In this guide, we will cover all the tools for annotating 3D models and components. Each tool will be covered, with in depth explanations and images to demonstrate how to use it. Annotations are an option on Autodesk Inventor to annotate components/models with: sizes, dimensions, properties and tolerance features. I hope you enjoy my guide and find it useful!
Below is a screenshot of the tool which we will cover in this guide. The purpose of these annotations is to inform a designer about specific qualities of a design, from the maximum tolerance of a component to the surface textures and general profile notes.
To create a basic tolerance feature, select the ‘tolerance’ feature from the geometric annotations option menu and select a face(s) to annotate. Once selected, a popup will appear which will ask you which unit of annotation you want to use (this will only happen if no previous annotations were made on the model). Select the scale you use with your object dimensions then click ok. The popup box on the far left will then appear, in which you select the tick to continue. Once selected, a new menu will appear, to which you will select the type of tolerance feature you want. For example, if the tolerance feature was for a hole, you would select ‘size dimension’ to make sure the hole is within a specification size. For faces, and the maximum/minimum values for manufacture on the surface, you would select ‘Geometric tolerance’. ‘Offset tolerance’ would be a feature you would use for an offset component, such as a lofted or swept handle. Once you are happy with the tolerance feature, click the tick to finish.
If you want to edit the accepted tolerance or tolerance notation of a feature, simply double click on an existing tolerance feature, and the menu options to the left will appear. If you click the tolerance icon, you can then change the tolerance by typing in a new value. To change the notation, select the character icon and type in a new character/notation of your choice. This feature also has other functions you can change, such as the extruded group (to change it to a sloping face) and Feature priorities. Once you are happy with the edited features, select the tick icon to finish.
To make sure your tolerance features are correct/up to date, simply click the ‘Tolerance advisor’ tool from the Geometric annotation options menu. This will open up the menu as shown on the far-left image. These options tell you if there are features wrong with your model, in my case I didn’t constrain some surfaces and parts on my model meaning some features like extrusions or surface inspections couldn’t be possible. To know what the problem is and how to fix it, you can right click on the problem line and click ‘more information’.
To create a dimension for an objects size, simply select the ‘dimensions’ tool from the general annotation menu and select an edge to create a dimension for, as highlighted on the far-left image. Once selected, the options menu on the left will appear. Once the dimension appears, drag it away from the starting point to make it more visible. If you are happy with the dimension generated, click the tick to finish.
To create a dimension for a hole, select the ‘hole/thread note’ tool from the general annotation menu and select then select the rim of a hole. Once selected, a blue line linked to the dimension will appear. Move your mouse to a spot where you want the dimension to be located then left click again to anchor it. Once anchored, and if you are happy with the dimensions, click the tick button to finish.
To create a surface texture annotation, simply select the ‘surface texture’ tool from the general annotation menu then select a face. Once selected, move the blue ‘root’ symbol to a point you want the texture to be represented then left click again. Textures are files which can be applied to the surface of objects to alter their appearance. These files are used to apply textures such as bumps or ridges to objects in the assembly and appearance stage. We will cover this in the Appearance and assembly guide. Once you are happy with the texture, click tick to finish.
To add text to an object linked to a dimension arrow, simply select the ‘Leader text’ tool from the notes menu then select a face or edge to start the annotation. Once selected, left click then move your mouse to the point you want the annotation line to be located. Left click again to open the text menu, where you can add any features to the text you want displayed. Once you are happy with the text, click ok to finish the text annotation.
If you want to add text to a designated quadrant on the screen, select the ‘general note’ tool from the notes menu then select a quadrant on the screen, by moving the mouse around the screen. Left click then type in the text you want displayed on that quadrant, then once you’re happy with the result, click ok to finish.
To add a specified message about dimensions or tolerance values, simply select the ‘General profile note’ tool from the notes menu then select a quadrant, just as with the ‘general note’ tool. Once selected, type in the dimension/tolerance message into the text box, and once you’re happy with the result, click ok to finish.
This is now the end of the annotations guide, and I hope the guide was helpful. You may now go back to the main menu, where you will find the component testing guide to further develop your CAD skills. Thank you again for your support.
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