Paul Munford

Autodesk Inventor Tip - Section Cut-Away Views in Rendered Images

In this post you’ll learn a quick tip to cut a section out of your Autodesk Inventor Assembly model in order to show the internal components.

Autodesk Inventor Tip Section Cut Away Views in Rendered Images

Figure 1

We can use this view for a rendered image, either from a screen shot or in the Autodesk Inventor Rendering Studio.

There are a couple of different ways that we could do this. The method we will learn in this post uses a Shrinkwrap Substitute level of detail.

The reason that I recommend this method, is because it allows us to re-colour the cut faces of the Inventor parts, to give it that ‘Old School’ cut away look.

How to ‘Shrinkwrap’ an Autodesk Inventor Assembly

The first step is to derive your Autodesk Inventor Assembly (.IAM) into a single Inventor part file (.IPT).
We’ll do this by creating a new ‘Shrinkwrap’ substitute Level of detail (LOD).

Creating a Shrinkwrap LOD

Figure 2 Create a Shrinkwrap LOD

To create your Shrinkwrap LOD, navigate to your Assembly browser’s ‘Representations’ folder, and expand it to reveal the ‘Level of Detail’ node.

Right click over the Level of detail node and choose ‘New Substitute’ > ‘Shrinkwrap’ from the fly out options.

The Autodesk Inventor Shrinkwrap Command

The Shrinkwrap command is a great tool for de-featuring and simplifying a model. We can use the substitute LOD to load a design faster, or in preparation to save out a copy of our design as a single 3D model to share with others.

Autodesk Inventor Assembly Shrinkwrap Options dialogue

Figure 3 Assembly Shrinkwrap Options dialogue

The Shrinkwrap tool has options to algorithmically remove parts by size, patch holes and fill internal voids – but for this exercise we’ll keep the detail.

One change we will make is to choose ‘Maintain each solid as a separate body’, this will create a new body to represent each part in our assembly, and will allow us to pick and choose which solids (Parts) take part in our section cutaway.

Autodesk Inventor Derived Assembly with Solid Bodies

Figure 4 Derived Assembly with Solid Bodies

Note that we can toggle between ‘Master; LOD (all components loaded) and Our Substitute LOD (One substitute part loaded) by right clicking on the nodes in the Level of detail folder.

Creating a Sectioned Cutaway

The next step is to create a sectioned cut-away view. The first step is to open the Substitute part, so that we can add a cut feature.

Autodesk Inventor Adding Solids to participate in a cut Extrude Feature

Figure 5 Adding Solids to participate in a cut Extrude Feature

We can add a cut feature using a sketched cut extrusion, the tip here is to choose which bodies (Parts) should participate in the cut section using the ‘Solids’ button from the Extrude dialog.

Autodesk Inventor Change Selection Filters

Colouring the Sectioned Faces

We can now add a colour override on the sectioned faces, remember to change your selection filters to ‘Faces and Edges’ first.

TIP: SHIFT+Right Click will bring up the selection filters at your cursor.

With faces selected, you can click on the Appearances override in the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) to select a new colour for your sectioned faces.

Your Inventor model is now prepped for rendering.

You can now create a good looking image from your model by switching your visual style to ‘Realistic’ and turning on ‘Ray tracing’ to grab a good looking screen shot, or you can take your model into Inventor studio to begin rendering.

Good luck!

Figure 7 A Screen grab of an Autodesk Inventor model with Cut-away section

Graitec have a number of essentials, intermediate, advanced and professional courses for Autodesk Inventor Software. If you are looking to take a training course, just give us a call on (023) 8086 8947 or click the button below to request more information.

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