Set Divergence Points When Modeling Products in Inventor

31 Jan, 2014 By: Jeff Stueck

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: You may be familiar with top-down and bottom-up design methods, but the outside-in approach can save you time and rework.

Once executed, the Derive command will prompt us to select the file from which we want to use the original wing. Inventor refers to the original part as the “base component.” Inventor allows for some specific options in the Derived Part dialog box, but we will just focus on the Solid Bodies folder for now. In the figure below, we see that everything except the solid body named “Wing” is deselected.

Once we accept these options, we see that a reference part appears in our browser and the wing appears in our modeling window. We won’t go into the details here, but by right-clicking on this browser node at any time, we can adjust the criteria from the previous window or open the base component itself for editing.

Model Both Options without Affecting the Original

Now that we have the wing inside our new part, we can perform modeling features such as split, mirror, extrude, etc. without affecting the base component.

The image below shows the progress as we add features to the “framed” version of our wing.

Here we see our “foam” version as it evolves. Who knows — at some point we may even add a third version of the wing wrapped in carbon fiber.

The Payoff

The point is, now that we have a base component driving the size and position of our model, we can take advantage of that by branching off in limitless directions. Then, when changes are made to the base component, every instance of that derived component will update as well.

Now that you understand the concept, try approaching your models from the outside-in and see where you can find places to “save your game” along the way so you don’t have to start over.

Next Time

In a future tutorial, I’ll demonstrate the Make Components command, which creates new part files for individual solid bodies and places them into a target assembly of our choice (or lets us create a new target assembly on the fly). This process paves the way to generate parts lists, subassemblies, and exploded views.

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About the Author: Jeff Stueck

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