Which is the better tool when putting an assembly together, joints or constraints. Myself being a long time user of Inventor I am so into constraints it just is not funny. On the official front, Autodesk has stated that it is a newer better faster way of modelling in Inventor. Is this true?
I have been working on a project recently which really pushed Inventor with the amount of parts that were present in the final design. When putting the assembly together, I must admit that there were times where Inventor was extremely slow with constraints. This is one of the reasons that I tried using joints and I found it decreased the time waiting for the parts to join together and solve vs using constraints.
So why are joints so unpopular with the masses? The one reason could be because it does not behave like constraints. Once you have selected the 2 components to join together it will do a simulation of the joint that you have specified. Now this is great and fun when you start with joints but it wastes a lot of time. You should really switch this off by deselecting the Automatic Playing option.
The second thing that bugged me while I was trying to constrain components that it sometimes moved the part even though it was constrained with other parts. When using constraints this does not occur. You might get frustrated with this but this is how it is intended to work.
When selecting the parts, you need to do it in the correct order. The one that is going to move needs to be selected first.
The third thing that bothered me with joints is that it did not always keep the orientation of the part that I brought in and even if I tried move the part it would not go to the position that I wanted. The last part that you need to understand when working with joints is that you will not get away with just adding joints. Use it in conjunction with constraints.
My final thought is that joints are a great way to get out your assemblies in a timeous manner whilst still using it in conjunction with constraints so that you get the correct placement and movement within your assembly design.
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