Creating an Image Floor Plan

To begin with, a Floor Plan within your model is not necessary. You need something to tell you the size of your room or rooms, but that could be a sketch on a napkin. For this example, I was given an image that was created by some unknown architectural program. I will insert it into a part, scale it to size, and use the information within the image to create the models.

 Importing an AutoCAD floor plan is another option, as well as creating one from scratch in Inventor. Those options will likely be covered as tutorials in the Forum, but again, you don’t really need to have a floor plan in your model, you just need the information to get the rooms and cabinets to the correct size.

To create a floor plan from an image, first, save an image of your floor plan in the modeling folder.

  [level-advanced]Now start a new part (.ipt), and create a sketch on the XZ Plane (Top). Name the sketch Floor Plan. Multiple levels can be created by creating more sketches on offset planes. With the sketch active, use the Image command on the Insert panel to bring up the Open dialog. Choose your floor plan image in the Modeling folder…


Place the image roughly in the center (use the centerpoint as a guide), then use the Horizontal Constraint and Vertical Constraint tools to center the image around the origin…

For instance, select the Vertical  Constraint Command, then select the Center Point (small yellow dot) and the center of the upper dashed border line…

Now do the same horizontally, and your sketch should read 3 dimensions needed (lower right). One of these needed ‘dimensions’ is to constrain the sketch horizontally or vertically in relation to the origin planes. To do so, get the Vertical Constraint command again, and simply click on one of the vertical lines surrounding the sketch…

Now it’s time to figure the scale. To do so in this case, I created a Two Point Rectangle  on the center point, and dimensioned the rectangle to the dimensions shown in the drawing on the image. The top dimension on this drawing are 11’ -9” and 12’ –10”. Instead of doing the math, we can just enter the two dimensions with a plus sign and have Inventor add them up…

After dimensioning the rectangle, the image looks like a speck of dust in the center…

Start re-sizing the image by grabbing a corner and dragging it. The image will re-size proportionally, you will not stretch it in one direction more than the other…

The faint blue lines are the rectangle it needs to fit snugly inside of the walls in the drawing, but as you can see, the floor plan is not centered within the image. Now that we have things to roughly the correct size, we can delete the horizontal and vertical alignment dots made earlier. To do so, just zoom in, click, and hit the Delete key for each (we would not have been able to resize without constraining the image first) . To make the next step easier, drag the image out of the way, window select the rectangle, right-click, and select Properties. Change the Line Color to yellow, and the line weight to 0.079…

Line up one of the corners as close as you can by eye, then dimension from the edge of the rectangle to the edge of the image horizontally and vertically…

Then dimension the image top of the image and tweak things until the rectangle fits as good as it can.  The model will only be using the image for a nice visual effect that the architect should like. All of the critical dimensions are from the dimensions in the drawing and other sources such as PDF’s or field dimensions. With the image in place… 

The lines can now be changed to something less conspicuous, and the dimension visibility turned off –after you jot them down because you need to dimension the first room configurator to these same dimensions —– 300.5” East to West, and 556” North to South.

With the floor plan complete, I need to place it into the master assembly –Medical Depot.iam. To do so just click the Place command on the Assemble tab, and place the Medical Depot Floor Plan.ipt. Now go to the productivity panel, choose Ground and Root from the drop-down, then click on the file just placed. Slowly double click the name of the new file in the browser, and remove the number suffix along with its colon. Then right click the file and choose BOM Structure > Reference. Turn of dimension visibility for the sketch if you haven’t already.

The next tutorial will show how to place and configure the rooms. [/level-advanced]

Posted in Advanced Tutorials