Skill Builder—3D Grips (R10)
Beginning with R10, a suite of functionality and tools that constitute a workflow paradigm known as Functional Design have been added to Autodesk Inventor. This Skill Builder focuses on a subset of these tools, known as 3D Grips.
The following workflow shows how you can use this functionality to quickly and directly modify geometry on the fly, bypassing detours into component sketch and feature edits.
- Suppose that the basic configuration of this weldment is correct, however, components must be modified before it is ready for manufacture.
- First, the extension on the upper plate isn't needed.
- Set the select mode to Feature Priority. Right-click the upper plate, and then select 3D Grips.
Note: In the context of an assembly, you need to use any selection mode other than Component Priority to access 3D Grips.
- Select the grip arrow for this feature, and then select the adjacent face. Right-click, and then select Done.
- The feature resizes to align the two faces.
- Next, activate 3D Grips on the upper plate again, and then click and drag the grip arrow for the radius. Note the distance feedback in the tool tip.
- The upper plate is also too thin. Drag the relevant grip arrow and resize. Notice that you can perform multiple grip edits before selecting Done.
- Suppose that you need to resize the feature a precise distance and the grip drag is not returning the appropriate distance. Pause the cursor over the grip arrow, right-click, and then select Edit Extent. Enter a distance in the Edit Extent dialog box, and then click OK. Right-click, and then select Done.
Note: The initial value shown in the Edit Extent dialog box is the current extent of the extrusion.
Note: The Edit Extent option is only available for the grip arrow normal to the extrusion sketch plane.
- Edit Extent in the context of 3D Grips has the same effect as: editing the part > editing the feature > and then changing the extent distance of the extrusion.
- The weldment will be bolted to a frame but the mounting plate is too wide and the holes too far apart. A quick check with the Measure tool shows that the holes are 160.5 mm apart. To fit the frame, the distance between the holes must be 90 mm. 160.5 minus 90 is 70.5. The width of the plate must be reduced by 70.5 mm.
- Activate 3D Grips for the mounting plate.
- Pause the cursor over the grip arrow, right-click, and then select Edit Offset.
- Because the sketch for the plate is midpoint-constrained to a work plane, the offset distance will be split equally on either side of the plane.
- 70.5 divided by 2 is 35.25. Because we need to reduce the width, the number is negative.
- As suggested, how features resize depends in part on how the extrusion sketches are constrained. For example, if the sketch for the mounting plate were constrained to one side of the work plane, Edit Offset has no effect on the grip arrow. In this example, it is necessary to offset the grip arrow on the opposite edge of the plate by -70.5 mm to get the appropirate result.
- In addition, keep in mind that assembly constraints also influence how parts behave when you resize features.
- For example, assume there is a mate constraint (with an offset distance) set between the center of the radius on the upper plate and the face of the support plate. If you resize the feature using the grip arrow on the radius, the constraint is honored and the back edge of the upper plate moves back when you commit the resize.
- Next, suppose that stress analysis was performed on the support part and it is necessary to change the angle of the part face and to resize the part. Double-click the angular dimension (or right-click, and then select Edit Dimension), and then enter the new value.
- Drag the relevant grip arrow (or edit the relevant dimension) to resize the feature.
- The back edge of the upper plate should align with the edge of the angled face. Select the grip arrow on the upper plate, and then select the face edge to resize the feature.
- The upper plate needs a conical hole and a slot. In-place edit the upper plate, and then activate the Content Center.
- Insert a Cone (Hole) feature.
- The cut-out must be concentric to the radius. Select the axial grip (you may need to zoom in to see it), and then select the radius of the plate.
- Edit the radius of the cone. You can drag the grip arrows, edit the dimension, or right-click the grip arrow, and then select Edit Radius.
- The plate is wider than necessary. Use the grip arrows to resize. Notice that the underlying sketch still contains the vectors for the extension that we 'removed' earlier.
- Snap the grip arrow to the adjacent face to adjust the feature once again.
- Next, add the slot. Activate the Content Center and insert a Slot (Hole) feature.
- Finally, to make one end of the slot concentric with the cone, select the axial grips on either side of the slot radius, and then select the points on either end of the plate radius. You can then resize the slot, as needed.
Use 3D Grips to quickly adjust geometry according to your design concepts and requirements. You will most likely find that 3D Grips are much easier to use than read about.