from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Inventor 2009 – 2D Environment

The first volume of the vBook series for Inventor 2009 was released by the publisher, Retrieve Media, and is on the shelf today.

Inventor 2009 – 2D Environment is a complete reference covering the procedures and options regarding the beginning steps of creating Inventor parts.  image

This volume contains detailed video lessons on:

  • Sketching profiles and references
  • Constraints and DOF
  • Dimensions
  • Parameters
  • Edit features
  • Inserting objects
  • Application Settings and Options. 

We step through and explain every item and demonstrate the chapter exercises. You can download the exercise files, and follow along while you practice.

This reference is intended to give the Beginner a good head start with a solid foundation, and add some additional insight for the Intermediate skilled user as well.

The remainder of the series is in production, and will be released volume by volume, until the compilation is complete.

March 19, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inventor – Loft Angle and Weight

Lofting….I don’t know about you, but this has been one of the things I learned to hate.  Maybe because the application seems to have more control that I do during the process, or because I had some bad experiences with 3DS 10 years ago (pre MAX).  Whatever the reason, I just never liked Lofts very much.

Lofting is an extremely useful tool.  While you can reproduce the model by other means, the pain involved would be extensive.  The Loft Feature has so much control over the process, by weighted interpolation, there is no reason not to use it.  The trick is to control the interpolation to accomplish your goal.

Today, we’ll use Angles and Weights to create a transition between 2 other features, that would normally take a bit more time and planning to complete.

In the image below, you should see the part I needed to tie into another loft feature, with a specific angle at the transition.


While a Sweep around an extruded Feature might normally get a similar job done as easily, you would need more than 1 rail, adding complexity to process.  The Right side view (below) shows the problem with fillets and sweeps.  The rear edge is offset farther than the front, and the upper edge is not a typical fillet This is a perfect candidate for a Loft.

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March 16, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 3D Features | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inventor – Match Shape and Open Profiles

The Match Shape, and conversely the Match Contour option is available in the Extrude and Revolve Features.  These are not rocket science options, but do occasionally present confusion, either by the situation they are used with, or by the Inventor help available.

When an Extrude feature is created, it expects a closed loop profile, from which it will add a feature perpendicular to the plane the profile lies on.  Alternately, an open profile can be selected.

In the image below you should notice a small tray with a sketch containing an open profile dimensioned 20mm x 20mm.  The sketch was created on the face of the tray bottom.


Open Profiles

Notice in the image, the purple 2D sketch geometry that was referenced from the existing part geometry, and projected automatically when we selected the part face for the sketch plane.  This comprises a closed loop profile.  What will happen when we try and select the open profile in the corner?  This…

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March 2, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 3D Features | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inventor – 3D Intersection Curve

We recently reviewed Garin Gardener’s 3D sketching post, and highlighted the 2D and 3D sketching.  There was 1 point remaining that we didn’t have time to get to:

3D Intersection Curve

3D Intersection Curve is a feature that intersects in 3 dimensional space, the projected geometry from 2D sketches on intersecting planes (did that make any sense?)

Here we have a 2D sketch as well as a work plane created for the second sketch.



We need a new 2D sketch on the work plane. Don’t forget to project the geometry needed to work from (I used the endpoint of the line in the first sketch.  See below)


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February 11, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 2D Environment, 3D Features | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inventor – 3D Sketch tips

This post has been moved over to

February 9, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 2D Environment, 3D Features | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Inventor – DWG wizard Selective import is empty

Here is a problem some VISTA users have.  The DWG import wizard viewer “Selective import” control is empty.  One reason is of course VISTA, but another may be because of constant uninstall and reinstalls of Design Review.  I have not confirmed the latter, but I do suspect it.


I went looking for some info on this, and found the ‘known issues’ list in numerous places.

The DWG import wizard viewer “Selective import” control is empty: You may notice in the DWGIN wizard’s viewer page that the “Selective import” control is empty (this control lists the layers in a DWG file). This indicates that a module needed by the viewer is not registered (because a lack of user privileges).

