CAD, CAM, & BIM
Jul 24 2020
Creating 3D sketches in Autodesk Inventor takes a little bit of practice but it’s a valuable time-saving skill to have, especially if you’re designing frames, tubing, or piping. In this Inventor tutorial, we’ll walk you through how to get started with 3D sketching for advanced part design.
To begin an Inventor 3D sketch, simply click the Start 3D Sketch button on the ribbon. At first, not much will look different between the 2D sketching and 3D sketching environments. Many of the same sketch tools are available in both sketching environments including lines, arcs, and splines.
There are two new commands available in the Inventor 3D sketching view: Bend and Point. Bend performs a function similar to a fillet for 2D sketches. The Point command allows you to create points in 3D space that can be used to connect geometry in ways that wouldn’t be possible in a 2D sketch.
To learn how to make a line in a 3D sketch in Inventor, let’s start with the basics. First, activate the Line command from the ribbon. Notice that the dialog box attached to the cursor tells you exactly where in a 3D space you are and allows you to input XYZ coordinates to precisely place a point.
To get more control over both the coordinates and the triad, you can expand the Draw panel and select Precise Input to bring up the toolbar.
With Precise Input, you can still input the starting coordinates for the line, but there are a few additional functions.
Precise Input can be used at any time. If you start a free-handed sketch and want to add a line segment at a precise location from your last drawn point, you can type that value into the dialog box, press Enter, and continue drawing as before.
Once the start of the line is created, you can click anywhere or enter a point into the Precise Input toolbar to create a second point.
There are a few more tools to learn that can make it easier to work with 3D sketches in Inventor.
Inventor 3D Sketch Tool, Ortho Mode
Along the bottom of the interface, you’ll see a few icons that you can toggle on or off.
Bonus hint: try activating grid lines when working in the Inventor 3D sketching environment. Grid lines allow you to better approximate the lengths of sketch segments you create. To do this, go to Tools → Application Options → Sketch → check the box next to Grid Lines under Display → click OK to accept the changes.
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