Skeletal Modelling in Inventor 2016

Using skeletal modelling means that you can create basic sketches which drive constrained work skeletalfeatures that are derived throughout a whole design. One of its main advantages is that not only does it allow simple assembly or component creation, but it is easy to modify your design.  Even if the constraints fail, you can easily re-constrain the work feature and move forward with your design.

In the skeletal modelling method, you firstly put all known factors into a skeleton file, and then you use it as a base for most of the sub-assemblies and parts that make up the assembly.

A skeleton file can contain any type of element in any combination. The following is typical information created in a skeleton file:

  • Sketches These define the concept of the final product, or use as a layout of different areas of the assembly.
  • Work geometry These define important connection points, axial directions, and work planes that define assembly levels.
  • Parameters These define important values for part size, angles for placements and other

known values for the design.

  • Solids These define volumes for final assembly as a single part or for defining subareas of the design.


How to use skeletal modelling

This is one of the most common ways of working, called Common Origin.

Firstly create a single part model; this is called the skeleton, and it consists of base sketches. These sketches will reflect the layout of the assembly components. Position your sketches to reflect the position of the components in the assembly.

Then you need to include construction surfaces, work features, and solid geometry to be used as feature terminations or reference geometry during assembly component modeling.

Establish all critical parameters in the skeleton part, naming the parameters appropriately and mark them for Export.

Use ‘Make Part’, from within your layout, to create a component in your target assembly. Select the sketches, work geometry, features, and bodies to derive into the component. The new component is grounded at the assembly origin.

Continue to model the primary features of the component from the derived geometry, adding additional features as needed

Repeat these steps for all components defined in the skeleton model. To change the assembly, edit the skeleton part, then update the assembly to reflect the changes in all components affected by the skeleton part.  You can avoid crowding the highest-level skeleton with too many sketches and features, derive additional skeleton parts from the master skeleton to represent or add details for sub-assemblies.

Cadassist offer a range of training courses in Autodesk Inventor, visit our website for more information.  We have Inventor Essentials courses coming up on 16th November and 14th December 2015.

Contact our team on or call on 0845 872 5555 for more information.  For more news, updates, hints and tips you can follow Cadassist on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

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