Thursday, January 27, 2011

Autodesk Inventor File Types

 LEVEL: Beginners.


Author: Ndianabasi Udonkang



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Autodesk Inventor has many file types. These file types are used for each of the type of files found in Inventor. For example, when you create a part or component, it is stored with a file type which different is from that used for storing assembly files. This method or system makes the design process more efficient. These file types are noticed and distinguished with the help of the file extensions (e.g. *.ipt).
There are six types of files that can be created with Autodesk Inventor Professional:

  1. Standard Part Files;
  2. Standard Assembly Files;
  3. SheetMetal Part Files;
  4. Weldment Assembly Files;
  5. Presentation Files; and
  6. Drawing Files.
Each of these file types are created by choosing the appropriate template on the New File dialog box. Let’s discuss them briefly.
  1. Inventor Standard Part File:
    This file type has the extension: *.ipt. It is used for storing general  single or multi-body components or part. For example a shaft, bolt, etc. Part files are the building blocks of any design. The inventor standard part file can be created easily by using the Standard (mm).ipt, Standard (in).ipt or Standard.ipt template on the New File dialog box.
  2. Inventor Standard Assembly Files:
    This file type has the extension: *.iam. It is used for storing assembly files. An assembly file is made of parts or components that are linked to each other parametrically. All assemblies without weldments are accommodated here. Inventor standard assembly files can be created by using the Standard(mm).iam, Standard(in).iam or Standard.iam template on the New File dialog box.
  3. Inventor Sheetmetal Part File:
    The sheetmetal part file is used for creating parts or components with constant and thin thicknesses. Most sheet metal parts have thicknesses ranging from 1 mm to 6 mm.  You can create sheet metal parts by using the Sheetmetal (mm).ipt, sheetmetal (in).ipt or sheetmetal.ipt template on the New File dialog box.
  4. Inventor Weldment Assembly File:

    This type of assembly file is used for creating assemblies that require welding process for joining one part or component to another. This file type can be created by using the Weldment.iam template on the New File dialog box.
  5. Inventor Presentation File:

    The inventor presentation file is used for creating exploded views of assemblies. These exploded parts could be animation to visualize how the parts will be assembled. The Inventor Presentation file can be created by using the Standard(mm).ipn, Standard(in).ipt or Standard.ipn.
  6. Inventor Drawing Files:

    The Inventor drawing files are used for creating design documentation. In a drawing file, one creates views (sectioned, detailed, orthographic, auxiliary, etc) accompanied with annotations, dimensions and Bill of Materials (BOM). There are two ways of creating drawing files in Inventor. One is with the *.idw file type and the other is with the *.dwg. The DWG format is an industry standard and such files may be viewed with AutoCAD-based applications.