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[personal profile] pheloniusfriar
Warning: technobabble post (skip to video if such talk upsets you).

I am currently fighting to produce a silkscreen .dxf or .dwg file from a 3D model in Autodesk Inventor. It's funny that creating the 3D model of the part (including learning the program to do so) was almost trivial (the tutorials that came with the program are actually great, much to my surprise), but sending out the lettering to finish the panel is proving to be a huge muddled task (there are many forum threads on various ways to do it, but all of them agree that it sucks).

One of the first things I came up against was that I imported the design for the Hammond chassis I'm using as a STEP file and then pulled out the faceplate extrusion as a part to modify. Overall the process went very well, but when the part was created, the origin was placed in a weird spot on the part, and the part was rotated weird so that the front of it wasn't in the X-Y plane direction (with the long part along the X axis) like it intuitively should be to me (since it was pulled from a full assembly in the STEP file, it is not too surprising though). What was confounding is there didn't seem to be any way to orient it relative to the origin and in the direction I wanted to work with (when I applied what IRL is a horizontal constraint, I had to use the vertical constraint option on the sketch... not intuitive). Well, I just found out how to move the solid object around in 3D space... it was an option that was not visible normally, but I just had to pull down the Modify panel expando arrow and there it was: "Move Bodies". It allows for translation and rotation of the part. To get it, it's "3D Model->Modify->Move Bodies". There is a little cube in the tool's dialogue box that if you click on it, it gives you a pulldown to select the operation you want to perform. In my case, I needed to rotate the solid, then translate the corner I needed to the origin. To figure out how far I needed to translate it to align with the various axis planes, I used "Tools->Measure->Distance" and then just typed the numbers in.

As a note, Autodesk Inventor is available for free if you are a student or work at a university or college, and are not going to be using it for commercial purposes.



Hahaha, the video was a trap! ;)

(but catchy as all git out)
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