With the Autodesk Inventor 2015 release there are some really cool improvements. One improvement I find rather handy is the new improvement they have added to The Sketch Environment. In a sketch you can now activate what’s known as “Relax Mode”.

What relax mode does is, once active it enables you to override or remove some existing constraints by clicking and dragging lines and points or adding dimensions or even adding constraints, however you cannot override and remove dimensions by adding constraints.

Relax mode can be activated in the sketch in two ways. Firstly you can press F11 to turn on the Relax Mode and then press F11 again to turn it off. You can also select the icon at the bottom of the screen as shown below.

Inventor Relax Mode 01

The relax mode setting can also be adjusted. This means that you can go as far to select what constraints will be removed when dragging lines in relax mode. So this will give you more control over how relax mode works.

To get to these settings, you can just go to the constraints settings icon and then the Relax Mode tab.

Inventor Relax Mode 02

So I’m going to just show you a small example of using the relax mode.

In this example I’m just going to create a simple box, then show how the relax mode will enable to me to very easily make some changes and adjustments.

Bellow you will see the constraints that are on the sketch, I’m going to leave my constraints on during the duration of the Relax Mode altering to more visibly see what’s going on with the constraints. To turn constraints on and off you can press F8.

Inventor Relax Mode 03

Now I’m going to turn on the relax mode with F11 and adjust my settings as below.

Inventor Relax Mode 04

I’m then going to make a few changes to the block. I’m going to click and drag the top left corner.

You will notice as you drag the corner the dimensions will change accordingly as well as the constraints that are going to be removed will be shown with a pink box around them as below.

Inventor Relax Mode 05

Your dimensions will also react according to how you placed them, so in my case I dimensions from the top left “Point” to the bottom left “Point”, that is why the dimension transferred to an “Aligned” dimension. So when I let go the result is as follows.

Inventor Relax Mode 06

Notice which constraints are left.

However if I add the vertical dimension between the top and bottom horizontal lines, the dimension reacts as below.

Inventor Relax Mode 07

When the dimension is displayed as a pink dimension when dragging lines it means that when you let go, the pink dimension will not change whereas the others will. So when I let go the result is as follows.

Inventor Relax Mode 08

Again notice which constraints remain.

I can also add an angle constraint between the bottom horizontal line and the left vertical line, to change the sketch and constraints. I’m going to add an angle of 110 degrees as follows.

Inventor Relax Mode 09

As soon as I click to apply the angle dimension the following box appears, informing you that the dimension will over constrain the sketch, however now when you read further you will see what’s going to take place as a result of adding the dimension in relax mode, whereas without relax mode it would have caused an over constrain error.

Inventor Relax Mode 10

If you are happy with what adding the dimension will do to the sketch click ok and then you will need to add in the dimension you wish to make it and click ok.

Inventor Relax Mode 11

See the result below.

Inventor Relax Mode 12

Notice how the previous dimensions do not change.

I hope this post helps you get going with using relax mode, practice with relax mode will help you understand when to is and also which settings to use for which scenarios.