Inventor shape generator is a feature that was introduced in Inventor 2016. It is a technology which allows you to take away material but still keep it’s integrity under a load case. You can find the feature on the 3D model panel in the Explore panel.
When you select the Shape generator feature it will open the analysis tab and if you have played around with the FEA that Inventor Pro has to offer, you will see that there many familiar tools available to you.
Create study, assign material as well as your loads and constraints are all options available in the FEA and are imperative when creating a simulation study. Once these have been applied to your various geometry on your part, you will then decide how the shape should be generated., is it symmetrical and what areas should be preserved. Once these choices have been made, you can mesh the component just as you would when running an FEA study.
Once the mesh has been generated, the loads and constraints are applied and the simulation is run. Inventor will then analyse which material on your part is critical and give out a mesh shape of it. If you are happy you can generate this shape and use it in your sketch environment to project the geometry and by extrude cutting, take away the material that is not critical to get your new shape.
So with shape generator you can cut down costs for manufacture by getting a shape that has less material but will take the loads that you need to apply on your part.
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