Inventor Tip: Assembling Components Using the Mini-Toolbar

May 3, 2022 Jennifer MacMillan

Did you know that you can assign assembly constraints between components in Inventor without using the Place Constraint dialog box? If not, please keep reading to learn more about how you can skip this dialog box and assign constraints by keeping your focus directly on the components in the graphics window. Here's how:

  1. Click Place and open the file that you want to assemble.
  2. Once the component is initially placed, and prior to right-clicking and selecting OK, select a reference entity on the assembled component to assign the first constraint reference entity.
  3. The Assemble mini-toolbar is activated and the  (Automatic) constraint is selected by default. Select a constraint reference on one of the existing assembly components to complete the constraint.
  • Based on the selected model references, the software decides which constraint to assign.
  • Alternatively, you can manually select the constraint type in the drop-down list. Each constraint type is listed with multiple orientation options, if available.

5. Click  (Apply) once the location (reference selection and constraint option) are confirmed to assign the first constraint.

6. Continue to select references on the new component and in the assembly to fully locate the component. For example, the following two constraints (Mate – Flush and Insert – Opposed) were assigned to fully locate the component in this example.

7. Click  (OK) to close the Assemble mini-toolbar.

8. Right-click and select OK to cancel the addition of a second instance of the component.

As an alternative, you can initiate the mini-toolbar interface without placing a new component. This is done by clicking   (Assemble) in the Assemble tab>expanded Relationships panel. This is handy if you have already inserted components and then are subsequently returning to constrain them.

Although this isn’t new functionality, I challenge you to try and see if it makes you more efficient. Personally, I always find that I continue to do things based on habit; however, I am going to intentionally give it a try myself. I hope that this helps you!

About the Author

Jennifer MacMillan

Manager – Learning Content Development<br><br>Trained in Instructional Design, Jennifer uses her skills to develop instructor-led and web-based training products as well as knowledge profiling tools. Jennifer has achieved the Autodesk Certified Professional certification for Inventor and is also recognized as an Autodesk Certified Instructor (ACI). She enjoys teaching the training courses that she authors and is also very skilled in providing technical support to end-users. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Engineering Degree as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Dalhousie University.

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