Monday, March 12, 2012

Navigation In Autodesk Inventor - The Orbit Tool


TOPIC: NAVIGATION IN AUTODESK INVENTOR - THE ORBIT TOOL


BEFORE YOU BEGIN

  1. Download the dataset.
  2. Save it to a project folder of an existing Inventor project. Set the project active. Learn more about Inventor Projects and Project Files.
  3. Open the part file: Menu Browser menu browser > Open menu > Open > Navigation_Infant_Scooter_Front_End_Assy.iam

INTRODUCTION

Navigation in Autodesk Inventor embodies those operations carried out in order to view the model from different positions, directions (or orientations) and perspectives. When you navigate around your model, the position and orientation of the model with respect to the user-coordinate system is not altered.
Autodesk Inventor contains very interesting tools that allows you to have complete control of how your model is viewed and positioned in your Graphics Area.
The ORBIT tool is used for viewing the model from different directions.
A simple analogy will help us understand the tool better. Now, imagine that you are a video cameraman taking motion pictures (which of course is your job). You have a person or object you are videoing, and you are going around the person or object (that is, the person or object is stationary). When you playback the video, it will appear as if the person or object was rotating, meanwhile the person or object was stationary during the entire shoot. The ORBIT tool mimics this process by allowing you to going around your model and viewing it from different angles and sides. During the entire process, the model is never rotated (that is, it's angular position with respect to the user coordinate system is never altered). This is the ORBITING effect.

OBJECTIVES

At the end of this lesson, the reader should be able:
  1. Explain the concept of navigation in Autodesk Inventor.
  2. Explain the concept of the ORBIT tool.
  3. Locate and use the ORBIT tool in Autodesk Inventor.

LOCATING THE ORBIT TOOL

We can locate the ORBIT tool in the following ways:

1. RIBBON

You can locate the ORBIT tool on the Ribbon by going to the View tab > Navigate panel and clicking on Orbit - orbit tool icon
Refer to Figure 1 for guidance.Figure 1

2. NAVIGATION BAR

The ORBIT tool can also be launched from the Navigation Bar. The Navigation Bar is found at the right-hand side of the Graphics Area (in Inventor 2011 and above). Refer to Figure 2 for guidance.
Figure 2

3. MOUSE WHEEL

The fastest way to launch the ORBIT tool is to use the mouse wheel of your external (or USB) mouse. To use this shortcut, you first of all hold down the SHIFT key on your keyboard, then while the SHIFT key is still being held down, press and hold down the mouse wheel and drag the mouse. This will execute the ORBIT tool.

COMMON FEATURES OF THE ORBIT TOOL

Here we are going to discus the features you will always notice when you launch the ORBIT tool. Refer to Figure 3 for guidance.
Figure 3
THE RETICLE
The reticle appears once the ORBIT tool is launched. The reticle consists of two horizontal handles, two vertical handles and a circle.
THE MOUSE POINTER
The Mouse pointer changes at different positions around the model.
  1. When the pointer is positioned far from the model, it appears as shown in Figure 4. Clicking the Graphics Area exits the Orbit tool.

    Figure 4
  2. When the pointer is placed inside the reticle, it appears as shown in Figure 3.

TYPES OF ORBIT TOOL

There are two ways you can use the ORBIT tool in Autodesk Inventor, namely:
  1. (Free) Orbit, and
  2. Constrained Orbit.

1. (FREE) ORBIT

The Free Orbit tool is used for orbiting the model in screen space. Screen space is the coordinate system that corresponds to present position of your Graphics Area. It does not have anything to do with the orientation of your model.
To demonstrate Free Orbit, let's do the following:
  1. Make sure that the assembly supplied in the dataset is opened.
  2. On the View tab > Navigation panel > Click Home View.
  3. On the View tab > Navigation panel > Click the drop-down arrow beside Orbit and click the Orbit.
  4. Click and drag the left horizontal handle of the reticle. Notice how the model is orbited about the vertical screen axis.
  5. Click and drag the top vertical handle of the reticle. Notice how the model is orbited about the horizontal screen axis.
  6. Click and drag inside the reticle. Notice how the model is orbited freely in the screen space (i.e. about all the screen axes).

2. CONSTRAINED ORBIT

The Constrained Orbit tool is used for orbiting the model about axes in model space. Model space corresponds to the current user coordinate system indicated by the UCS Icon at the lower-left corner of the Graphics Area.
To demonstrate Constrained Orbit, let's do the following:
  1. Make sure that the assembly supplied in the dataset is opened.
  2. On the View tab > Navigation panel > Click Home View.
  3. On the View tab > Navigation panel > Click the drop-down arrow beside Orbit and click the Constrained Orbit.
  4. Click and drag the left horizontal handle of the reticle. Notice how the model is orbited about the vertical model axis which corresponds to the Z axes (as if the model was on a turntable).
  5. Click and drag the top vertical handle of the reticle. Notice how the model is orbited about the horizontal model axes (as if the turntable was being tilted).
  6. Click and drag inside the reticle. Notice how the model is orbited freely in model space (i.e. about all the model axes).
Later, we will learn about an additional feature added to the ORBIT tool when used via the SteeringWheel.