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Inventor - Frame Generator – Using Model Geometry

March 14, 2022


When placing frame members using Frame Generator, we need a skeletal template to attach the frame members to. This is the foundation for building Frames in Inventor using the Frame Generator tool.

In recent years, Autodesk has included the function to allow users to attach frame members to model geometry to reduce the design times.

Below I have created a quick example showing this functionality for you to try out. I have created a quick model of a roll cage for a racing buggy.


1. I created my 3D model of the external shape of the safety cage.

2. The part model is then saved and inserted into a blank assembly.

3. Start the Frame Generator tool and save if prompted.

4. Now you can place the frame member just as you would with a skeleton sketch model but using the edges of the solid model instead.

5. Save the frame assembly and note that a skeleton ipt file is being created automatically.

6. Make the changes necessary for the assembly, like mitres and notching.

7. Finalise the frame design and save as normal. You now have a frame assembly directly linked to model geometry.

Making changes to the Frame assembly can be quicker using this method, as additional frame members can be added by including sketches on model faces instead of having to create work planes etc.


8. Editing the original model file, I can add a sketch to the front left wing to add some stiffness and support.

9. Creating a sketch of the webbing to add the frame members to the assembly.

10. Using the Split tool, I can split the face into section to give the edges I can add frame members to.

11. Using the new sketch, I can add my new frame members and then save my frame assembly.

12. One last thing to mention is to set the template model to reference in its Bill of Materials setting so that the skeleton model doesn’t get added to the bill of materials.



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