Using the Free Move Command in Inventor: Part 1

The Free Move command allows you to freely move parts and subassemblies that normally would not move due to their relationships with other parts in the assembly. The command also has a feature that displays relationships as an elastic band, allowing you to diagnose problems or figure out design intent.

In the window, click and drag the Ram on the Arbor Press to move it slowly up and down. Notice that as the Ram moves, the lever arm rotates. It appears as though the teeth on the backside of the ram are engaged with a gear inside of the assembly, but let’s find out for sure. You will use the Free Move command to pull the assembly apart and examine the relationships to see exactly what is going on here. On the ribbon, Assemble tab, Position panel, select Free Move.

Using the Free Move Command in Inventor:  Part 1

The Free Move command allows you to pull the assembly apart and examine the relationships.

Click the Ram and drag it to the left of the Arbor Press assembly. Notice the rubber bands. These are visual indicators that show what the Ram is related to. Hover the cursor over the lower end node of the rubber band. The tooltip that displays tells you that the Ram is connected to the Arbor Frame part with a one Mate and one Flush relationship.

Using the Free Move Command in Inventor:  Part 1

There is also a rubber band going over to the Pinion Shaft. You can see that the relationship there is a Rotation/Translation. You found it! This is the relationship that is causing the movement. However, there is one more constraint to the Ram, and it does not have a rubber band leading to it. You can see its glyph on the Table Plate below the Ram. Hover the curser over the glyph to reveal its relationship information.

Using the Free Move Command in Inventor:  Part 1

You can see that there is a Mate to Mate relationship named Height with a distance of 1 inch. Click to expand the little plus icon (+) next to the Table Plate part in the browser to expose its feature tree. Notice at the bottom of the tree is the Height relationship, and that that relationship is suppressed. That iss why you do not see a rubber band to that constraint. Press ESC to exit the Free Move command, then right-click the Height relationship and select Suppress to unsuppress the constraint.

Join us next week for Part 2!

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