How to Use Pin Connections, Another Inventor Design Accelerator

Posted on March 4, 2013 by Robert Reid, Manufacturing Solutions Engineer:

This is a longer one, so if you need definitions for Functional Design  or Design Acclerators, please see my previous entry, Inventor 2013 Design Accelerators – Functional Design…

The Pin Connection Design Accelerator is located on the Fasten Panel and calculates, designs, and performs strength checks of 5 pin joint types:

  • Securing pin loaded with shear
  • Cross pin loaded in a draw rod and a sleeve
  • Radial pin loaded with torque
  • Joint pin loaded with torque
  • Clevis Pin

Pins are designed without considering the effect of forcing into position. Stresses in shear, bending, and contact are evaluated.

Pins serve to make strong, detachable connections between 2 mechanical parts, to secure their positions accurately, and to eliminate transversal shifting forces. As a rule, standardized pins manufactured in a wide range of dimensions and designs are used.

Let’s take a look at each one.

Clevis Pin Component Generator:

In an assembly file, click on the Design Tab:

Click on the black arrow dropdown, and choose Clevis Pin:

Let’s Look at the Following Model:

Step 1 – Placement: We have 4 choices as far as placement of the clevis pin: Linear, Concentric, On a Point, or By Hole.  In this example, we will choose Concentric:

We than choose the face to Start the Clevis Pin:

Next, the Circular Reference:

And Finally, The Termination, Which is on the Far Side Of the Model:

Click to Add a Pin:

Here to can filter your selections to what standard you want to choose

For this example, we will choose ANSI:

Change Pin Size to what you need, In this Case,  ½” Diameter:

Click on the icon with the 3 Dots will allow you to Modify the Pin:

Clicking on the X, will delete the current Pin:

Clicking on the black down arrow will allow you to make a different pin selection:

At this point, I can click on the Apply button.  This will create the Clevis Pin and leave the dialogue box opened if I wanted to apply another pin. I can click OK, this will create the Clevis Pin and close the dialogue box. Or, click Cancel, and that will cancel the operation. We need to check the Strength of the Clevis Pin connection.

The Next thing we will look at is the Calculation Tab. Here we can check the Pin Design, or check the design of the Pin Joint based on Force Input Values. See Step 1 Below:

  1.  Type Of Strength Calculation
  2. Force Applied
  3. Dimensions of Chosen Pin
  4. Joint Properties
  5. Pin Materials:  The example I am using has taken the Materials of the Inventor Model and has applied them. You can change the Material by checking the User Material box and selecting a different Material. This can also be done for steps 6 & 7
  6. Clevis Material
  7. Rod Material
  8. Diagram of the Clevis Pin Connection
  9. Results Panel
  10. After Clicking on the Calculate Tab, this area will tell the end user if he is within Design Compliance. Blue Value is Good, A Red Value means the Pin Connection has faults, and values need to be changed.

Clevis Pin Design is within design compliance

Click on OK, he Clevis Pin is created:

Secure Pin Component Generator:

Same procedure as before, click on the Design Tab, and on the Fasten Panel, click the black down arrow, and choose Secure Pin:

The Secure Pin has 2 types to choose from, a Straight Bore Thru, or a Taper Pin Type.

For this Example, I will use the Straight Thru. The Placement is the same as the Clevis Pin: Linear, Concentric, By a Hole, or On a Point. I will Choose Concentric:

Click to Add a Pin:

Select Ansi:

Notice the Choices also from the Category Dropdown:

After I choose the Harden & Ground Dowel Pin, I will change the Diameter to .250”

I will also have to modify the Hole sizes in both plates to match the ¼” Dia. Pin:

The Calculation Tab is Identical to what we saw earlier:

Click Calculate – Within Design Compliance, Click OK and Generate the Pin:

Cross Pin Component Generator:

Same procedure as before, Click on the Design Tab, and on the Fasten Panel, Click the black down arrow, and choose Cross Pin:

For the Secure, A Start Plane, and an Existing Hole must be chosen. Note: The Hole must be created with the Hole Feature!

Click to Add a Pin: I chose the Harden Dowel Pin again, If need be, use the Flip Direction in case the pin was pointed in the wrong Direction:

The Calculation Tab is identical to what we have seen in the previous 2 examples!

Click Calculate, Click Ok to Generate the Pin:

Joint Pin Component Generator:

(Note: a Joint Pin in Old School Terminology is called a “Dutchman”)

Same procedure as before, Click on the Design Tab, and on the Fasten Panel, Click the black down arrow, and choose Joint Pin:

This example Has a Pivoting Arm that rotates with a shaft. That shaft goes thru a bronze ring that is Press-Fitted into a Side Frame Plate:

The Joint Pin we want to Create with is somewhere along the circumference of the shaft.

I used an Assembly Feature to Create a 1/8” Dia. Hole x ½” Dp. At 12:00 on the Shaft.

I selected an ANSI Hardened Dowel Pin, and changed the diameter to 5/16” in.

The Calculation Tab is almost identical to what we saw earlier, except of the addition of the

Loads Choices. We can now Calculate based on Power, Speed, and Torque:

Click Calculate, click Ok, and the Joint Pin is created:

Radial Pin Component Generator:

Same procedure as before, click on the Design Tab, and on the Fasten Panel, click the black down arrow, and choose Radial Pin:

Select a Start Plane, and an Existing Hole. This Start Plane and Hole that were chosen, was created in the Part Model.

Click on Add a Pin

I’ll Choose ANSI, Flip Direction if Needed, and then Change Diameter of Pin.

Hardened Dowel Pin, ¼” Diameter chosen, you can also change the Length of Pin if needed

The Calculation Tab is the same as Joint Pin, Power, Speed, and Torque can be added:

Click Calculate, if it is within Design Compliance, click OK and Generate the Radial Pin:

Note: All Pin Generators Have a File Naming Option (#1) And also the Option to Disable the Calculations Tab (#2):

Thanks for following along. Note that this tip will work for both the Autodesk Inventor 2012 and 2013 versions.  You can also take a look at my past posts on Inventor Design Accelerators:

Also check back each week because I am going to add a few more in March.


Robert Reid graduated from Middlesex College in New Jersey with a Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology. With over 25 years of Industrial Machine Design, including Wire Drawing Machinery, Plastic Processing Machinery, & Packaging Machinery, Robert has held various positions within the workforce, including, Manager of Engineering; Sheet Extrusion Dept, Manager of Engineering, Chief Design Engineer. He is currently an Autodesk Inventor Certified Expert.


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