Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Using and Understanding Work Points in Autodesk Inventor Professional

Platform: Autodesk Inventor Professional

Level of difficulty: Beginners

Author: Ndianabasi Udonkang



Follow me on Twitter | Facebook

 

This is the third lesson in our series about work features. In part 1, we learnt how to create work planes and in part 2, we learnt how to create work axes. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to create work points.

These are the other three lessons about work features; check them out:

___________________________________________________________________________________

Overview

Work points are one of the work features in Autodesk Inventor. Work points are used extensively in part and assembly environments for defining centers of circular patterns, for assembly constraints, for 3D sweep, etc. These work points are parametrically attached to the models used for creating them so that if the model changes, the work points change too.

Applications of Work Points

  1. Work points are used for defining the centers of circular patterns, and hole features.
  2. Work points are used in the assembly environment for constraining one component to another.
  3. Work points helps in the process of defining paths for 3D sweeps. Very important applications of this are found in the Cable &Harness and Piping & Tubing environments of Autodesk Inventor.
  4. Work points can be projected onto a 2D sketch as a 2D point.
  5. Work points are used for constructing other work features such as work axes and work planes.
  6. Work points can be used for defining coordinate systems.

Techniques for Creating Work Points

Method 1 - Creating a Work Point on a 2D or 3D point, vertex, Endpoint or Midpoint of a Line or Linear Edge

This method is used for creating a work point on a 2D point of 2D sketch or 3D point of a 3D sketch. It is also used for creating a work point on a vertex of a component. A work point can be created on the endpoint or midpoint of a sketch or a linear edge of a component.

Figure 1

Procedure:

  1. On the model environment, launch the Work Point tool (Ribbon: Model tab > Work Features panel > Work Point tool) or use the keyboard shortcut: "."
  2. On the graphics window, click the vertex you want to create the work point on. A work point is created on the vertex. OR

Figure 2

  1. On the graphics window, click the midpoint of a linear edge. A work point is created on the specified location. Similarly,

Figure 3

  1. On the graphics window, click a 2D or 3D sketch point. A work point will be created on the point. Note that the 2D sketch must be visible or unconsumed.

Method 2 - Creating a Work Point at the Intersection of Three Planes

This method is used for creating a work point at the intersection of three work planes or planar faces.

Procedure:

  1. On the model environment, launch the Work Point tool (Ribbon: Model tab > Work Features panel > Work Point tool) or use the keyboard shortcut: "."
  2. On the graphics window, click on the three work planes (1,2 &3) or face to be used. A work point will be created at the intersection of the selected work planes.

Figure 4

Method 3 - Creating a Work Point at the Intersection of Two Lines

This method is used for creating a work point at the intersection of two lines or linear edges. For lines to used, a visible 2D or 3D sketch must be available.

Procedure:

  1. On the model environment, launch the Work Point tool (Ribbon: Model tab > Work Features panel > Work Point tool) or use the keyboard shortcut: "."
  2. On the graphics window, click on the two lines or linear edges (1 &2) to used. A work point will be created at the intersection of these lines or linear edges.

Figure 5

Method 4 - Creating a Work Point at the Center of the Loop of Edges

This is a very smart method for creating work points. Many inventor users do not know that such a method exist. In this method you create a work point at the center point of a selected loop of edges.

Procedure:

  1. On the model environment, launch the Work Point tool (Ribbon: Model tab > Work Features panel > Work Point tool) or use the keyboard shortcut: "."
  2. Right click on the graphics window and select "Loop Select" on the context menu.

Figure 6

  1. On the graphics window point at any edge of the model, a loop will be pre-highlighted.
  2. Select the desired loop and a work point will be created at the center of the loop.

Figure 7

Method 5 - Creating a Work Point at the Intersection of a Line with a Plane

This method is used for creating a work point at the intersection of a line or linear edge with a plane or face.

Procedure:

  1. On the model environment, launch the Work Point tool (Ribbon: Model tab > Work Features panel > Work Point tool) or use the keyboard shortcut: "."
  2. On the graphics window, click on the plane (1) and the line or linear edge (2). A work point will be created at the intersection of the work plane and the edge.

Figure 8