Sheet Metal Punch iFeatures - part 2
Estimated Time Required to Complete: 30 minutes
|This is part 2 of a skill building exercise exploring sheet metal punch iFeatures. It covers selecting, placing and deleting sheet metal punch iFeatures and assumes that you have already completed the skill builder: Sheet Metal Punch iFeatures - part 1. |
In This Exercise
In this skill building exercise you will place the simple Sheet Metal Punch iFeature created in the first skill building exercise of this series. After you have completed this exercise you should understand:
- How to access the Punch Tool placement functionality.
- The steps required to select and deselect center points for punch placement.
- Selection of punch parameters which will affect the resulting placed sheet metal features.
- How to adjust the angle of the placed punch features during placement.
To complete this exercise you will:
- Download and open a zip file containing a (very) simple sheet metal part.
- Use the Punch Tool command to select and place the Sheet Metal Punch iFeature created in the first skill building exercise of this series on all of the center points in the supplied part.
- Delete the four identically placed features (keeping the sketch) and place variations of the punch on the same centers using alternative parameters.
|Note – all images shown in this document were created using the Inventor color scheme named: Presentation. The colors you see may not agree with the included images depending on the scheme you have selected. |
Prior to working this exercise you should:
- Have completed the first skill building exercise in this series entitled: Creating a Simple Sheet Metal Punch iFeature.
- Download (and unzip) the zip file containing the target files that will be used during this exercise.
Placing Sheet Metal Punch iFeatures
1. Open the punch02_target.ipt file contained in the downloaded zip file. This simple part contains a single face feature and a displayed sketch containing 4 center points and will serve the purposes of this exercise. Quickly note that the material thickness in this part is 0.25 inches (while the material thickness in the part that served as the source for the punch you just created was 0.120 inches). Sheet Metal Punch iFeatures will use the value of the Thickness parameter when placed.
2. Select the Punch Tool from the Sheet Metal Features tool panel.
3. The Punch Tool Directory dialog opens.
|Note – the caveats (outlined in the first exercise) apply with regard to any changes that you or your system administrator may have made to the defaults found in Tools|Application Options for iFeatures and/or project file specifics on your machine. Using the supplied defaults, the Punch Tool Directory will open with a view into the Punches folder located in the Catalog of supplied iFeatures. Your view of what you can open may differ from the above based on your configuration. If it does differ, you will need to navigate to the location where you saved the Sheet Metal Punch iFeature in the previous skill building exercise. |
4. Select the Sheet Metal Punch iFeature that you just created. It should be named:
notched hole .25 .375 .5.ide
|Note - *.ide is the Autodesk file extension for saved iFeature files (which were called “design elements” in early releases - hence the abbreviation for “Inventor design element”). |
As you hover over the selection you will see a tooltip that provides you with information about the file. In the above illustration you can see that: Stock Number, Revision and Description provide information. This information was added to the iProperty definition of the saved file and was not described in this exercise. Using iProperties effectively is not covered in this skill building exercise.
5. Click Open.
After you click Open, the PunchTool dialog displays and the punch you selected is previewed on the model on every displayed center point.
6. Click Finish. The Sheet Metal Punch iFeature will be created in your model. In some cases you may decide that placing a single punch on all of the visible center points is exactly what is needed. You may determine that creating and displaying separate sketches that contain only centers for a specific size/type of punch is an effective way to work.
You can also selectively deselect centers from a single sketch or modify the placement angle or select a size that differs from the default size you will need to interact with the dialog and graphics before selecting Finish as discussed further below.
Delete the Sheet Metal Punch iFeatures You Just Placed
At this point, your model (and browser) should appear as follows:
To continue exploring punch placement you will delete the set of four iFeatures that you just placed while retaining the consumed sketch.
- Right-mouse click the iFeature3 node in the part browser (it is possible that your iFeature browser node will have some other sequence number than 3).
- Select Delete from the displayed context menu.
- Uncheck the checkbox next to: consumed sketches and features on the Delete Features dialog (you want to keep the sketch).
- Click OK on the Delete Features dialog.
