by Bryce Ochoa, March 3, 2016

AVA Closer Look: Shape Generator

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In a previous post, we followed up on the AVA session What’s New in Inventor 2016 R2 which explained two new additions to Inventor 2016 in the R2 update: Force Effect and Shape Generator. Last time we went over Force Effect, so today we’ll take a look at Shape Generator

To start off, let’s get into how using Shape Generator can benefit not only an engineer, but a company as a whole. Shape Generator takes in your design specifications and creates the most efficient design possible for your part. You can easily make changes at any point in the design process as well. This helps take a product from the design stage to the production line faster than if you were to go through the traditional route of trial and error. Where Shape Generator really shines is in removing mass or material from designs, meaning reduced material and shipping costs.

So let’s take a look at how it works. Using the assembly below, I’ll show how we can redesign the highlighted plate at the top using Shape Generator.


First, open the part you want to redesign in Inventor 2016 R2.

To access Shape Generator go to:

3D Model tab > Explore > click Shape Generator


Inside of Shape Generator assign the specific material types, necessary constraints, load forces and pressures, and designated regions to be preserved. In the sample below, I’ve highlighted the regions to be perserved and marked where the constraints and loads are applied.



You can then go into Shape Generator Settings and designate how much of the mass needs to be removed and how refined the mesh will be. Once the necessary info has been input you are ready to generate the shape.



Once the program is finished generating the shape you can see all of the material that can be removed from the part. In the top left corner you’ll see the Original Mass, the New Mass, and the percentage of mass reduction.


You can then overlay the resulting mesh with the original body by selecting Promote Shape.


The resulting overlay looks something like this.


The next step is to then create a sketch on the face of the part and outline your new shape based on the shape generator results.


You can then subtract the areas of excess material and the resulting shape is a lighter, more cost effective, and ideal shape for the part.


By using less material to make a product it will reduce the overhead cost. Not to mention it could eliminate the need to create multiple expensive prototypes of a product. Shape Generator and Force Effect are just a few of the applications within Inventor that can help to solve costly manufacturing issues. To try Shape Generator out for yourself download and install the Inventor 2016 R2 update and see how you and your business can benefit.

Did you miss this or other AVA sessions? Check out our YouTube channel, where we have all our past sessions, and see what you’ve been missing. See you Thursday!

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