Bicka bow bow bump bump
What, what, what, what
Hah hah hah hah Unh,
On your mark ready set let’s go
3D Modeling pro I know you know
I go psycho when my Inventor hit
Just can’t sit
Gotta get sketchy wit it
Or Will Smith sang something like that.
There are a lot of new and improved tools in Inventor 2015, something for everyone. With all the glitz and glamour, the changes to the sketch environment could go unnoticed, especially since it isn’t as sexy as the new Direct Editing and Free Form surfacing capability. But make no mistake, there are some significant changes here, so much so we thought it should be the first of our deep dive posts covering Inventor’s key new features.
Sketch is always visible
First change you’ll probably notice is that the Sketch tab is always visible. If you pick a sketch tool without having a sketch active, Inventor will start the new sketch process and once you pick the sketch plane the command you selected becomes active.
Maybe my favorite enhancement.… drum roll please…. While creating sketch geometry, endpoints are created on the mouse down instead of mouse up/release! halleluiah! I can’t believe after all these years I don’t have to slow myself down while sketching to not miss points and get the accidental gaps.
Consolidated and New Sketch Options
All 2D sketch constraint related options are consolidated into one new Constraint Settings dialog. Autodesk has also introduced two new options: Show constraints for selected objects and Display constraints on display.
With Display constraints on creation enabled the last constraint created by the sketching operation will appear, slightly ghosted, on the screen.
Enabling Show constraints for selected objects means that by selecting objects in the graphics window the constraints applied to those objects will appear. By right-clicking on one of these constraint icons you can delete the constraint. No more Show all Constraints to delete just one or a couple constraints.
New Constraint Scope option [Found in the expanded portion of the Constrain Panel] is used to set the which objects Inventor will automatically infer constraints from.
- The new option Geometry in current command will only infer to the objects created during the current operation, unless you hover over the object.
- If you have a lot of sketch geometry the Select option is a nice addition in that you can set the focus in which Inventor will infer constraints, meaning no more parallels or perpendiculars to sketch geometry off the screen.
When applying Horizontal and Vertical constraints as you hover over the object a dashed line indicator will appear to show the direction the object will be rotated. This takes the guess work out of which direction you are looking at is the horizontal
Look at me
Look at Sketch behaviour has been expanded with two new settings, found in the Application Options – Display tab
- Perform Minimum Rotation – Rotates the sketch at a minimum angle, reducing that amount of eye strain following your sketch rotate in space. The X axis of the sketch will become horizontal or vertical, depending on what’s closest.
- Align with Local Coordinate System – Orients the X axis of the sketch horizontally and goint to the right so that the Y axis points up (positive). This is the legacy behaviour.
You can use the new Relax Mode chill, hang out, kick it back… uhhh, kind of. While in Relax mode you can modify constrain geometry by applying new constraints and dimensions. The existing constraints are removed and replaced with the new ones. With Relax Mode turned ON, you can also drag the constrained sketch geometry to make adjustments.
Which constraints are replaceable is controlled in the Constraint Options
- Delete Constraints – new right-click option removes all constraints, except for the Coincident constraints
- Delete Coincident Constraint – new right-click option removes all Coincident constraints
- Sketch Offset improvements – zero length offset segments are automatically removed, meaning no flipped objects and the ability to create offset geometry not possible pre-2015
- Integrated Text Styles for sketch text, something to add to your templates
- Create point at virtual intersection of two sketch elements… I know, I know something AutoCAD has done since the 80’s, but Inventor creates constraints.
Image Credit: Seattle Municipal Archives