Inventor: what are the parameters?

9/2/2019

Inventor: what are the parameters?

In CAD Inventor, parameters are a powerful tool, both when it comes to automating the process of designing "similar" objects or families of components, and in the everyday of design.

If you expect this article to answer the question "for a mechanical designer it is better parametric modeler or an explicit modeler?" I anticipate that the answer is: "it depends!" ... intended as a synonym of: "boh?".

So, given that they are there anyway, we will focus on:

  • where are parameters?
  • what are parameters?
  • how are they managed?
  • what do we do with it?

Let's start with a general introduction, then we will make some examples. The images that we show below refer to inventor Professional 2018 in Italian, but the basic concepts are fine for all versions.

Where are the parameters in Inventor?

That way one might respond: "everywhere", in any case there is a user interface to manage them all together in one place, which is accessed using the button below:

CAD Inventor parameters

CAD Inventor parameters

Which opens a kind of spreadsheet, from which we can manage all the parameters present in the model, and create new ones.

We will return later to talk about how this panel did and how to manage the various parameters.

CAD Inventor parameters

CAD Inventor parameters

To check this we are going to open the parameters panel and we immediately find our height of 100 mm, and obviously if we try to modify it also directly from the table, we see that the change affects the sketch.

CAD Inventor parameters

CAD Inventor parameters

What are the parameters in Inventor?

Meanwhile, we begin to ask ourselves, what is a parameter? And let's start from the dictionary:

1. measurement and evaluation criterion: "judge by a given parameter".

2. arbitrary constant on which the trend of a function, a curve (..) depends, a generic term used mostly with the meaning. of "independent variable".

The definition we need is the second, scrambled by saying that parameter is an independent variable that governs the progress of a process, a curve, etc. So parameter is each "value" that if we modify it changes other characteristic quantities accordingly, for example:

-the sketch dimensions that govern the entities to which they are associated: in the example in the figure when I change the dimension indicating the width of the rectangle the rectangle widens. This quota responds well to the definition of a parameter, and in fact is linked to a parameter. 

CAD Inventor parameters

CAD Inventor parameters

CAD Inventor parameters

CAD Inventor parameters

So by analogy it becomes easy to imagine that everything that changes a geometric entity or a process becomes a parameter, such as:

• dimensions of a sketch,

• depth of an extrusion,

• offset distance of a work plane,

• diameter of a hole,

• distance between the elements of a series,

• corner of a revolution,

• etc.

How do you manage parameters in Inventor?

We will return to this in other articles also with examples, however the main interface for working on the parameters is the panel we have seen before, but there are also more advanced tools:

  • we can connect the parameters to an Excel file, to use all the flexibility of the spreadsheet and all its formulas;
  • we can use iLogic inside inventor, to tie the parameters together with complicated rules at will. In practice, with iLogic we can write real programs to manage the behavior of all sizes, functions, and processes within models together with Inventor tables with extremely dynamic and advanced methods: it is one of the most powerful tools to automate the design work.

What do we do with the parameters in Inventor?

By managing parametrically families of objects and processes, we can quickly recreate pieces similar to others already designed before, or even we can prepare a family of products made so that the various elements are generated semi-automatically from a template or an initial assembly.

Or we can have elements that adapt to the variations of an assembly or of a layout being studied to make the subsequent stages of development of the detail detail as fast as possible.

We will see some examples in the next blogs.

Are you interested in our solutions?

Other articles that may interest you: 

Inventor drawings: 2 fast solutions for 2 boring tasks

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