In Click Start > locate the program for “Command Prompt, ” and right-click it as run the program with the option “Run as administrator”

To register You cannot start the cmd.exe from Run…” menu for this procedure. When the command prompt is active, navigate to where dxoemviewer.arx is located (c:\program files\aoemview 2008, by default), and then enter the following:

Regsvr32 dxoemviewer.arx

link to the source information

February 4, 2009 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m Certified!!!!

civil3D_09_cert_pro_rgb inventor_09_cert_pro_rgb

That’s right C-E-R-T-I-F-I-E-D baby! I Passed both the Inventor 2009 Professional and the Civil 3D 2009 Professional.

So after listening to me gripe for months about studying, and dealing with delays in publishing, here’s what went down…

Motivation and AU 07

While most of the people that take this test are validating for their employers, I validate for my self. I can’t help it.  I am self taught, self motivated, and just can’t stand the thought that something is bigger than me, or beyond my capabilities. While planning my 2007 AU classes, I noticed the Inventor Certificate Classes at the last minute, and decided to completely screw up my class schedule at the last minute.  They don’t tell you that it’s too late, you just find out when you get there and you have no class handouts. The cutoff is November something.

I took 3 certificate study classes that all looked at the tests differently.  After Barbara, Nancy, Dan, and Matt were done, I was hooked.  Dan said “If everyone had all afternoon to take the test, no one would fail”. Oooh pressure…(small sadistic grin). Clearly I have issues.

I purchased my tests in January 2008, and studied for the 2008 Inventor Expert and Civil 3D 2008 Expert tests.  I won Dan’s Expert AOTC book in Vegas.  There was only 1 book, and I guarantee the nearby classes knew it when my number was called.  I purchased the User book.  All my books were Inventor books, thinking “I run Civil 3D day in and day out, what do I need a book for?”.  This is the reason people read my blog.  I make every stupid decision know, and then talk all about it.


Autodesk cancelled the Inventor 2008 Expert test (mostly due to candidate fear I suspect, no one would pay to torture themselves that way).  They kindly helped me migrate all my tests over to 2009, so I studied for the 4 new tests.  For Inventor I alternated, reviewing each test’s requirements, and then studied the 2008 AOTC guides from cover to cover. When one AOTC guide was over, I’d go to the next.  During each requirement, I’d study Dan’s course from AU 07.  During the process I’d use everything I studied in various things I was working on. When my exam dates got moved back, I’d repeat the process. This is the way to study for that test.  Trust me.

The way I did Civil is NOT the way to study.  All I could do was to practice a start to finish development, using every option I could find. When the Civil Associate exam went from the performance based user, to the question answer based Associate, I choked.  I have no book.   C%#p!!!!  It was a bit late, but I borrowed a copy of Dana Probert and James Wedding’s 2008 book, and bit down hard.  I skimmed over everything, looking for things that would be in a ‘check all that apply’ question.

Even though I moved up to 2009 tests, I had to keep using 2008 books, because we were slam broke, and couldn’t afford the gas to get to Orlando.

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January 23, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 2009, AutoCAD Civil 3D, Inventor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inventor – Horizontal and Vertical Constraints


We all know about constraints.  It make the world go round. 

I have a reasonable amount of twisted workarounds, but very little every day constructive examples.  So, I as thinking of AU (as ALWAYS) and was reminded of Dan Banach drilling productivity tips at us, and Horizontal and Vertical constraints were mentioned numerous times (seriously, take his class at AU).

Whether you are in training or didn’t pay attention to this feature, you should consider it.

This Horizontal constraint should be applied to geometry that passes through the horizontal plane from another reference feature. Refer to the image below.  I’d like the sketched geometry to be evenly distributed across this part.  The best way is with constraints.


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November 21, 2008 Posted by | 2009 | , , , | Leave a comment

Derived Part Color

When a new Part is created it is given a ‘Default’ Material, per the Application Settings, and subsequently the Color style of that material. All the features of the part appear like the PART material.

When a Derived Component is then inserted into that PART, the Derived Body’s color is not controlled by the PART, but instead by itself. That color is a non-dependent Color Style, whose initial state is derived from the color style of the material contained in the Base Component (where it was derived from, the parent). Essentially, the Base Component hands down its Material’s color style, but not the material itself.

Once derived, the appearance is on its own, regardless of ANY OTHER MATERIALS in the equation. The Derived Body has no ties to its Base Component’s Material or color.

The Derived Body now has a mind of its own and reserves the right to be obstinant and will continue to look like the Base Component it was derived from. Continue reading

October 27, 2008 Posted by | 2009 | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment