Autodesk Inventor's New Joint Connections

30 Mar, 2015 By: Elvis R. Sverko

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Inventor's Joint Connections are easier to use and have more flexibility compared to Constraints.

Editor's note: This tutorial courtesy of IMAGINiT Technologies.

Design intent is a concept that engineers use when modeling 3D solid objects and assemblies, so that the relationships between the parts work together and update automatically and without problems. Most designers use design intent when modeling single part objects, by using relationships including sketch placement, use of constraints and parameters in sketches, equations in parameters, feature creation extents, and many others. But design intent is not just limited to the creation of single part files, it is just as important when creating assembly models.

For years, designers have used constraints in Autodesk Inventor assembly files to position and orient components with other components in an assembly. Design intent comes into play with the use of the type of constraint, constraint selection of part geometry, offset value parameter equations, and the like. In addition, engineers use subassemblies to more advantageously bring together these assemblies.

When creating an assembly, you usually start by removing all six degrees of freedom on the components so it is fully constrained within the assembly and cannot move. In most cases, it usually takes about three constraints to fully constrain a component.

If some components need to move within the assembly, you must also confirm that this particular degree of freedom is not removed, all while keeping your design intent in mind.

Does this sound confusing? It can be for someone first learning the process, although experienced users are used to it. When you're first learning how to constrain a stationary component, it takes some time. So how can this process be made simpler? Read on, to find out Inventor's new solution.

Introducing Joint Connection

Autodesk Inventor 2014 offers a new type of relationship between components called a Joint Connection.

When you choose Joint within Inventor 2015's Relationships pulldown menu, you see the Place Joint box.

Joint Connections and Constraints have similar options, as you can see by the similar dialog boxes.

Now, within each dialog box, you select the constraints, offset values, etc., as you need them. So, how does this new assembly creation feature simplify the process when the dialog boxes for both are so similar?

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About the Author: Elvis R. Sverko

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