Often times a design calls for a custom-made version of a standard component. When it comes to gears, springs, and fasteners, many standards exist for a wide variety of design needs. However, when a standard part does not fit your design, an entirely new component must be created. The process for designing a gear or a spring is nothing new, but requires some mathematical heavy lifting. Luckily, Inventor has a solution which makes generating mechanical components quick and easy, leaving you with more time to focus on the less streamlined parts of mechanical design.
If you are unable to find a part that fits your assembly from the Content Center, simply navigate over to the Design tab. Here you will find tools for generating frames, fasteners, power train components, and springs. Opening one of these tools will bring up a dialog box where you can enter the parameters that your design requires. These options are versatile based on your constraints and you can easily select which parameter will serve as the independent variable in the calculations. For instance, if a design for a spur gearset requires a fixed distance between axles, simply use “Center Distance” as your Design Guide. If you also need a specific gear ratio, use “Number of Teeth”. You can then enter your parameters into the active textboxes, while the greyed-out options will display the calculated dependencies. The familiar selection buttons allow you to select where to place the newly generated components, which will be saved in the same location as your other components in a subfolder called “Design Accelerator”.
The Calculation tab displays the performance calculations of your design in a single neat window. Standard engineering notation is used to express values for directional loads, stresses, and design factors. Design Accelerator generated components are directly compatible with assembly constraints and adaptivity, making them easy to add to any assembly. Rotational constraints can be used to analyze the interaction between two gears, and adaptive parameters can simulate extension of a spring. Collision detection can also be utilized on components such as gear teeth and cams to realistically simulate their dynamic interaction.
This is just a glimpse of the many types of components that Design Accelerator can generate. So, whether you are modeling an existing standard component for your database or making something new altogether, Design Accelerator is the tool to use.