Why you need to learn the Direct Edit tool in Autodesk Inventor
In the last several years, there hasn’t been a lot of ground-breaking additions to most 3D CAD software. One of the more recent Autodesk Inventor developments in the last couple years has been the addition of the “Direct Edit” tool. This recent addition can be used to edit models independently of any feature history. This means you can edit models that were developed natively in Inventor, or imported as basic solid geometry from another CAD system. The Direct Edit tool has a variety of functions including:
- Moving faces or solid bodies
- Sizing faces
- Scaling solid bodies
- Rotating faces or solid bodies
- Deleting faces
The “move” function has a “snap to” option where you can select geometry or a plane to set the new face termination distance. Of course the default “offset” distance” is also available. The “size” function allows for offsetting geometry, but there is also a diameter option that works particularly well with cylindrical shapes like hole or shaft sizes. There are also functions within the tool to re-align the “triad” which allows for movement or rotation to be aligned with any edge or face in the model.
Once a model has been edited with the direct edit tool, you will notice that it will be documented in the model browser where it can be editing like any other feature in the Inventor model browser. Each of the direct edit sessions will be listed as separate features in the browser, and each feature can be expanded out to modify any of the functions applied.
Overall, this is a tool within Autodesk Inventor that is well worth learning.