When you import a SAT or STEP file into Inventor we all know you end up with a featureless solid body. If the need to edit this solid body arises, we may turn to a variety of tools including the new Autodesk Fusion 360. Some will right click on the solid and select Edit Solid.
I would like to suggest you look instead to one or more of the following Inventor commands.
- Delete Face (with or without the Heal option)
- Sculpt (using the Boundry Patch command first to enclose the area)
- Move Face
- Replace Face
My model to demonstrate with is a converted Autodesk Mechanical Desktop (MDT) part. If you have not tried the new ability to add MDT parts directly to your Inventor 2014 assembly, keep an eye out for my upcoming Cadalyst Tech Tip.
Adding features to a solid is the same process that would be used in the development of any part. The problem is in the removal of features. In my example I would like to remove two of the flange holes to create a four hole pattern. I have seen CAD users actually model a slightly larger extrusion over the existing holes to remove them. This will work but there is much easier methods.
One of the easiest methods is to treat the inside face of the existing holes as faces and use the Delete Face tool to remove them. Be sure to check the Heal option to fill in the hole.
Using this method, you can select as may holes as you desire at once. Another method to remove cutouts is to use the Boundry Patch command to place a surface over both sides of the opening. Using these two surfaces and the wall(s) of the cutout, the Sculpt command, with the Add option, makes quick work of filling in the area. This may be an easier method of filling in multiple face cutouts but it is your choice, the Delete Face command works as well.
If you need to move a feature, the Move Face command is simple and effective. In my case, I need to move the housing inside shoulder. Do not forget you can reposition the triad to get the required results. Moving solid body holes to new precise locations is also an easy task using this tool.
The Replace Face command is an easy method to move a solid face and add most any desired shape at the same time. Simple create a surface of the face shape you desire, position it in relationship to the existing solid face and execute the command. My new face is pretty simple and you are probably saying I could do this using other methods. It becomes a better method as the new face shape becomes more complex.