Positional Representations… what do you use them for? I found myself in a jam recently because I needed an exploded assembly, but needed it for some really high quality renderings, so I wanted to use Inventor Studio.
The problem becomes how exactly to construct an exploded assembly when you are unable to use a Presentation File. The answer, obviously, is to use a positional rep. So… first things first, I have created a New Positional Representation and named it “Inventor Studio”. As you can see from the image below, I have also created a View Representation named the same thing and locked it, once I have the desired view and perspective angle set. More on this trick in a moment.
In any case, once the new positional rep is active I now simply override the constraints for the components I wish to move. This is accessed from the right click menu for any constraint other than an iMate, again, see the image below.
Granted, it is not as easy as using the Presentation File environment, and it is nowhere close to being as easy as Showcase, however there are some advantages. With this assembly that certainly was the case… the array of fasteners that held the valve cover on were all constrained together, so once I change the distance value for the first instance, they all moved simultaneously. Nice!
Now, remember I said that there was an advantage to having a locked view rep? Well, once you are in the Inventor Studio environment, you can set a camera from a current view… which is exactly what I do now.
And if anything ever happens to change the camera view, we can always restore our locked view rep and then restore a new camera configuration from that view. And now, just a bit of Inventor Studio eye candy and we're done.
Well, that’s it for today. Hope this was informative and hope everyone has a great weekend.
It is not often that you find me singing the praises of a peripheral… but this is not just any peripheral. Most power users are already well aware of the value of the motion control devices sold by 3dConnexion. I myself have been using them and their predecessors since the original Spaceball way back in 1990. There is simply no keyboard or mouse based alternative to the smooth transitional movement between pans, zooms and rotations that can be achieved with these input devices. Well, there is a new addition to the 3DConnexion family and I have been lucky enough to have been using it now for the last couple of weeks. Behold the SpaceNavigator for Notebooks.
Here it is next to it’s bigger brother, the original SpaceNavigator. Now, I know quite a few of us road warriors who had faithfully lugged around the original ‘Navigator for quite some time simply because it was an example of almost perfect simplicity. It was heavy enough to resist moving around on the desk, and had only two buttons… again… simplicity. Well, its new sibling is absolutely beautiful, with the same functional characteristics and the same feel in a much smaller package. It is almost half an inch smaller in diameter and height, and somehow they managed to cut the weight in half. Now I know I just said that the additional weight of the original ‘Navigator was desirable, however carrying it around was not. The new model has a really nice “sticky” rubber base that gives it a feeling of being almost adhered to whatever surface you are working with it on.
I know, most of you gadget lovers think you want more buttons, but how often do you actually use them if you have them? I myself had the SpaceTraveler prior to the ‘Navigator, and while it had eight buttons around the circumference of the device, they were somewhat difficult to locate by touch, so myself and many others ended up programming them in pairs, which brought the button count down to 4. And if I stop and think about the ones I used more often than anything else, the count dropped to 2… one to perform a zoom fit, and the other to turn off rotations. Yep… turn off rotations. Why would I want to do that?
Well, if you think about it, a fair amount of time in any modeling product these days is spent sketching, and for most of us that means working in a 2d planar view normal to the sketch plane. Suppressing device rotations allows us to continue using the ‘Navigator for panning and zooming, but will prevent us from rotating out of the plane of the sketch view. When you’re done sketching, hit the button and you are back to normal 6 axis motion control.
Well, that’s it for today… I hope this was informative. And for those of you already using one of these devices you got a good usability tip out of the column. Hope everyone has a great weekend and I will see you here again next week. Don’t forget to drop me some comments if you like what you read.