Your part should now appear as it did when originally opened.
Adjusting Punch Parameters During Placement
1. Again select the Punch Tool from the Sheet Metal Features tool panel.
2. The Punch Tool Directory dialog opens.
3. Select the Sheet Metal Punch iFeature named:
notched hole .25 .375 .5.ide
4. Click Open.
As before after you click Open, the PunchTool dialog displays and the punch you selected is previewed on the model on every displayed center point using the default size specified when the punch was created.
5. If necessary to see all four of the displayed center points, move the PunchTool dialog out of the way (up and to the left).
6. Hold down the CTRL key and beginning with the right-most previewed placement, slowly move your cursor over the center of the center point until the center point highlights in red. When the center point highlights Click to deselect. After you deselect the center point, the punch feature preview is no longer displayed on the center point.
7. Repeat the above step until only the left-most center point remains selected and previews the punch feature.
|Tip – the deselect process can be very sensitive. Move your cursor slowly over or around the center of the center point that you wish to deselect. It may be necessary to zoom in (or out) or otherwise modify your viewing angle or perspective to select a finicky point however usually moving your cursor slowly is adequate. |
8. When a single punch feature is previewed, select the Geometry tab on the PunchTool dialog.
9. In the Angle field highlight the default value of 0.0 and type in: 30 – notice that the punch preview rotates 30 degrees. Change the value to 45 and then to 135 and watch the preview adjust accordingly.
10. Now select the Size tab on the PunchTool dialog.
11. Click over the value 0.3750000 in to the right of the d3 parameter. Notice that the prompt to the right of the (dim) Refresh button now reads: Select radius and that a down pointing arrow appears on the right of the value field.
12. Select the down pointing arrow to display the list of values that were defined as being valid for this punch tool.
13. Select 0.250000 in from the list and click Finish on the PunchTool dialog to place a single instance of the 0.25 inch radius punch at the last entered angle value (135 degrees).
Your model should now appear as follows:
Notice that while you only placed a single punch iFeature all of the center points contained in Sketch2 were consumed. To continue you will expand the iFeature node in the part browser and share Sketch2 allowing additional placements on the three unconsumed center points.
14. Click the expand “+” to the left of the iFeature3 node in the part browser (it is possible that your iFeature browser node will have some other sequence number than 3).
15. Right-mouse click Sketch2 and select Share sketch from the context menu.
Following steps 1 through 13 above place three different size/angle variations of the punch iFeature on the remaining three center points.
|Tip – at this point you may notice that the browser node name for each iFeature you have placed is not particularly descriptive. As with any feature in a complex model you may want to consider renaming your sheet metal punch iFeatures with a descriptive browser name to help with future model edits. |
Congratulations! You have improved your sheet metal punch iFeature placement skills.
Let’s review your accomplishments…
In this introductory skill building exercise you:
- Used a supplied (simple) part with a sketch containing four center points as an example for exploring the placement of the sheet metal punch iFeatures family that you created and saved in the first skill building exercise in this series.
- Placed a set of identical sheet metal punch iFeatures on all of the center points using the default size.
- After deleting your first set of identical iFeatures, you then selectively placed other sizes of the same punch on the same center points by carefully deselecting the undesired sizes previewed and redefining the placement angle and the size.
In the next skill building exercise in this series you will edit the punch you created in the first skill building exercise. Close the currently open punch02_target.ipt file.
While this exercise enhanced your sheet metal punch iFeatures knowledge – to continue building your skills you should work through the next skill builder in this series in which you will edit the punch you created in the first skill building exercise in this series. You could also:
- Create your own (more complex) sheet metal cut feature (possibly with multiple parameter-driven sizes) and extract that to create a more complex punch family.
- Work on a sheet metal part that you have already created (and using sketches that define actual locations) create and place one or more sheet metal punch iFeatures which correctly reflect punches you will use repeatedly.
- Work through the Creating iFeatures tutorial installed with Inventor 2008. Select Tutorials from the main Help menu and then select the Creating iFeatures tutorial from the Advanced area of the tutorial selections.