Dimension chain length

I am modeling a bicycle chain and I have a sketch of the chain-path, including rear derailleur.
I whish that, when I edit the diameter of the rear sprocket, the (bicycle-) chain length remain the same and the angle of cogwheel arm changes. As it would in real world

How can I define the chain-lenght in a sketch?

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3 Answers

I've never use the chain tool in SOLIDWORKS, so this is just my best guess:
Use a spline. A spline can be set to maintain a constant length while it is being edited.

That sounds like what you are after.

Sorry, did not notice originally that you were looking for an Inventor solution.

A regular sketch can be converted to a spline with the use of the Fit Spline tool.

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Is there nothing like a "Mechanical Routing" module inside Inventor? For belts, chains, cables, etc??

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For a simple 2 sprockets and a chain arrangement, add arc length driven dimensions for the chain wrapped around each of the sprockets. Use these arc length dimensions in an equation for the straight sections of chain. Referring to my example for this simple chain arrangement. - Unfortunately adding in the variables required for the derailleur becomes too complex for Inventor to solve. You will have to manually adjust derailleur location constraints incrementally until the chain length is correct. I've modeled many chains and belts in Inventor and have found no better way to do this.

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