Avatech Tricks: Efficiently Create Production Drawings with Autodesk Inventor 11

6 Aug, 2006 By: Eric Robb

Autodesk incorporates helpful enhancements in its new release.

In its latest release of Inventor, Autodesk has enhanced the production drawing environment in order to provide a more efficient means of creating IDW production drawings. This tutorial will briefly outline a few new capabilities in Autodesk Inventor 11.

Now you can place all model dimensions in a view when placing it into your drawing -- a powerful capability (figure 1). The process of cleaning up those dimensions or placing new dimensions in-line with existing dimensions is made easier with the ability to scrub over an existing dimension and track back to place the current dimension in-line with the scrubbed dimension.

Figure 1. Model dimensions are now available.

A temporary center line is now visible while placing the dimension as well as placeing the dimension text value. Adding centerlines is as simple as right-clicking on a view and selecting automated centerlines. This feature alone saves lots of little minutes -- little minutes that over a long period of time add up to a lot.

Editing Dimensions
Autodesk also enhanced the Edit Dimension dialog box adding the text fields, tolerances and the inspection dimension tab (figure 2). While in the Text tab, look at all the symbols you can now pull into the text value field. Autodesk synchronized this list of symbols with the Microsoft set of symbols. You can add model properties, drawing properties and parameters as well as custom fields into the text value field.

Figure 2. The Edit Dimension dialog box.

Moving dimensions from one view to another is another addition to Inventor 11, as is the ability to flip the dimension arrowheads on the fly or turn the dimension into a leader. Another feature brought over from AutoCAD is the ability to dimension to an apparent intersection. In addition, you could use a chamfer note (figure 3).

Figure 3. An example with chamfer notes, hole notes in side views, leadered dimensions and intelligent tables.

Styles and Tables
You also can place hole notes in side views and globally change the way they are read using the Styles editor. For example, you could make a global change to the style that would add a quantity note to the beginning of the note with the quantity as the number of like holes in that same view.

The program also includes enhanced hole tables. There are now more than 15 new columns that provide detailed information regarding the hole form, fit and function. The ability to add a generic table of information or a table that is associated with a view is also a new function. With the associated table, you can list multiple iterations of that particular component.

One last addition that I would like to mention is the ability to window select in an ordinate dimension set. In previous releases you had to manually pick the entities that make up an ordinate dimension set individually. If you'll notice in the current release, you are able to select entities with a window and/or crossing method as well as the original individual method, which saves lots of time. No right-click or anything extra necessary. The functionality just exists now.

Figure 4. The Hole table property dialog now offers 15 columns for detailed information.

Hopefully one or more of these tips will simplify your day-to-day detailing inside Autodesk Inventor.

About the Author: Eric Robb

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