Chances are if you’re reading this you’re an Autodesk Inventor user. Chances are if you’re an Inventor user you probably know a thing or two about tolerances of parts.
Planning for manufacturing tolerances on a single part is a breeze, but once you start working with an assembly, things can get a little bit messy. Traditional practices for analyzing assembly tolerances mean endless excel spreadsheets or even notes on the back of napkins at the coffee shop you’re designing your parts in.
In terms of good engineering practice ranked from best to worse, this falls pretty close to the bottom.
Excel spreadsheets leave plenty of room for error in your calculations… and Autodesk Inventor users have another option – called Inventor Tolerance Analysis
What is it?
Inventor Tolerance Analysis is exactly what it sounds like, a CAD-embedded tolerance stack-up analysis solution for assemblies. It’s a one-dimensional tool that reports out on the fit and tolerance of assemblies from Inventor.
Stack-ups is able to automatically capture the relationships in an assembly model. If you’re an Inventor user that works more with Model-Based definition, you’re even able to change the tolerance values directly in the software.
Why You Should Use It?
As a useful tool, Inventor Tolerance Analysis ranks up there in the design and manufacturing process, but you shouldn’t take my word for it. You can likely already access your own design practice and determine how this tool might fit into your workflows.
If you ever work on a product that has more than two components, then tolerances likely matter to you in some degree. Tolerances on the manufacturing floor can mean everything to your design’s success. It’s this key risk in the design to manufacturing process that Inventor Tolerance Analysis aims to circumvent.
Being able to see the actual tolerance stack-up of an assembly before that product hits final approval is crucial – and Inventor Tolerance Analysis is more accurate than any handmade excel spreadsheet. Oh, and it also boasts an in-canvas workflow, so you don’t have to switch between programs.
At the end of the day, Inventor Tolerance Analysis is a based-in-reality practical tool for the everyday mechanical designer. It can and will help you save on costs by reducing manufacturing issues, minimizing warranty issues, and ultimately get you through the design process faster than ever before.
As engineers, we’re constantly seeking the next little thing that can optimize our workflows and our designs even further. I’d pose, that if you’re not using Inventor Tolerance Analysis, it might be the next optimization you were looking for…
Learn more about Inventor Tolerance Analysis here.
Trevor is an experienced marketing and content creation professional who has spent his entire career helping engineering technology companies reach their customers through digital media. He currently works for Autodesk on the Digital Aquisition Team where he’s responsible for social demand generation for the AutoCAD and Design and Manufacturing families. You can also see his written engineering marketing content on InterestingEngineering.com, Curiosity.com, and other sites across the web.