September 30, 2015

Posted on September 30, 2015 by Application Consultant Jim Swain
Every Autodesk 3D software I use these days has the ViewCube up in the upper right corner

ViewCube in InventorJim1
ViewCube in CFDJim2

This is very convenient for those times I don’t have my 3D mouse available. For some reason I just can’t get into the habit of using F4 for orbiting in Inventor. Maybe it’s a throwback to my old anti-DOS days. Or more likely it’s because I use so many software packages on any given day that I don’t really remember the specific short cuts for each one. In any case the ViewCube is there in every software. I use it most often for flipping my viewing direction and then returning to the Home view. Pretty standard stuff. And it’s the same behavior across the software spectrum.
Here are the ViewCube options for Inventor and Showcase. They look pretty similar, don’t they?Jim3Jim4
Another of the tools I use in Inventor is to change the definition of the Front View. I love this for those cases when I start designing on the XY plane, then realize that a different view should really be considered “Front”. And not only does this stay with the component, but it also carries through when creating views on the drawing. Here is the workflow for a valve:Jim5Jim6Jim7Jim8Jim9
Honestly I’ve used this for several releases. I also have used the choice to change the definition of the Home view to a different isometric view by picking a different corner of the ViewCube and taking the “Set Current View as Home” option from the ViewCube’s right click menu. But recently I’ve realized that I had been short changing this function.
I have always been annoyed by how the typical isometric view doesn’t do the best job of presenting components.  This is especially true for rectangular shaped components. Vertical lines in the front and back seem to fall on top of each other in these views. So I tried using the Set Current View as Home (in Inventor) when the component wasn’t in an isometric orientation. And it worked! While this valve example isn’t very rectangular I still think the new home view is much easier to look at and gives a clearer picture of the design.Jim10Jim11Jim12
Now I wish I had tried that a few years back.