Saturday, January 19, 2013

Using the Sweep Tool (Swept Feature)

PLATFORM: AUTODESK INVENTOR PROFESSIONAL 2011/2012/2013
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: BEGINNERS
AUTHOR: NDIANABASI UDONKANG
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This is a continuation of the series of lessons for new Inventor Users. Check out this blog's table-of-content page for more topics in this series

TOPIC: USING THE SWEEP TOOL (SWEPT FEATURE)


BEFORE YOU BEGIN

  1. Download the dataset. The dataset files were created with Inventor 2011 to ensure compatibility with newer versions of Inventor.
  2. Extract the content of the zip file using any unzipping utility.
  3. Save the extracted file to a project folder of an existing Inventor project. Set the project active. Learn more about Inventor Projects and Project Files.
  4. Go through the tutorial: Using and Understanding Work Planes in Autodesk Inventor. It will help you understand how to create work plane, which is important for creating with swept features.

INTRODUCTION


Swept features are one of the sketched features found in Autodesk Inventor. Swept features are created with the Sweep Tool. The term "sweep" in the context of swept features means extruding a sketch along a path, or curve. While the "Extrude Tool" sweeps along a straight line, the "Sweep Tool" sweeps the profile along the specified curve. The curve could be a straight line or any other complex two-dimensional or three-dimensional path. The Sweep tool requires two unconsumed and visible sketches in order to create a swept feature. One of the sketches must contain the profile to be swept (profile sketch), while the other sketch must contain the curve along which the profile will be swept (path sketch). The path sketch could be a 2D sketch or 3D sketch.

OBJECTIVES

At the end of this lesson, the reader should be able to:
  1. Explain the concept of sweeping and swept features.
  2. Use the Sweep tool for creating a Swept Feature.
  3. Create a work plane that is parallel to an existing plane but coincident with a point along a path.

LOCATING THE SWEEP TOOL

The Sweep tool can be found on:
  1. RIBBON: Model tab > Create panel > Sweep

    figure 1
CREATING A WORK PLANE FOR SWEPT PROFILES

One of the important techniques to be mastered when one is considering creating a swept feature is that of creating of work planes. Work planes are the basis for creating the profile and path sketches. You could start by creating the profile sketch first and the path sketch later, or vice versa. The choice is yours.
In this section, we are going to create a work plane and then create a path sketch on that work plane. The dataset file, using_sweep_tool_handle_3D_sketch.ipt, contains two 2D sketches containing 2D points which are used for creating a 3D sketch. We are going to create a work plane which is concident with the right endpoint of the 3D curve and parallel with th XZ plane (See Figure 2).

figure 2
Let us now create the work plane.
CREATING THE WORK PLANE
  1. Open using_sweep_tool_handle_3D_sketch.ipt.
  2. Go the Model tab > Work Features panel > Plane. Click the flyout below Plane and select Parallel to Plane through Point (See Figure 3).

    figure 3
  3. Expand the Origin folder and click on the XZ plane (See Figure 4). Next click the right endpoint (highlighted in Figure 2).

    FIGURE 4
  4. A new work plane is created.
Next we create a profile sketch on the newly-created work plane.
CREATING THE PROFILE SKETCH & THE SWEPT FEATURE
  1. Right click on the newly-created work plane on the graphics window. Click New Sketch on the shortcut menu. A new sketch is created.
  2. Refer to Figure 5. Click View Face on the Navigation Bar and click the name of new sketch (Sketch3 or Sketch4, depending) on the Model Browser.
  3. Create two concentric circles with diameters 30mm and 26mm (as shown in Figure 5).
  4. Click Finish Sketch and press "F6" on your keyboard.
  5. Click Sweep on the Create panel (See Figure 1).
  6. See Figure 7. Click the region between the two concentric circles as your profile. Next click the 3D curve as your path. Click OK to create the swept feature.
  7. Right click the work plane (still visible on the graphics window) and click Visibility on the shortcut menu to turn off its visibility.
  8. The completed model is shown in Figure 8.
FIGURE 5
FIGURE 6
FIGURE 7

FIGURE 8
I hope you learnt a lot from this lesson. If you have any questions, please drop a comment, and I will answer ASAP. Thank you.