Design Engineering

Limiting Joint Movement in Autodesk Inventor

By Mark Flayler, IMAGINiT Technologies   

CAD/CAM/CAE Autodesk Imaginit Technologies Inventor Mark Flayler

Setting rotational, slider and cylindrical joint limits helps designers replicate realistic movements, test design scenarios.

15-Jan-Imaginit-Flayler-Inventor-Joints-625Autodesk Inventor CAD models are a useful design tool because they clearly communicate how parts and assemblies will operate in real-life. Joints are a common component in many models, but often designers don’t understand how to limit joint movement. Without that expertise, rotating joints may appear to rotate 360 degrees, sliding joints can look like they slide past the end of a slot, and cylindrical joints appear to have no beginning or end stopping point.

When limits are introduced to joints in Autodesk Inventor, however, it’s possible to create very robust models that accurately convey how assemblies will work when fabricated.

Here are three ways that the Autodesk Inventor Limits tab in the Joints command can be used to improve the quality and accuracy of models:

  • Rotational joint limits. Rotational joints allow parts to rotate around an axis. Angular limits can be used to confine rotation to a specific angle range. The point where the rotation starts and ends can also be defined.
  • Slider joint limits. Slider joints allow parts to slide along an axis or plane. Linear limits control the length that a part can slide on a second component.
  • Cylindrical joint limits. Both rotational and planar constraints can be used for cylindrical joints, such as hydraulics or shocks.

Limits are useful because they allow designers to test a variety of scenarios, as well as to portray parts with realistic movements. To learn more about utilizing the Limits tab in Autodesk Inventor, download IMAGINiT Technologies’ white paper Limiting Joint Movement. IMAGINiT’s Expert Chris Griffith illustrates the process with multiple examples.


For more of Mark’s Inventor tips and tricks, check out IMAGINiT Manufacturing Solutions Blog.

markflayler_ImaginitMark Flayler is a senior application engineer with IMAGINiT Technologies, specializing in manufacturing environments. He is also PSE and ATC certified in AutoCAD, AutoCAD Mechanical, AutoCAD Electrical, Autodesk Data Management and Autodesk Inventor.


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