By Jennifer MacMillan
It has now been one month since Autodesk University 2017. I am now sufficiently rested, I am all caught up on the work I missed, and I can honestly say that I loved yet another experience teaching a great group of eager students. I thought that with this blog post I would answer a fantastic question that I got at the end of my class.
For those of you that didn’t make it to Las Vegas, Autodesk has now posted all the classes that were recorded. For my specific class, Assemblies: Putting It Together in Fusion 360 you can click here to view it.
Question: Why when I use the Distributed Design method of multi-component design in Fusion 360 can’t I create a Joint Origin in my design?
Answer: With the Distributed Design method of multi-component design you are inserting previously designed components into a top-level design. The components used in the top-level multi-component design were created in other design files and all of their design information is stored in that file. In the top-level design the inserted component is read-only. You cannot add a Joint origin at this level. You must open the single design on its own and add the joint origin there. Once added it will be available for use in the multi-component design. For my student, he wasn’t interested in selecting the two placement references in the same design. He wanted to create a joint origin between two components that had been inserted into the multi-component design, similar to that shown below.
Unfortunately, because the references that would be picked are stored at a lower level, this cannot be done. To constrain this component, I had to determine the midpoint distance value between the two brackets and use an offset value equal to that value to properly position the axle. For Inventor users, this is possible which is likely why he was struggling with doing this and expected it to work.
To expand on this a little further, consider other ways of creating multi-component designs.
- For designs that use a file directly from the McMaster-Carr Content Library, joint origins can be created in the top-level assembly because the component is stored in the top-level assembly and you have write access.
- Using the multi-body design method, joint origins can be created in the top-level assembly because the components were created in the context of the top-level design and you have write access to each component. Additionally, you can select references that exist on different components.
I hope that this helps explain!
There are a lot of fantastic classes now live on AU Online, if you wanted to simply search the classes that Autodesk has posted, click here . Enjoy!