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    by Chris Turner

    Since Inventor 2012 is even more flexible with importing from other CAD systems, I have noticed quite a few recent support queries regarding imported components that don’t appear in the IDW or DWG drawing views.

    Believe it or not, this is ‘AS DESIGNED’ in the Inventor Software! 

    Okay, so what is actually happening? 

    When importing data from other file formats, sometimes the results in Inventor are ‘Surface Bodies’. This is especially the case when importing IGS files. Like all translators, this all largely depends of course on how the IGS files were output from the native system and what OPTIONS you used when you imported the model into Inventor. Remember there are many different file formats that can be used, but always remember those all-important OPTIONS that can help you.

    Using (ACIS) SAT files, DWG files, STEP Files and native CAD format files instead are often less hassle and easier to use in order to get a ‘Solid Body’ directly into Inventor. IGES is a fantastic translator, but keep in mind that it has many tools within it and some knowledge is typically needed to get the best results for you. 

    If you are in a situation where you do have models that have been imported into Inventor as ‘Surface Bodies’, you may want to try an alternative format mentioned above, however Inventor does come to the rescue with its Surface Repair Environment should you need to fix models and stitch them into Solids.

    The bottom line when using Inventor’s Drawing Environment on imported models, is that ‘Surface Bodies’ are excluded by DEFAULT in the views you create. Hence why they don’t show up but everything else does. If you are happy working with the imported data as surface geometry, you can include these surfaces in your drawing, but simply right clicking the part in the browser and  selecting ‘Include All Surfaces’.