By Shaun Griffiths
Model states are the new functionality built into the Inventor 2022 release. It allows you to create different model variants for different functions. These could include:
- Different component families
- Manufacturing stages
- Simplified models
You may need to represent the different stages in the manufacturing process of a part. Previously you would have had to create different parts to show, for example, a cast stage, a machined stage and a finished stage of a part.
This could cause confusion as it may lead to people using the wrong files and some parts not being updated as required. However, because all of the stages can now be stored within one file each of these stages can be easily accessed and used appropriately.
You can achieve this by adding additional states in the browser by right clicking and selecting new model state. When activated, any new features created or suppressed are now stored under that state. Notice how the appearances can also be stored under a model state.
In addition, these states can also be selected as views on a drawing.
Creating different component families could be considered similar to creating iParts. However, iParts can be exported out to be individual part files, whereas model states remain within one file.
To achieve this, when a state is activated, you can change parameter values of your design and they remain within that state.
Now, as the model family states are different and cannot be exported out, you may consider that there would be a conflict in part numbers etc. However, for each state you can provide different iProperty details.
You can also create states that represent a simplified model. This means that you can provide simplified representations of models within assemblies, but also for processes such as FEA analysis.
Within FEA it is recommended to remove unnecessary features to reduce mesh and simulation time. Therefore, if a model is already generated inside the part file, there can be no confusion as to what is being analysed and all the information is stored in one place.
Hopefully, this highlights a few of the benefits of using model states within your designs. It is also important to remember that these are also available as a function within assemblies.