Autodesk Inventor, Assembly techniques for woodworkers: The ‘Top Down’ or ‘In Place’ modelling technique.

This post follows on from my previous post on ‘Assembly Techniques for Woodworkers’.

I have written this tutorial to demonstrate the Top Down or In Place modelling technique. To help help woodworkers visualize this technique, I have based it on a familiar item in any workshop – a shooting board.

Shooting Board Modelled in Atodesk Inventor

This tutorial will show you how to create a simple assembly model with Autodesk Inventor, using the ‘In place’ modelling technique.

Using the in place technique, we will start with an assembly file and then build each part inside the assembly. This tutorial also demonstrates how to use ‘Adaptive’ parts to control the size of an assembly model from one base part.

This article is aimed at novice users. However I am assuming that you are familiar with the concepts of parametric modelling, and that you’ve had some time to explore the Inventor user interface.

In this tutorial we will use the following workflow:

· Create an Assembly

· Create a new Part ‘In place’

· Add parameters

· Create a sketch

· Constrain the sketch

· Add a sketch based feature (an extrusion)

· Change the look of a part

· Create the next part

· Link the parts together to create an adaptive Assembly
Bonus – you can now watch these tutorials on Video as part of Autodesk University Virtual 2012 (may require a free login). Here’s the link:

Download “Shooting Board” – Downloaded 2304 times – 1 MB

6 Responses to “Autodesk Inventor, Assembly techniques for woodworkers: The ‘Top Down’ or ‘In Place’ modelling technique.

  • Antonio
    8 years ago

    Hi Paul!! Thank you so much for this and all your tutorials!! I’m beginning with Inventor and they are very usefull… I just need to improve my English and I will become an Inventor Master!!! just kidding… ;-)

    I will follow your steps!!

    All the best

  • Veronica
    8 years ago

    Thank you so much for this! I’m coming from Inventor, SolidWorks, etc. to Fusion 360, I’ve been going a little (okay, a lot) nuts attempting to get an assembly together. It obviously hasn’t been working, because I’ve been attempting to do the bottom-up design that I know and love in a program that does top-down design! This explanation and the video links are very helpful, and I shall hopefully get everything sorted out soon! Thank you very much!

    • Hi Veronica,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you found it useful! Fusion 360’s ‘Top down’ design approach is pretty nifty for concept design, when you don’t know quite what you’re modelling yet!

      I recently presented a webinar on Fusion 360 for my employer, Graitec UK. I’ll post a You Tube link of the recording here when it’s been uploaded.


  • William Spier
    13 years ago

    Hey Paul,

    I love woodworking, and I although I am in the AEC (Architectural, Engineering and Construction) division at Autodesk (i.e. not the MFG – Manufacturing) division, Inventor is bar none, still my favorite Autodesk product. Being we have those two major interests in common, I thought it would be neat to stay in touch. If you would like that too, please send me your email address and I will add you to my contacts.

    All the best,