Attributes and Named Geometry in Autodesk Inventor

January 5, 2021 Randall Mabery

Attributes are tags on Inventor entities that are used to retrieve those entities to accomplish such actions as constraining components, applying appearances, adding drawing dimensions, etc. 

Inventor entities can have a AttributeSets collection which holds an AttributeSet object.  The AttributeSet object holds the Attribute.  You can use the AttributeSet object to categorize various attributes.

Prior to Inventor 2019 there was not a way to access attributes through the Inventor interface.  You would have to use the API to access, create, use attributes was thru the API.  This made the use of attributes more difficult to use and prohibitive to some users. 

Named Geometry was initially released in Inventor 2019.  This allowed users to access attributes through the Inventor interface by the following steps:

  1. Right mouse click on geometry that you wish to assign an attribute to
  2. Select Assign Name.. from the contextual menu
  3. Enter the name into the Entity Name dialog box
  4. Click OK

I always suggest using names that fully describe the entity.  This makes it much easier later on to code to rather than trying to remember what Face12 is.

Once you have created Named Geometry, there will be an additional tab in the iLogic Browser called Geometry.  This is where you would go to change visibility of the tag, rename, or delete the Named Geometry.

Named Geometry creates an AttributeSet object named “iLogicEntityNameSet” which contains two attributes:

  • A string attribute named “iLogicEntityName” with a value of what you entered in the Entity Name dialog box upon creation of the Named Geometry. 
  • A string attribute named “iLogicEntityNameFeatureName”.  To be honest, I cannot find any reference to the value that Inventor assigns to this attribute.

Named Geometry can be used as part of the various iLogic snippets.

The Relationships (Add) category snippets use Named Geometry as the entity that would be selected while creating a constraint.  In the image below, AddMate snippet is shown and the highlighted arguments are where the Named Geometry would be called out.

In Inventor 2021, the new iLogic Capture Current State tool in the drawing environment will add Named Geometry (if it does not already exist) in order to add annotations to your drawing.

If you are looking to advance your automation then you should definitely look into using Named Geometry and attributes.

About the Author

Randall Mabery

I love the technology, thoroughly enjoy helping people find solutions and believe in the software. I train individuals in the use of Autodesk design software such as Inventor and AutoCAD. The most satisfying part of my job is working on automation solutions for clients, assisting them in streamlining their design process and automating tasks.

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