I was not able to create a chain on Inventer with the single sized link in the kit of parts.

Was anyone able to do this?

our team was able to. its a witch with a b to get it done, but its possible. there is an actual chain selection, its just hideing.

Inventor has a feature called “Chain Generator”
If you search in the help menu of Inventor you can find instructions on using the tool.

check out this video if you want a quick overview.

I searched my schools inventor help and didn’t find it

so theres a help in the program to generate chain instead of making each link

at least, there should be, but ours doesn’t have it

is it the roller chain generator or is it called something else and can we use the sprockets for the gears instead of the ones that are generated already in the roller chain generator because it keeps creating a new gear for it

The roller chain generator default in Inventor has a few quirks.
I suggest using one of thee 3rd party auto chain generator if you are having trouble.
(check out the link with
Let me know if you have trouble getting it to work

Hey guys… Just wondering, can anyone tell me how they constrained a chain using the .ipt files in the KoP for their drawings? I’ve never done chain before… only belts. I personally don’t like the chain generator in Inventor (I mean, the chain looks like a belt…), and was wondering if anyone knew how to go about using .ipt files and making/constraining the chain. I’ve created a chain with the correct amount of links and everything… I just don’t know where to go from there (I tried constraining it and got frustrated when it wouldn’t work after a good hour)


Which model did you use to create the chain (post a link to the model)?

If you made your own custom model chain ipt file, please post the file so others can understand how to help.

In an ipt file create a sketch for the path of the chain (actually I think the DAcc already does this for you).

In the ipt with the path create a workpoint on the path.

Use the Rectangular Pattern command (should be called Curve Driven

Pattern - where often the “curve” is a straight line) to pattern the workpoint but the center-to-center distance of the chain link (pitch).

In the assembly constrain one link to the first two workpoints on the path.

In the assembly use Pattern Component and use the “Rectangular Pattern” feature of the Workpoints to pattern the rest of the chain links.

I used the chain .ipt files in the Kit of Parts files downloaded from FIRSTbase.

JD - I created a chain, with the correct number of links. I am just unsure how to go about constraining it within the whole assembly of the robot. Is there any way I can make the chain “work” (I don’t know the real word for it, but by “work” I mean can I constrain it in any way to where the chain will turn when the sprocket turns in the assembly)?

Thanks for the help, guys.

Just wondering if there is a way to replace the beltish look of the chain generator. Honestly it doesn’t look like chain at all. Plus our team uses ANSI 35 chain and the generator only has ANSI 40 for the smallest chain. Does anyone know how we could use ANSI 35 in the generator?

Sorry but I need to bump this. The over all look of the chain generator is very cheesey. Plus the smallest version of chain in the generator is ANSI 40 but our team uses ANSI 35. Has anyone found a way to make the chain look better and/or used ANSI 35 in the generator?

Above is another option that looks better as a chain than the Roller Chain Generator.

Yea we looked into this but the chain generated only has two gear positions. Two of the chains we are using contact at four points. Another two chains contact at three points. Plus when using those parts we were unable to make the files even visible. They were only visible when selected. If we were to use chain generator using ANSI 40 would this hurt or improve chances for the Autodesk Visualization Award?

If you look at the properties for chain, their should be a dropdown for ANSI 35 chain. I was able to make the Roller Chain Generator create 35 chain for a basic kitbot.

Let me know if you can’t find it, I will put up a screenshot

Do not create all of the links.
You need only one roller link and one pin link (depending on the type of chain used - I haven’t looked at the supplied).

Create an ipt with the path (actually I think the DAcc does this for you).
Create one workpoint on the path.
Use the Curve Driven Pattern tool (missed named - Rectangular Pattern) to pattern the workpoint at the correct pitch around the path.
(see - not exactly the same thing so don’t get confused, but it should get you going)

Then in the assembly place the one (or two) links as needed and constrain to the points. Then use Pattern Component using the point pattern to drive the palcement of the rest of the links around the path.

To actually animate the movement of a chain is more difficult than I can explain here.

I tried this; I created the .ipt with the path, and made a workpoint. However, when I tried to array the point, it said that you are unable to array work features (I’ve been trying to work on chain at school and not cut into my time at the robotics shop experimenting with it, and we only have 2008 on our school computers; is that part of my problem with arraying?). Thanks for all the help.

I’ve got everything set correctly in the Excel spreadsheet, and I can see the links when I mouse over them in the browser, but how do I make the chain visible?

Thanks for the help guys.


This method is amazing! We’re definately going to use this. Thanks a bunch!