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Issue 16 of Mechanical Tips & Tricks

Welcome to this month's Graitec Mechanical ‘Tips and Tricks’ newsletter. We have produced this with you our Clients, in mind. Our aim is to regularly pass on helpful Tips and Tricks on Autodesk Mechanical Software products. We will try and keep this document full of useful and relevant information for you but if you want to make some suggestions on the content, drop us a line and we will do our best to include your requests. Please take the time to look at the contents of this Newsletter, you never know, the answer to something that is puzzling you today may be right here.

This Months Tips & Tricks Focus Is On: Autodesk Inventor SDK Tools

Everyone would like to have extra tools within inventor to make there lives easier right?

Well since release 11 there have been extra tools sitting right in front you! Within the standard install of inventor there are a host of extra tools that can be installed which are known as SDK tools.

This issue of Tips and Tricks are dedicated to looking at one of the available tools in the set 'Assembly Tools'. To install Assembly Tools you will need navigate to the following location: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Inventor 2009\Inventor 2009\SDK. Double click UserTool.msi.

A User Tools folder will then be created, within this folder you will find Assembly tools run the .exe file in this folder. Once installed there will be an extra panel available within the assembly environment.

Rename Browser Nodes

Brings up a dialog to allow fast renaming of component occurrences in the assembly browser. The available choices are 'Filename' (display file name of the document from which the component occurrence (has been inserted), 'Part number' (the part number file property of the document), or 'Default' (the default browser name that Inventor provides for component occurrences).

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Add Part / Add Assembly

Similar to Inventor's default 'Create Component' command, however it bypasses the Type selector, and goes to a "Parts" directory as the new path, if it is seen in the project folder. Further, it does not prompt for a sketch. Add Assembly is the same as above, only for assemblies, and assumes 'Assemblies' as a directory.

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Save and Replace Component

Takes the selected component, runs a 'Save As' command (with name prompt), and replaces the selected component with the newly saved copy of the component.

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Alpha Sort Components

Sorts the names of the components that are displayed in the model browser in alphabetical order.

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Degree of Freedom Analysis

Displays a dialog that lists the degrees of freedom (translation about x, y, z axes and rotation about the x, y and z axes) for all the occurrences in the active assembly. The 'Animate Freedom' option on the dialog shows an animated motion about the degrees of freedom for any selected occurrence from the list of occurrences

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Create Substitutes / Update All Substitutes

Allow users to create substitute parts for many different sub-assemblies at one time. This command would be activated while editing an Assembly which contains several sub-assemblies for which the user wants to create Substitute Parts. When the command is activated a dialog would list all of the first-level sub-assemblies.

All of these sub-assemblies would be selected by default but the user can de-select any of the sub-assemblies. The dialog would have a default naming scheme for the Substitute. Update substitutes allow the user to check for updates while editing the consumer assembly and update any active substitute parts in the first level sub-assemblies.

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