Selfie Ring Light Tutorial #4: Front Cover

Step 3: Create a New Component

Now it’s time to create the Front Cover component.
The Front Cover has some important functionality:

  • It has to cover up and protect the electronics.
    (against spills, knocks, sharp edges, bags full of books, yikes)
  • It has to have a large hole on the inside for the phone’s front camera to shoot from inside the ring.
    (and for the ring Light lighting to work its magic)
  • It has to let the LED ring shine through it.
    (which we do by making the material very thin, and using a translucent white coloured filament)

It will live within the Selfie Ring Light design, along with any other components you create.

  1. In the Browser tree, right-click on the top-level ‘SRL mk1′ component, and select ‘Create Component’.
    This creates a new component inside the SRL mk1 parent called Component1.
    (You can create a component inside any other component)
  2. Click twice on the ‘Component1’ component, and rename it to ‘Front Cover‘.

You’ll notice that all the electronic components have become transparent.
What happened?

THEORY #1: Components?

Fusion 360 has two kinds of components;

Linked Components have been created in a separate design, and Inserted into the current one.
Internal Components have been created using ‘Create Component’, as you did in Step 3.

A linked component is usually best for existing components. (like our electronics)
An internal component is usually best when your design has several parts that need to fit with each other.

When you work on an internal component, you can see the rest of your design.

THEORY #2: Activate?

Question: If your design has more than one Component,
and you create a Sketch, or an Extrude, or anything else, which Component does it live in?

  • In the last component you created?
  • In the top-level parent component?
  • Are you wondering if you’re being asked to answer a hypothetical question?

Answer: All those things are created inside the current Active Component.
The Active Component is the destination for any new bodies, sketches, features etc that you create.
Be sure to activate the right component before you create a sketch, feature, etc.

To activate a component:

  1. Hover the mouse over the small circle next to the component’s name in the Browser, and
  2. Click on it – the circle will become filled.

What does that do?

  • Components outside of the active component become transparent,
  • The Timeline only shows the operations inside the active component.
  • New features and operations get created in the active component.

How to get back to the top-level parent component?

  1. Hover the mouse over the small circle next to the root component (eg SRL mk1) in the browser.
  2. Click on it – the circle will become filled in and the root component becomes active again.

TIP: When you create a new internal component it is activated automatically.

Warning: What if you created a sketch, insert a component, or do some other operation,
and you realise you put it in the wrong component?

If this happens to you: UndoActivate the right component. Try again.
Good practice: Check which component is active before you start any operation.

Phew! That was a lot to take in. Have a kitten break…
Image result for tech kitten

…and when you’re ready, on with the design!

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