Any Vention assembly can be created in three basic steps. This example illustrates assembling the corner of a table.
First create the structure from extrusions. Placing extrusion ends in close proximity displays a connection selector, with short keys to allow easy selection between possible connection configurations.
Second, place the assembly plates in position. When plates are placed in close proximity to possible connecition points, the plate will snap into one possible position. Short-keys allow for quick swaping between possible positions.
Finally, add the finishing components, such as caster wheel, stepper motors, rubber bumper, etc.
Start each assembly with a structure of extrusions.
Select the part from the part browser by clicking the part icon. The part will stick to the mouse. Bring your mouse into the scene.
To place the part into the scene, click the left mouse button. The part will change color to blue, indicating it is in place. If you hover your mouse over the part, a panel displaying basic part information will appear.
Connecting parts is made easy using your mouse. Connection is possible at any point on the part that a fasterner could affix. The number of possible connection points appears in red, in the lower right hand side of the interface.
Select a second extrusion and hover one end near the first. A connection guide appears, displaying a set of possible connections. Each option is represented by a letter short key. By pressing these short keys, the second part will snap into position. You can also use left and right arrow to toggle between connection options.
Once the second extrusion is in the desired position, press the left mouse button to connect. Now the extrustions are connected. Both parts appear blue.
Once the structure is in place, add the assembly plates and end components to complete your design.
This process should be very intuitive. Assembly plates will connect into the most likely connection options, and the helper displays short keys for rapid switching between the options.
Once in place, press left mouse button to connect the plate to the extrustion. The plate will turn blue once it is connected.
A few tips and tricks
You can preassemble smaller assemblages, and then connect these together later on. It is recommeded to build complex machines in this way: start with sub-assemblies, and then compose these to make a more complex design.
The Machine Builder features Undo (CTRL + Z) and Redo (CTRL + Y). You can count on these commands, and you'll use them a lot as you fine-tune your machines.
Delete is pretty self explanatory: it removes a part from the scene. Select the part with your mouse, and press the delete key.
Delete is an essential tool for more complex manipulations. Use it to slice existing an assembly into multiple parts. Or use it to resize an assembly by, for example, deleting an extrusion and then replace with a longer, or shorter one.
Extrusions can serve as temporary scaffolding during the building process. Use scaffolding to align parts or to rotate parts in the scene.
For example, if you wanted to place extrusion in the scene with the length aligned vertically, you will need to use scaffolding. The Machine Builder does not have a part rotate feature (yet). Instead place an extrusion on the floor. Attach a second extrusion, perpendicular to the first. Now delete the first part, and viola! you have a vertical extrusion.