Autodesk Inventor – Workplanes


Creating 3D features in Inventor generally involves creating a 2D sketched profile and then pushing or pulling or turning or twisting that profile into the Z axis to create a 3D model.  When first starting out in a new file you have your 3 origin workplanes XY,YZ and XZ to create those 2D profiles.

As the model grows in complexity and gets further and further away from the origin workplanes, what can be done to create additional 2D sketches?

Firstly you can create new 2D sketches on flat faces that have developed out of your 3D artistry.  This works very well but what happens when you run out of flat faces to sketch on?  You can use Workplanes!!

Inventor has a few ways to create workplanes using existing geometry which is not only the original workplanes but also existing geometry that you have created along the way.

Previously it was only 1 button which you then needed to apply your Inventor knowledge to, to create these workplanes.  Now how were you ever supposed to remember which to select first..the face, the edge or the vertex to create that particular workplane?

Lucky for us Autodesk Inventor users, Mechanical Desktop came to our rescue (kinda).

Mechanical Desktop being the predecessor of Inventor laid out all the different options on how to create the different workplanes in plain English.  You want to create a workplane offset from a face. Offset from Plane was the command to use.  Not just Workplane..but Offset from Plane.

For beginners this is great as the concept of workplanes can be a bit daunting in the beginning but once you get the hang of it, it is all systems ago and then you can toss those baby commands aside and use the adult version which is just Workplane.