or Relative points. Inventor will automatically start in Absolute mode for the first sketch point selected in most sketching commands. The line, rectangle command and slot commands will automatically switch to Relative mode after the beginning point is selected. If you would like to switch back to Absolute mode, you can right click and select it from the Coordinate menu.


After you select Absolute mode, Inventor will remind you by placing a “#” symbol in the chosen coordinate system heads-up display.



If you switch back to Relative Mode, Inventor will display a “@” symbol in the chosen coordinate heads-up display.


Earlier versions of Inventor had sketch Point Snaps but they were limited to only a few such as endpoint, midpoint and center. Inventor 2016 now includes all of the Points Snaps AutoCAD users have enjoyed for years. I will admit you probably will not need endpoint, midpoint, center or a few others because they are automatically implied by the program but I know you can use the Apparent Intersection and  Mid of 2 Points options. If you use either of these you can select points in space that are automatically constrained to the sketch entities which were selected to create them. Try these in your sketch then move the sketch, you will see this automatically created constrain in action.


Another thing to notice is after selecting one of these Point Snaps and you need to change on the fly to another, when you right click you will notice that they have moved to the main right click menu instead of being located on the Point Snaps fly-out.

For more Inventor tips and tricks, check out IMAGINiT Manufacturing Solutions Blog.


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