Testing the Autodesk Labs Thread Modeller for Inventor Plugin

This month’s Autodesk labs ‘Plugin of the Month’ is a handy tool for turning Thread Features into a realistically modelled threads.

If you haven’t heard about Autodesk labs, and the Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) Plugin of the month, find out more here.

If you want to try the Autodesk Inventor Thread Modeller you can try it out for yourself by visiting Autodesk Labs ADN Download Page.

Edit: The Autodesk Inventor Thread modeller plugin has been taken over by ‘Cool Orange’. It is still Free and is available from the Autodesk App store.

The test subject – An Andre Roubo inspired Twin Screw Wooden Vice.

An Autodesk Inventor Model of an Andre Roubo Wooden Twin Screw Vice

To save on memory and computing power Autodesk Inventor uses a clever graphic system to represent threaded features without having to model them in 3D. The threaded features show correctly as simplified threads in drawings, and can be called out via Inventor’s thread Annotation tool.

But what if you want to show mechanical motion or analyse your models for stress? There are any number of reasons why you might want to create realistically modelled threads.

Autodesk Inventor makes Modelling 3D Threads pretty easy, but this tool from Philippe Leefsma of the ADN makes the process even easier.


The Thread Modeller Plugin

After installing the Thread Modeller for Inventor Plugin, an additional tool will show up in the Part environment:

Tools > Thread Modeller > Controller

The Autodesk Inventor Thread modeller Plugin Button

Clicking the ‘Controller’ Button starts up the Plugin. Next, you simply need to Select a thread feature that you wish to convert.


Tip: The thread feature must be selected in the Part Feature Browser. It cannot be selected in the Graphic screen.

The Autodesk Inventor Thread modeller - Select Thread in Browser


The 3D Thread is Automatically Created

Pretty neat Huh!


An Autodesk Inventor Model of an Andre Roubo Wooden Screw


The Autodesk Inventor Thread modeller - Features are automatically added

The original Thread feature is automatically suppressed and the new features that are required to make the  3D Thread are added.









Selecting Multiple Threads

You can select multiple thread features to convert. Notice that that Internal and external threads are automatically recognized.

The Autodesk Inventor Thread modeller - Selecting Threads in Browser
This close up view of the internal threads shows the cut extrusion for the Garter.

An Autodesk Inventor Model of an Internal Thread



The Autodesk Labs Plugin of the Month is designed to be an opportunity for professional and amateur programmers to show there stuff, and give examples of good programming technique to those learning how to write programes for Autodesk products.

Phillippe has provided a plugin that transcends this remit. I for one feel that this tool is useful enough to be added to the main product!

Well done Phillippe!


If you would like to hear about another Autodesk Labs plugin of the month read ‘ Autodesk Labs plug-in for 3D Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing


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