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Assembling a Large Assembly Without Traditional Mate Plane/Plane Constraints

Gary Bergero

Recently, I've increasingly relied on the "Grip Snap" feature in Autodesk Inventor® instead of the conventional Assembly Mate Plane/Plane constraints. This shift is particularly beneficial when dealing with large assemblies containing fully constrained models that require no movement. Grip Snap proves to be a more convenient option, especially during multiple assembly revisions. Accessible from the Assemble Tab/Position Panel, it can be effectively paired with Grounded Work Points for enhanced functionality.


Here is one example of placing a SubAssembly at an exact location. I will temporarily place my yellow SubAssembly at a random location.


  1. To locate my yellow SubAssembly, I will choose “Grip Snap.” I will assemble the SubAssembly using only "Browser" mouse picks and will not need to select any geometry.
  2. 2024-feb-blog-inventor-3
  3. In Grip Snap, I will select the “Origin/Center Point” of my yellow SubAssembly shown in the above picture.

  4. Then, choose the “Free Drag” icon in the Grip Snap Toolbar.

  5. Then select my existing “Housing SubAssembly Location” grounded work point that I created earlier on my first model: 2024-feb-blog-inventor-4

  6. Then, simply right-click "Continue" and "Commit and Ground.” 2024-feb-blog-inventor-5

My SubAssembly is now "Grounded" at that location with no degrees of freedom. So, an alternative to many assembly Mate Plane/Plane constraints is to use "Grip Snap" and "Grounded Work Points" for assembling. I hope this gives you an alternative for your large assemblies.