Design Engineering

Three ways to create reference geometry during an Inventor sketch

By John Hackney, IMAGINiT Technologies   

CAD/CAM/CAE Autodesk Imaginit Technologies Inventor John Hackney

IMAGINiT Technologies' John Hackney offers reference geometry creation techniques beyond the "Project Geometry" command in Inventor.

There are three basic methods of creating reference geometry from existing edges and points when creating a new sketch in Inventor. We will make an assumption here just to be clear: All the existing edges and points are on the same plane as the new sketch.

The first method is to use the “Project Geometry” command and either select the desired edges or select somewhere on the sketch surface to project all edges and points at once. This method assumes that the “Autoproject edges for sketch creation and edit” is turned off in the Application Options on the Sketch tab.


The second way is to select the option shown above so all edges and points, that are on the same plane as the new sketch, are projected into the new sketch automatically. This is the method a vast majority of users follow. The problem with this method is that sometimes you just do not want all of the reference geometry that has been created so you waste time deleting it.


The third option is the one I want to talk about in this blog. It is sort of a hybrid of the two earlier methods. The setting allows for automatic creation of reference geometry by passing your cursor over existing edges and points, while sketching, and only retains the reference edges you actually used during the sketch. The setting to turn it on is in your “Tools” “Application Options” “Sketch” tab and by placing a check mark in the box shown below.


Taking a look at an example, this is the final result of my sketch showing sketched lines and final reference geometry used.


During the sketch, I can hover over as many edges as I desire and they automatically appear as black projected lines and points. If any of these are use as reference edges or points in my sketch they are retained and converted into reference geometry (green in my color scheme). All other projected blacks lines that were not used are discarded. Below is an screen shot showing all the black projected lines before the sketch was finished.


This process only works when you are sketching entities such as lines, splines, circles, rectangles, etc. Of course at any time you can fall back to the “Project Geometry” tool to create reference geometry.

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

John Hackney is an IMAGINiT Technologies Mechanical Application Engineer with 25 years design expreinece in various manufacturing disciplines including converting and high speed pick and place machinery.


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