by Chris Turner
Working with Inventor these days to create a Workplane cannot be much easier. I have to admit to still creating them the old way, rather than picking a particular Icon, but it’s all good.
I thought I would highlight a few things that people may not know about Workplanes.
POSITIVE and NEGATIVE side
When you place a Sketch on a Workplane, the Sketch will always get placed on the POSITIVE side of the plane. You can tell which is positive and which is negative by spinning your model around to see the colours. If its Yellow, then that’s the POSITIVE side. If its Magenta, then that’s the NEGATIVE side. All depends on the colour scheme you are using of course :)
Knowing which side is which is handy for many reasons, but in particular, this is useful if you are placing Text or perhaps an image onto a plane for embossing or perhaps a decal. If you are also offsetting a plane, you know whether to use a positive or negative value.
WORKPLANE SELECTION is important and always select the Workplane close to its edge.
FLIP NORMAL is available on the RMB if you hover over a plane and is an easy way to reverse the Positive and Negative.
Keep in mind that you cannot flip the normal of the DEFAULT origin Workplanes, or a Workplane that has been used to create other features. If you need to do this, then just create another Workplane at a zero offset and then FLIP NORMAL on that one.
AUTO-RESIZE is set on the default origin Workplanes. As you build your model, the planes will automatically resize to suite. This make it easy for them to be always visible.
The Auto-Resize can be turned off or on as needed. I normally just leave all of mine to resize by themselves, but if you are working on a complex model with many Workplanes, sometimes they can become a bit obtrusive and making them smaller can be useful. If Auto-Resize is not on, you can drag the Workplane to wherever you want it to be and also grab its handles to resize it.
NEW IN 2015 you can now create a plane with 2 simple clicks between any two non-parallel planes :)
As mentioned previously, there are many ways to create Workplanes. If you are ever unsure on how to create the particular one you are looking for, make sure your select one of the creation options. These are handy for the inexperienced user and also will limit what you can select as input.
Enjoy and happy modelling with Autodesk Inventor!