Setting Up ASME Standard Hole Clearances

Guest post by Tanner Dant

I recently came across a new challenge while working in Inventor. By default, Inventor does not include ASME standard clearances in the hole command, and I needed to use them for my project. A little internet sleuthing showed me a way to add data to the hole command dialog, and set up Inventor to include ASME data.

Inventor’s installation includes an Excel spreadsheet that contains information from the various standards it references while making holes. When the hole command is called, Inventor reads the spreadsheet and populates the dialog box with the data it finds. By simply adding a new worksheet, a user can customize what options are available in the hole command dialog box.

The spreadsheet can be found in the “Design Data” section of your Inventor installation. By default, the file path is “C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor <Version>\Design Data\XLS\en-US\clearance.xls”. Once the spreadsheet is open, you’ll be able to quickly see which Excel columns correspond to which hole dialog options. Here’s a color-coded guide:

Click me for higher res version

So then, if you want to add a custom table for your own hole sizes, all you need to do is copy one of the existing worksheets and repopulate it with your specifications. Once restarted, Inventor will do the rest! Here’s the result of my ASME customization:

Click me for higher res version

As you can see, the resulting clearance hole has adopted the new value I added from the ASME standard.

Note that the clearance spreadsheet has a value in cell B1, “Sort Order -1”. In my experimentation, the order of the worksheet tabs at the bottom of the workbook dictate the order that the standards appear in the hole dialog box. However, I also changed the sort order value in B1 just to be safe, and recommend you do the same.

About the Author

Tanner stumbled into the world of CAD Design almost by accident, trying to solve customer problems in the building industry. He cut his teeth using SketchUp, back when it was a free Google offering, and has since become an Autodesk fanboy. He is living proof that you can learn to do anything on YouTube.

Check him out on LinkedIn (but not too closely, he’s married)