help on inventor

our team is having a hard time using inventor. any help will be great.:confused:

Do you have any specific issues?

no one knows how to use it:ahh:

Personally, the inventor tutorials were very helpful for a start

At this point it will be really difficult to learn Inventor and use it within this build season. My advice would be to have someone (or multiple people if there you have plenty of adventurous students) learn it themselves so they are capable of teaching it to the rest of the team during the off season.

However, make sure you aren’t scared away from using it. It’s an amazing program to use when designing your robot if you know how to use it properly.

Start with the basics. Drawing lines, circles, etc. Inventor is actually a really easy program to use once you get a hold of where everything is and what it does. From drawings get into making simple brackets, then making assemblies out of parts.

Use the tutorials within Inventor. They are the easiest way to learn it without having someone to teach you.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. But it’s really hard to give help without a specific question.

I as well would recommend tutorials…or better yet, I’d recommend SolidWorks :ahh:

Seriously though, as great as CAD tools can be, by the time you learn to use the program, you won’t have much time to build. I would work off of pencil sketches and designs for this year, and focus on learning a CAD program for next year. Great robots can be built without CAD, so view it as a nice to have down the road, but not a necessary for this year.

I made up a tutorial for Inventor to teach my team. It’s designed to be used as an aid for a teacher, but if you PM me your email I’ll send it to you to see if it helps you guys out.

A good way to start once you finished the tutorials (always do those first) is to make some quick shapes and objects. Try to make them simple yet have features that use lots of inventors functions. A good example of this is isometric drawings. You can find some here (just a google images search). Try to use the ones that have dimensions but if you are feeling adventurous try to model one that doesn’t have dimensions and make up you own.

On a more realistic note, its probably not a good idea to try and depend on CAD this year if no one on your team understands it yet. It takes most people 2-3 weeks or at least a week if they have the “knack”](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmYDgncMhXw) to get to the point where they can model something without directions. I know this from my experience teaching new members on my team and from watching/ assisting in my schools engineering classes (where we get taught inventor through the curriculum). But don’t let this discourage you. Inventor or any CAD program is really powerful and the sooner you learn it the faster it can help you.

I don’t think CADing will work out very well this year, but in between this year and next year, make sure a couple of students do the tutorials and maybe CAD objects you have around the shop. Then, during build season next year they can so some of the CADing and also teach the other students along the way.

The tutorials are great, you could start with those, but some things are so easy to do you can jump right in.

Here’s a two-minute tutorial:

Start by creating a ‘Project’, this organizes all the files into a folder
Click ‘Projects’, then the ‘New’ button.
Select ‘New Single User Project’
Change “ProjectName” to something like “Test 1”
Click ‘Finish’ and say OK to creating the project path
Now double-click the project in the ‘Projects’ window This makes it the active project.
Click ‘Done’

Now make a simple part.
Select ‘New’, then Standard.ipt
You start in a 2D “sketch” mode.
Pick ‘Rectangle’ and click in two places to draw a box
Click ‘Dimension’, then right click and click the ‘Edit Dimension’ setting if it’s not already checked. (This makes it easier to edit the dimension when you create it.)
Click on a line and then click to place the dimension anywhere convenient.
Type in the dimension you want, like “28 in” for the width of the robot.
Pick the other side and make that side “38 in”.
Right-click and pick ‘Done’ (Finished with the Dimension tool)
Zoom to fit the whole rectangle with the ‘Home’ key on the keyboard.
Finish Sketch (top right), now you’re in 3D mode.
Click ‘Extrude’, your box profile should be selected. Make it 7 inches thick and click Ok.
Voila, a robot base.

Now add a tower:
Click ‘Create 2D Sketch’ and pick the top surface of your base.
Draw another rectangle.
Go to ‘Dimension’ again, and pick a side of that rectangle and the side of the robot and give it a value.
Finish ‘Sketch’
Extrude this to, say, 36 inches.
Admire your robot. Click on the cube in the top right to see it from different sides.

Take some measurements:
From the ‘Tools’ menu, pick ‘Distance’
Pick a corner of the tower and the front edge of the robot.

Needless to say there’s a lot more you can do with Inventor! Its power really comes from assemblies. If you found my quick little tutorial interesting PM me and I’ll add a quick how-to on that. Also very easy.

Even if you aren’t planning to CAD the whole thing ahead of time it REALLY helps to have even a simple 3D model to check dimensions before you make big mistakes.

Good luck!

I echo what everyone else is saying, it is a bit of a lost cause for this season. The tutorials are great, and you will learn a ton. It can be easy to miss a step though, sometimes you need to go back a few to go forward again.

In the off season get some kids to learn Inventor. Once they start becoming proficient have them start designing chassis and drive train concept models. If they post them on CD they will be able to get some constructive feedback.

Thanks to 1323 there is a great online CAD library

Utilize the existing models to start building some chassis.