Graphics Programs Reference
6. Let's change the appearance of your component. In the Quick Access
Toolbar, select Aluminum (Polished).
7. Save your work.
You're fi nished with this component for now, but you need to start moving
toward the bigger picture. So far, you've created two components more or less in
a vacuum. In a couple of chapters, you'll see some truly remarkable tools called
design accelerators that work only in the Assembly environment. Between now
and then, I hope to show you that working with assemblies offers some other
The Assembly Modeling Concept
The Assembly environment is essentially a container holding all the components
that you need to stick to each other in one way or another. I have always found that
in Inventor, creating an assembly is a much more direct process than building its
parts. You can create a part using a broad variety of tools and techniques based
on how you want to edit it. By contrast, the way you build an assembly model is
based largely on how you'd build the assembly in the real world. You can also
use the assembly model to experiment with different ways of structuring the
real assembly and perhaps discover a better way of doing things.
You can also use an assembly model to build variations on a particular design.
The ability to swap out parts for alternatives and check fi ts or test a mechanism's
range of motion makes it much easier to detect fl aws in a system before spend-
ing money on the real thing.
To build an assembly, designers traditionally stack 3D parts, creating con-
straints to hold the parts together as they would be in the real world. If you try
to create an assembly without using constraints, the parts won't maintain their
relationships as they change. Constraints in assembly modeling are different
from those in 2D sketching, but the principle of an enduring relationship that
limits unexpected behavior is the same.
Let's start your assembly by bringing the components you've built so far into
the same space:
1. Create a new assembly fi le using the Standard (in).iam template.
2. Starting a new type of fi le presents another new tab for the Ribbon.
The fi rst tool is Place in the Component panel. Click this tool.
3. The Place Component dialog is similar to the Open File dialog. Find
Housing.ipt using the Frequently Used Subfolders on the left. Select