Inventor 2014 Assembly - Relationships or Constraints

by David Gate

New Inventor 2014 Tools to display and diagnose the relationships and constraints in an assembly.

There are a number of new tools in Inventor 2014 and some old tools for analysing your constraints and the new joints. Below I have documented a few good tips on how to display and analyse what constraints etc you have applied.

First off in Inventor 2014 Autodesk have now grouped all your constraints and the new joints into a folder at the top of your model browser called ‘Relationships’. This folder contains all the constraints and joints used only in that level of the assembly. This makes finding your constraints much easier. They are all still displayed in the same way as before under each component so if you are looking at a particular component you can see which relationships it has applied to it.

Under the ‘Assembly’ tab on the Application options there is a useful tick box which turns on component names after each relationship. This is particularly useful if like me you never rename your mates etc.

You may also have noticed in the above screenshot that some of my constraints have light bulbs next to them. Now you can right click on a constraint or joint and turn on its visibility. This display a glyph on the model. This glyph can then be selected and it will highlight the features/faces used and display a little box with more info in. If you right click on a glyph you get options related to that constraint. Drive, edit, delete, suppress etc.

On the ‘Assemble’ tab on your ribbon in the Relationships panel there are a few new tools related to this glyph visibility. The ‘Show’ command allows you to select a component and turn on the visibility of all the related relationships. The ‘Hide All’ allows you to quickly turn all the visible glyphs off.


There have also been some nice improvements  to the ‘Free Move’ tool. This is found on the ‘Assemble’ tab on the position panel. Now when you use the free move command when you drag the component around elastic bands appear showing you how it connects to other components via either joints or constraints.

One final tip relating to the new elastic bands. Which is really useful. While in the free move, elastic band, command if you right click you get a number of options in a marking menu. Delete all and Suppress All are obvious and will delete/supress all of the highlighted relationships (the visible elastic bands). The diagnostics tick option turns on and off the elastic bands, so if you don’t want to see them or if you cannot see them and want them back a simple right click and un/ticking this will enable or disable them.



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