Using Derived Component For Mold Design with Inventor

This past week I was ask by a company who does some mold design and also a lot of part cradles, what functionality inside of Inventor would allow me to do this. Well the answer is using derived components. My example is very simple consisting of a upper and lower portion of a mold and an item I would like to create a mold from. Of course this is just a couple simple blocks that don't have all the detail as a proper mold would like dowel holes etc...

Check it out

Created by Dave one of the Cad Geeks

DWG True Connect - 3D Power to your 2D dwg's

Recently I was working at one of my customers who have multiple groups of engineers and designers on staff. They work in different groups but need to share some of the same information in designs.

In fact one group does all 2D plant layouts for the machines that the other group designs. Well this used to be an issue with the 2D group getting views from 3D and then some design change would take place and they would have to have someone create a whole bunch of views for them again.

With True Connect this problem is now solved.

Check out my video on how this works.

Jim........Another INCAT CAD Geek!

Inventor Command Alias

I have a quick tip for all of those ex-AutoCAD users out there that have finally made the switch to Inventor or for maybe even some seasoned veterens looking to speed productivity. The Command Alias editor in Autodesk Inventor. It allows you to assign a shortcut keyboard letter entries for commands that you mat frequently use. This can tremendously cut down on the steps and clicks it takes you to issue the command you want. For instance, I always just hit the "E" key when I am finished with a sketch and want to go to the extrude command, saving me a few steps in between. Check out this powerfull tool and customize the shortcuts that suit you best and make you more productive.

John with the INCAT CAD Geeks

Non-Parametric models......No probelm with these editing tricks in Autodesk Inventor

So every now and then you might be faced with the task of changing a solid model within Autodesk Inventor, even if you don't have a feature tree. Using a few features like Delete Face and Move Face, you will be able to see how easy it can be.

Watch the video to see it in action and let us know if you have any questions using the comments.

Kevin with the INCAT CAD Geeks

Constrained Sketch Geometry in Drawing Views

In the past week I have been at two different customer sites and both were a little mad that when using sketches in a drawing view they did not update if something moved or the view was resized. All I heard is why can't I associate this information? Well of course you can. You have the ability to show any unconsumed sketch from your model inside of your drawing views or while sketching inside of a view projecting some geometry from a model to add constraints/dimensions too. Lets take a look at doing this in each way.

Check it out
Submitted by Dave of the INCAT CAD Geeks

ipart Paint Shop

I was out with one of my customers today and came across this issue.
They oreder parts that are the same in size and shape but have different paint colors applied to them.
They want to have the parts show up in their assemblies with the correct color applied to them.

Well after a quick set up of an ipart and adding a few properties we came up with this solution.

Check out this short video:

Jim......Another INCAT CAD Geek!

Grip Editing Components in Inventor - It's worth another look

For those of you that have tried grip editing in earlier versions of Inventor, I invite you to look into it once again. Just about any aspect of a feature can be quickly modified without having to search the model browser or wade through a dialog box.

Take a look at this video for a couple examples of grip editing techniques in Inventor.

Watch Grip Editing Video Here

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks

Check out the the iCHECK checks checking.......say that 10 times fast

The link below is a short playlist of 14 Inventor iCHECK checks that you should find useful.

Please let us know if you have any questions, feedback or ideas .

See how your assemblies, parts and sketches can be better managed for YOUR CAD standards and best practices.....

Sample iCHECK checks checking in action - VIDEO PLAYLIST

Kevin with the INCAT CAD Geeks......

Autodesk Inventor 2009 Certified? ............ iCHECK is

Hot of the press ..... INCAT iCHECK is now officially certified as an Autodesk Partner application for Autodesk Inventor 2009.

Watch cool videos of iCHECK checks HERE
Learn more about iCHECK and download a trial HERE
Drop in some comments on the blog or email me if you have questions or feedback @
Kevin with the INCAT CAD Geeks

Adding DWF Into Power Point

When thinking about PowerPoint presentations they can be very boring. There is a very easy way to add in some flare to those boring Power Points and that's taking advantage of DWF. I feel this would be a great way for your sales team to take advantage of engineering data without having to have a copy of Inventor or Design Review loaded on the machine. Plus anyone using this still has full Design Review functionality.

Check it out

Submitted by Dave of the INCAT CAD Geeks

Getting Groovy with Welds

At my local user group we discussed the weldment envrionment inside of Inventor today.

We loooked at all of the aspects of it and found there was some interest in placing some different welds on the assembly.

This is an example of welding some rectangular tubing to a plate. This situation creates an undercut that must be filled in order to build a good fillet weld after.

Jim..........Another INCAT CAD Geek!

