Create Custom Autodesk Inventor Part Templates27 Mar, 2013 By: Rusty Belcher
IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Instead of starting from scratch whenever you need a common part, save yourself some modeling time with custom templates.
Editor's Note: This tutorial courtesy of IMAGINiT Technologies.
If you create the same type of part numerous times each day, and the part has a different file name for each instance, you can save yourself quite a bit of time by using custom part templates. Why start from scratch each time you begin a part? You can have the majority of the work accomplished and saved in a custom template file. This will allow you to start a new component, fill in the missing information, and save the design anywhere you wish. In the following tutorial, I will outline the process of creating a custom Autodesk Inventor part template and discuss several options for including additional functionality.
Inventor Libraries vs. Custom Part Templates
The process of working with custom part templates is new for many users. Standard parts are usually stored in a library, or iParts are created for common tasks. These sections will provide a general definition for a library component (or iPart) and a custom part template.
Components stored in an Inventor library have several common characteristics:
- A model used in several designs
- A model with a finite number of variations
- A model that has predefined file name
- A model with a predefined storage location
- A model of a finished design (The likelihood of change is extremely low)
Custom Part Templates
Components created with custom part templates have several common characteristics:
- A model used numerous times each day
- A model with an infinite number of variations
- A model that does not have a predefined file name
- A model that does not have a predefined storage location
- A model with a variable design (The likelihood of change is very high)
- Structural members: Tee bars, square tube, gusset, etc.
- Stock source material: 2x4, 4'x8' sheet of plywood
Examples of Custom Part Templates
Any part you use on a regular basis is a candidate for a custom part template. Simple parts (such as a structural gusset, shown at left in the image below) or complex parts (like the ladder below) can be developed using custom part templates. Custom templates can also be set up to display the stock material source. If you work with wooden parts, you can set up a custom part template containing a 4'x8' sheet of plywood (shown below at right). This allows you to lay out and cut your plywood components directly from a stock sheet, just as the builders in the field will do.
Working with Custom Part Templates
Creating a part from a custom part template is very easy; most of the work has already been accomplished. You'll start a new part in the same manner you always have, but instead of selecting a standard inch or metric template, you will choose your custom part template.
The image below shows you the new part dialog at the Select a Template stage. Notice that this dialog has several additional tabs offering various custom templates. For this example, we will start a new file based on the Gusset template.