Autodesk Inventor 2011 (Part 4) – Move Face and Automatic Blending

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In Inventor 2010 there were two ways you could use the Move Face command. Using (1) a direction and distance; and (2) two points in a place. In Inventor 2011 a new option has been added – something called Free Move. Basically you pick faces and move them freely. You do that my means of the triad gizmo. You can translate faces along the 3 axes of the triad or rotate them about the axes. At the end of the Free Move operation a new Move Face feature is added to the bottom of the feature tree.

Free Move is best explained by a video. Take a look at this video I captured.

Notice that I selected only two faces to move – the outer and inner cylindrical faces. The adjacent fillets were automatically moved along with the faces to maintain topology. Moreover, the two faces were part of two different features in the feature tree. The outer cylindrical face was created by an Extrude Boss, whereas the inner cylindrical face was created by an Extrude Cut. And last but not the least, the two faces and the adjoining fillets I just moved were actually part of a circular array of features. It is important to note that moving faces around like this did not break the array or destroy the two Extrude features. The design intent is not lost because the feature tree is intact. Just that a new Move Face feature has been added to the bottom of the feature tree. If I delete the Move Face feature from the feature tree the model and all the intelligence in it is returned to the state before I moved the faces.

The video above shows another of Inventor 2011’s enhancements – something called Automatic Blending. If you noticed, towards the end of the video, I hovered the mouse over a few faces to highlight them. Inventor automatically added the blends in the portion where the features interfered with each other. Automatic blending is also enabled in the Thicken/Offset command. Take at a look at the figure below.

The face in blue is the one I have selected to offset and the green curves show a preview of the intended offset. The figure below shows the blends automatically added by Inventor. Pretty neat, I’d say.

Of course, you can turn automatic blending off if you wish to add the fillets yourself.

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