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    By Gus Petrikas 

    Importing / Opening a part file in Inventor and finding a Surface body can be confusing. You expected to get a Solid part that you can work with, but instead, all you see is this transparent shape in your viewport.

    No need to panic. Let’s clarify what a “Surface” really is.

    A Surface body is an object that has no volume, only surface area. Meaning that you wouldn’t be able to fill that object with water. There is a missing/non-existent surface somewhere and your object is leaking water.
    A Solid body is an object that has a volume. It’s a closed shape, meaning that it would contain an exact amount of water (depending on the Volume of the shape).

    Converting a Surface into a Solid means giving the object a Volume, “closing” the shape.  

    This short tutorial will demonstrate a few ways of how you can turn you Surface body into a Solid body.

    When you first import/open a surface object in Inventor it will be displayed as a transparent, coloured thin-body part.

    What I prefer to do first is make the surface object opaque. Right-click on the surface object in the Browser and untick Translucent

    Now, to the important part – getting the surface converted to a solid body.

    One of the ways of doing that is using the Thicken / Offset tool. Select all faces (more options in the More tab), select the thickness and hit OK.

    Now because your surface has a thickness, it becomes a solid, as it now has some volume.

    Going back to the surface stage, another way of turning your object into a solid is by using the Patch and Stitch commands.

    Select the boundary edge of the area that you want to “close”, and hit OK. Automatic Edge Chain should help you select all the connecting edges.

    Now that you have a closed shape, all you need to do is make it “water-tight”. Use the Stitch command to combine your newly created patch with the remaining surface to create a new solid.