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Friday, 12 February 2010

Taking Advantage of Inventors Clean Screen Environment

Autodesk Inventor 2010 introduced the option to work in a clean screen environment, something has been popular with digital artists and desktop publishing for a number of years.

Using the Clean Screen option on the View ribbon, or by pressing CTRL + 0 (zero) on the keyboard, the Autodesk Inventor working environment will be ‘cleaned’ up and go from this:

To this:

You’ll notice that the ribbon bar has been minimised away, although you can still access all of the tools on the ribbon just by clicking on the name of the ribbon you want to access. When you have finished using the tool the ribbon will be minimised.

You can also access a lot of the required functionality via the context sensitive right-click menu to create new sketches, draw, add constraints, add dimensions, project geometry etc. And don’t forget that the right-mouse click menu will update with new commands depending on what you are doing at the time.

As well as using the context sensitive right-mouse click menu and the minimised ribbons, you can also use your keyboard to access a lot of required functionality. There are lots of keyboard shortcuts already set-up within Autodesk Inventor, a lot of which are the same as in AutoCAD. This makes it quick and easy for those who are making the move from AutoCAD to Inventor because you can use your existing knowledge and experience. For example; L = line, C = circle and D = dimension. You can download a list of the common keyboard shortcuts on this document I have put together:

You can also modify the default keyboard shortcuts and create your own by using the Tools > Customise > Keyboard...

When the Use default multi-character Command Aliases option is checked, the default multi-character Command Aliases are used e.g. CH = chamfer etc.

If working space is something what you crave you can set your dialogue boxes to AutoHide so that they don’t get in the way when on screen. To enable AutoHide just right mouse click on the dialogue header bar and select AutoHide.

As you move your mouse away from the dialogue it will automatically roll up. As you move your mouse over the header bar, the dialogue will re-appear. Neat!

Finally, one tool that I use all the time when working in a clean screen mode is 3D Grips. 3D grips allow us to work interactively with our models to push & pull on faces to make size changes. Just right click over a face to select 3D Grips where you will be able to select one of the arrows on a face to push and pull it.

So next time your working in Autodesk Inventor, why not give the Clean Screen mode a try and see how you get on. Even if you don't use the Clean Screen mode, all of the above still work in the normal Inventor environment too.

Happy Inventing!