Dynamic Simulations to Rendered Animations in Inventor Studio

One of the new features in Inventor Simulation Suite 2009 that I just found the time to learn is the ability to export animation settings from the Dynamic Simulation Environment. These settings can then be used to create a cool rendered animation in Inventor Studio. Check out this video for an example:

Watch Video Here

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT

Connect with other Autodesk Inventor Users.....with

I am big fan of a great website called LinkedIn for professional networking.

I have decided to create a new Group just for Autodesk Inventor Users to link up and we already have over 40 people connected! JOIN the group HERE

Kevin with the INCAT CAD Geeks

Making Your Parts More Intelligent

So you maybe you have mastered creating iParts and iFeatures, but we can take those items one step farther adding in some operators to make them even more intelligent. I am going to take a very simple example and create intelligence that will work with the dynamic geometry of a part. Allowing to have suppression of a feature due to a size change in a model.

Why is this important?
As iParts and iFeatures increase and decrease in size you may want to suppress or un-suppress other features so that they fit. One example could be that you have a plate 4 inches long with 3 one inch holes in it with equal spacing; you may want a hole to disappear if that plate ever gets shorter than a given length. Working with parameters will allow this to happen automatically.
Check it out
Submitted by Dave of the INCAT CAD Geeks

Added Functionality - Assembly Tools

Looking back through some of the past posts that we have done I saw the one about additional tools for drawings.

Well there are a whole lot more tools in this area that I wanted to give a preview to.

I found one that I use often in assemblies to check how many DOF or Degrees of Freedom are on a part.

Another really cool one is the ability to sort out your model tree alphabetically.

These can be found in the install path for your Inventor software.
i.e. - C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 2009\SDK
Run the user tools install.
Then look here:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 2009\SDK\UserTools\AssemblyTools

Check out my video here:

Jim......Another INCAT CAD Geek.

Trouble with file naming in Autodesk Inventor?

INCAT Labs has has a NEW Solution for you!

Does your company chase its tail defining file names with Inventor? Due to the nature of 3D modeling today, this has become a challenge we at INCAT have often heard from many of our business partners. Some companies reserve part numbers with archaic systems, or others have to tediously rename files in Inventor before being logged into a business or ERP system.

INCAT has developed an automated method to assign, manage, and track the assignment of Inventor file names to match a whole range of part numbering schemes.

Check out this Video for an example:

For more information or to discuss how a INCAT's File Naming Tools can ease your pain, please email us at
Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks

"Coil" Like a Snake

I have to be honest, I haven't really used the "Coil" command in Inventor very much. After taking a deeper look into it, I found that not only do you have complete control of how the coil will be created, you can even create a spiral. The options inside allow you to control the shape by Pitch and Revolution, Revolution and Height, Pitch and Height and the before mentioned Spiral. You can even control the end points so that they would behave like flats on the end of a spring. Keep in mind that you could use this command to actually create threads in your models. Use with caution, a helix is the most computational consuming procedure for modeling purposes and can greatly reduce performance if used excessively.

John with the INCAT CAD Geeks

Two Weldment tips

First Item when thinking about weldments is knowing that your default setting when applying welds is “Aluminum 6061”. This could be important when understanding the true mass of your weldments. My video will show where to change this information for more accurate calculations. Another way my video does not show is when converting an assembly to a weldment you have an option there to choose material.

Second item is that it may be important to know the total length of weld beads used inside a assembly. Under your tools pull down menu is a selection for creating a weld bead report. This report is created inside a Excel file for easy use. Please check out the video of both topics.

Check it out
Submitted by Dave of the INCAT CAD Geeks

Export your FACE to a DXF file

I was out at a customers site this past week showing off Inventor.
They were all into the great tools when I got asked about making parts from CNC.
"Our software doesn't handle 3D solids yet." "How do we make a DXF file from a 3D part?"

Well I am here to tell you it is very easy to do and you can use your ACAD to do any layer changes that are required by your CNC software.

Check out my video here:


Jim......Another INCAT CAD Geek!

Industrial Design files directly read by Inventor!!

I have been asked over the years how to get data from Industrial design departments to engineering, and it has continually been a struggle. It typically required trying to import IGES data, or many times required remodeling the design in Inventor only to lose much of the artistic design intent. Since the difference between an average product and a great product lies in the details, Autodesk Labs has introduced an Alias Studio direct reader add-in for Autodesk Inventor. If your company struggles with bridging the gap between industrial design (product design) and engineering, then this workflow should be seriously considered.

The included image is an example of some data imported from Alias Studio into Inventor.

Here is the download at Labs:

Contributed by Ben of the INCAT CAD Geeks