Introduction: How to 3D Model an Acrylic Plaque Base in Autodesk Inventor by Aaron Kreimer
Hello! My name is Aaron Kreimer and in this Instructable I will be teaching you how to 3D model an acrylic plaque base in Autodesk Inventor. For the purposes of this Instructable, I will be using the measurements and models of my own switches, batteries, plates, screws, and other materials. If you plan on making your own plaque base in real life after 3D modeling it, you may need to adjust your measurements accordingly.
Step 1: Modeling the Main Body
In this portion we will model the main body of our plaque base.
1. Create a rectangle that is 12.5 x 4 inches. Next, extrude it 2 inches.
2. On the back face of the main body, create a reference line that is 1.25 inches long off of the top right corner of the face. Then, off of the line create a rectangle that is .25 x .3 inches, and extrude it through the entirety (all) of the main body. This is our acrylic divet.
3. On the bottom of the main body, create a rectangle 1 inch out and .4 inches down that is 1.2 x 2.1 inches and filleted .125 inches. Then, create another rectangle that is .9 inches apart from the first one. Extrude them both .9 inches inward. These will be our battery pockets.
4. Now we will create a pocket for our switches. On the face in the XZ plane on the far side of the acrylic divet, create a rectangle that is .75 x 5 inches and filleted .25 inches. Our reference lines are .5 inches up and 1.125 inches out from the bottom right corner. We will the then extrude this .06 inches. Then, 1.772 inches out from the right hand side our plate hole, we will make a rectangle that is .75 x 2.4 inches. We will then extrude this rectangle 1 inch inward.
5. We will now connect all our pockets through channels, so that we can deliver the wires from the battery pockets to where our switches will eventually lie. To link our battery pockets, we will make a small rectangle which when extruded through will join our pockets. My rectangle is .45 inches up from the bottom and .2 across. In the next pocket, we will create another small rectangle that is .25 x .2 inches and extrude it 1.5 inches. Now, we will change the View to “Shaded with Hidden Edges.” We will then draw a rectangle along the cut marks which, when extruded, will cause our channel to meet with the pockets for our switches.
6. Back on the bottom face of the main Body, we will create a rectangle that is 3.5 x 11.5 inches, using reference lines that are .5 inches out and .25 inches down. We will then extrude this rectangle .2 inches inward. Now, from the corners (indicated by where the cursor “snaps green” when hovered over) we will create 4 circles with .25 inches diameter that are .25 inches out and up, and extrude these .5 inches inward for our screw holes.
This completes the model of the Main Body!
Step 2: Modeling the Switches and Their Plate
To begin with, it is important to note that we will be modeling the switches and their plate in the XZ plane. It is paramount that you work in the XZ plane, otherwise it will be much more difficult to make our final assembly.
1. Begin by making a rectangle that is .65 x .946 inches in the XZ plane and extrude it .66 inches. Now, on the top face of your extrusion, create a reference line that is .325 inches up from the center. Then, draw a circle with the center as the end point of the reference line that is .47 inches in diameter. Extrude this circle by .33 inches. Finally, create another circle using our newly extruded faces center point which is .315 inches in diameter. Extrude this circle by .275 inches. This will be our first switch.
2. Again in the XZ plane, create a circle that is .443 inches in diameter and extrude it .113 inches. Now on the top face of our new extrusion, create another circle that is .31 inches in diameter and extrude that .215 inches. This is our second switch which will help to create our circuit.
3. Lastly we will create our plate to put our switches in. Begin by creating a rectangle that is .75 x 5 and filleted .25 inches. Extrude it .06 inches. Now, create a reference line from the right side that is is 1.5 inches. Draw a .47 inch diameter circle whose center point is at the end point of the line. Extrude this circle all the way through. From the left side, draw a reference line that is 2 inches long. Draw a .31 inch diameter circle whose center point is at the end point of this line. Extrude it all the way through.
We have now completed the switches and plates!
Step 3: Modeling the Bottom Cover
We will now model the bottom cover for our base. We will be working in the XY plane.
Begin by making a sketch of a rectangle that is 3.5 x 11.5 and filleted .125 inches. Extrude it .2 inches. Now, exactly as we did when making the screw holes in the main body, draw reference line which are .25 inches out and up/down from the “snap to green” center points. Now, from the end points of the lines draw 4 circles which are also .25 inches in diameter and extrude them through the entirety of the plate.
Step 4: Creating an Assembly of the Switches in Their Plate
Create a new assembly. Now, under place, select the files for our 2 switches and their plate. Now select the constrain button and set the type to “insert.” While the Constrain window is open, select the lower most select-able face of a switch and then select the bottom of the plate. It is especially important to note that the translucent arrow should facing downward. Repeat this process again with the other switch.
Step 5: The Final Step: Creating an Assembly of All the Parts
Create a new assembly. We will be placing the assembly we just created of the switches in the plate, the bottom cover, and the main body into this assembly. Bring up the Constraint window and select either face of the bottom cover and the and the bottom face of the main body. Next, select the “Free Move” command and make sure the screw holes are flush with each other by rotating the main body. This will ensure that our bottom cover is center with the bottom face of the main body. Repeat this step with the switch plate and its hole in the main body.
And Viola! We have successfully 3D modeled an acrylic plaque base! Did I forget to mention that I made it at Techshop in Pittsburgh?