Inventor (need help starting)

Hey! I just joined the forums…

I want* to learn inventor because the person who used it last year graduated. I was hoping that someone could tell me where I should start or suggest any tutorials because I have to learn this program within a week. I do know how to use autocad

One of our team members began using the software in the beginning of the build season. He spent about 3 hours doing all the tutorials, and now he is one of the better members on the team. Just do every tutorial, or at least the ones that you think you need, and just practice. If there is a time where you can’t find anything to model, just come up with something that you think would be enjoyable to make.

I’d say the same thing.

The Help catalog in Inventor (from Help menu) is how some of our Tech Ed program’s most successful CADers became successful.

FIRSTbase (the website where teams can download the software - if you don’t have a username, ask your team main contact/mentor to add you) has training materials:

Also look in the Inventor folder on the computer:
C:\Program Files\Autodesk
Inside Autodesk is an Inventor or Inventor 11 folder. Then look for a PSS folder which will contain a few PDFs:
Adsk_Inventor_11_GetStart.pdf will help you learn step by step all of the functions involved with part modeling, assemblies, and drawings.
AIProf_11_RoutedSys_GetStart.pdf will explain how to use Tube & Pipe and Cable & Harness
AIProf_11_Analysis_Simul_GetStart.pdf is for Stress Analysis and Dynamic Simulation

Sean Dotson’s site has a ton of tutorials for more advanced things:
J.D. Mather’s site has tutorials for surface modeling/complex shapes:
Autodesk’s website also has some intermediate to advances tutorials.

Now, the AIProf guides and advanced tutorials would take a LONG time to get a working knowledge of because it’s so involved. Unless you have a number of hours every day this week and a lot of patience, I recommend just using the FIRSTbase training materials for now so you have enough time to model the robot.

Do every tutorial in sight, and every one you can find. Also, your wording strikes me… I personally view it as you get to learn Inventor, not you have to. This program is wonderful. Once you’ve taken all the tutorials, just grab something around the house and try and model it. That’s one of the best ways to learn to do obscure items, which will aid you in modeling the mundane.

The tutorials built in are very good. About two years ago when I first started to use the program the tutorials gave me a good understanding of how to use Inventor. The key components of the program are all you need to know, and once you know them, it becomes second nature and you are limitless in the stuff you can build and create.

Thanks for all the help! All the tutorials are helping me a lot.

And thanks for the website worldbringer. I always wanted 3ds Max but there weren’t enough licences. And I had to chose between that or Revit, but I picked Revit. Now I can have both!

Most useful stuff has already been said, but here’s one pointer I’ve picked up from my rather exhaustive use of Inventor- if you are using stock metal pieces (ie. Bosch) in your designs, the companies often have models you can download from the website. It saves a lot of time.

If you ever need help, email me or send me a private message. I would be more than happy to help with any problems or questions you may be facing.

If you already have a knowledge of AutoCAD, you may be able to get a head start by importing in some of your sketches also.

it is also good to try drawing something out of a mechanical design text book and find a detail drawing (i picked out a vise). Unlike that something you just pick up it will have all necessary dimensions if you need help email me at

Basics of all CAD:

If you took something, no matter how complex, and just forced it into a 2d flat image, thats what you need to sketch. Add dimensions and features (extrude, revolve), and voila, you’ve got your starting point. Then add detail work like more extrusions, cuts, holes, fillets, chamfers, etc.

There is a book that just came out for 3D Inventor Parametric drawing. You’ll love it! It’s called “Parametric Modeling Using Inventor” by James P. LoFaso. I looked at it and I thought he did a pretty good job at explaining the program. I would have done some chapters differently (just the organization on how he builds information).

Best of Luck!