When designing a complex part in Autodesk Inventor, it’s a good idea to save time whenever you can, as long as you are not sacrificing quality. Using the Mirror tool to instantly produce parallel or near-parallel structures in parts is one way you can streamline the drafting process.
In today’s post, we’ll look at how the tool works, some of its options, and how you can start to truly take advantage of the edge it offers in industrial design. After all, there is no reason you should manually draw every line on a part when you can do half and have the program perfectly copy the rest.
This tip is adapted from our new Autodesk Inventor 2015 Tutorial Video course by Adam Cooper, which features a full 9 hours of beginner-focused training. To watch Adam run through Mirroring in realtime, you can watch the video at the bottom of the post.
Simplification through Duplication
To bring up the Mirror tool, go to the Pattern panel within the 3D Model ribbon, highlighted below. To download the sample project and follow along, click here.
By default the Features selection tool (highlighted in red, below) will be enabled, which will let you choose model features in your workspace by clicking them. To confirm you have selected all of the features you want to mirror, you can look to your model browser on the left (highlighted in yellow) and, holding the Control key click on additional features you want to add or remove.
Once you’ve made your selections, choose the Mirror Plane feature from the Mirror toolbox and select the plane on which you’d like your parallel features to be placed. To make things more precise, you can choose a plane from your Origin folder in your model browser.
Once you’ve aligned to the proper plane, simply click OK to complete the transformation.
If you want to mirror your entire solid part, choose the unlabeled Solid icon from the Mirror toolbox, shown below.
Next choose an axis plane as you did before, and when it is adjusted as you’d like, click OK again.
To see author Adam Cooper demonstrate the whole process step by step, watch the free video from Chapter 9 below. For more information and free videos, check out the Inventor 2015 training page.