Bet that title catches someones attention, its not what you think however. In this case we are referring to the ability to perform non-uniform scaling on Inventor parts for the purpose of tooling manufacturing. Typically, in the process of creating surface data for castings or mold forms it is necessary to take into account shrinkage. And no, not talking about what happened to George after he went swimming in the pool, rather I am referring to the natural tendency of certain materials that engineers use in their designs to shrink as they cool.
This is not a new problem, however I would be willing to bet that there are a good number of you that have to work around this issue, that had no idea that there was a really good solution for this built into your copy of Inventor which is loaded on your machine at this moment. So, first of all, lets get the legalese out of the way
BY INSTALLING THIS SDK THE USER ACCEPTS AND AGREES TO THE FOLLOWING:
WHILE AUTODESK, INC. HAS MADE REASONABLE EFFORTS TO VERIFY AND TEST THE SAMPLE FILES (SAMPLE FILES) AND TOOLS, INCLUDING WIZARDS, (COLLECTIVELY TOOLS) PROVIDED IN THIS SDK, THE SDK IS PROVIDED SOLELY ON AN "AS IS" BASIS, "WITH ALL FAULTS." THE SDK, THE SAMPLE FILES AND THE TOOLS CONTAINED ARE EMPLOYED AT THE SOLE RISK OF THE USER.
I should not have to explain what this mean, so as long as we are all good with it, lets move on. In your Autodesk\Inventor 2008\SDK\Tools\Users folder, which is typically located in C:\Program Files\ you will find the install directory for the DerivedPartwithNonUniformScaleandPosition tool
Not an original name, I know, but believe me, once you have used this thing a few times you wont care what it is called. Use the install.bat file to perform the installation, at the completion of which you should see install results similar to this
Make sure you read the Readme file so that you have a good understanding of how this tool works seriously. I mean, it is not an overly complex tool, and you will be off and running with this thing in very short order, however, just for once in your life, read the Readme file. [grin] It is only a little over a page in length, but the info contained within will tell you everything you need to know about what this tool will (lots!) and will not (very little!) do.
Regardless, the next time you start Inventor, you will see the following icon loaded into your part modeling tool palette...
The operation is quite simple, when you need to do non uniform scaling of a part for something like I described above, simply select this tool, and then open the part you need to do tooling for
Now simply select the scale factor individually for each of the axes you wish. You can also specify a custom origin, either by explicitly entering these coordinates, or by selecting a work point or sketch coordinate system
The beautiful thing about this tool is that changes are NON absolute, and because it is derived, the tooling surfaces you offset or copy from this scaled part are associative to the original part. By Non absolute I mean that once you scale the part, if you were to edit and set a new scale factor, it does not scale the current scaled model, it references the original and scales from that, all changes are relative to the source part...
Beautiful! Well, I hope you found this information useful, but more importantly, I hope you find the tool useful. Looking forward to your comments, and have a great weekend.