The Autodesk Labs team just love to keep on giving. This week sees the release of a new tool for converting mesh objects to solids.
If you regularly need to use Catia, JT or STL files inside of Autodesk Inventor, then check out this new tool that might just help you out.
Autodesk Labs – Autodesk Inventor mesh enabler
Autodesk Inventor 2012 onwards can already import many mesh formats. Whop-de-do! but what next? Well – next up is the ability to convert those meshes into water tight solids.
The Autodesk Inventor mesh enabler preview plugin is available to trial until January 31st 2013 from the Autodesk Labs web site.
Lock and Load
The download contains a zipped file with .EXE installers for both Inventor 2012 and Inventor 2013. Just unzip the folder and run the exe for your version of Inventor.
Now you need something to test. There are some sample files that you can download on the labs web site. Once you have your test files, open Inventor and click on the big ‘I’. Select ‘Open’ and ‘Open’ again.
In the open file dialogue, pick the file type you wish to import from the drop down list – or select ‘all files’. Select the file you wish to import, and chose ‘Open’.
The mesh file is loaded into a new part.
Converting the Mesh to a base solid
To convert the mesh into a more useful solid, simply right click and choose ‘Convert to base feature’. You will be presented with a few options, including converting the mesh into a solid or surface, and deleting the original mesh.
The final result! A solid feature, ready for you to start working with.
As you can see from the illustration, the mesh converting tool doesn’t do magic. The end result is still faceted, like a mesh would be. However this new base feature behaves as a solid allowing you to add in place features, such as holes.
You could also process this solid further by taking it into Inventor Fusion.
How was it for you?
Is this a useful tool? Do you think that you could make use of it? If you have something to say – please leave a comment or join in the discussion on the Inventor mesh enabler discussion forum.