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    by Luke Davenport

    Editing solids within Inventor?

    My old grandpappy always used to tell me – "dumb solid editing within Inventor doesn’t have to be dumb" – and despite the fact Inventor wouldn’t be invented for another 10 years, I think he was right all along.

    I often think on this priceless wisdom when downloading the occasional STEP file that might need a quick squash or stretch to get it to the right size.

    Of course if you use Inventor 2011-2013 you have the option of using Inventor Fusion for editing solids, however if – like me – you’re not a fan of waiting 30 seconds for Fusion to fire up and then searching for the command you’re after, consider simply using the easy ‘Legacy Solid Edit’ environment. This allows you to edit base solids (any non-native file imported into Inventor) with a few very simple tools within Inventor itself.

    To do this you have to enable the option as shown below in Application Options:

    Then head over to our trusty friend GrabCAD  and download a model to stretch. I’ve picked a motor model. Open it in Inventor (make sure you open it as a single part using the import options dialogue box).

    Then you’ll need a plane that you want to use as the stretch-plane – I’ve created a plane halfway through my GrabCAD downloaded motor as shown.

    Now find the base solid in the feature tree, right click on it and select ‘Edit Solid’.

    Now we are in the ‘Edit Base Solid’ environment, and we can use the ‘Extend/Contract Body’ tool to modify the shape. Remember that this is ‘Extending’ not technically ‘Stretching’ the part, but this is perfect for a scenario where I want to increase my motor feet bolt spacing by 30 mm.

    Bingo! And you’ve got your usual move and offset face tools up on the ribbon there too. Nice simple solid editing within Inventor, sorted.

    Check out the video below