I was going through my RSS feeds, that are backlogged, and I ran across Garin Gardiner’s page again.  Sometimes they have him so busy that he cannot update his page often, but when he does, there is usually something interesting in there.

This time Garin’s decided to find a way to use a sledge hammer to drive a thumb tack.  Why not?  I guess I do it all the time. Get your sledge hammer ready.  Let’s find out just how efficient this process was.

Garin wanted a shaft with a chamfered hole in it.  Perhaps using a Design Accelerator is overkill, but in many cases people are not comfortable using the Shaft Generator, and don’t know there are added functions and options like a through hole. I will run through it both ways: as a simple extruded part, and Garin’s Shaft Generator.  I am mostly interested in how long either process will take.


I created the part with the standard extrusion, plane, sketch and cut process.  For those that are struggling to learn Inventor, the hole was created on a sketch on a work plane.  I picked ‘Work Plane’, then selected one the XZ axis, and then the outer body of the extrusion.  Then I selected 2D sketch, selected the work plane, and then constrained a centered circle.  I added a cut extrusion from that through all.

It took about 3 minutes to cut out.


Shaft Generator

I cranked up the shaft generator and got busy.  I followed Garin’s example.  2”x4”, 0.1” chamfers.


Then I added the through hole and chamfered its edges in 1 step.  This was where I made up the extra time. 

There are a great deal of features packed in here, including Keyways and retaining rings.  If you haven’t used the shaft generator lately, perhaps you should take a look. 




Garin set his position by splitting the Length offset, but I ran mine centered.

I thought the part process would beat the complexities of the Design Accelerator, but I was wrong. The Shaft Generator won.  It only took about 2 minutes including erasing the default shaft members that come in with the generator.

The mass comparison was slightly different.  I suspect the chafers are calculated as the hypotenuse face distance instead of the offset distance. Something to be careful with.


This wasn’t intended to be a tutorial, but a test of the through hole feature in the Shaft Generator, and a moment to mess with Garin.  If you only need a hole plowed through a simple part, then the standard part features will probably simplify your design process.  However, if you are in an assembly and need features added to shafts, you might consider running through the Shaft Generator first.

Don’t forget to do some research on the restrictions surrounding the Shaft Generator, and the components coming out of it.  Some parameters are not accessible externally without deconstructing the shaft.  Practice with some shafts in assemblies, and see what they will and won’t do for you.