Autodesk Inventor surfacing. Applying surface continuity

In the pursuit of creating sweeping organic surface models, we now turn our attention to Autodesk Inventor’s tools for applying continuity to the surfaces themselves.

In the last post, we talked about applying constraints to 2D geometry to create clean inputs for surfaces. In this post we will talk about applying continuity to the surfaces themselves.

The first concept to understand is that there is no surface continuity options when creating a surface from a sketch. You will only find surface continuity options available to you when creating  a surface from another surface.

In the illustration below I have created a sweep between two construction surfaces.

Autodesk Inventor sweep dialog with surface continuity options

To apply continuity to these surfaces, we need to switch to the ‘Conditions’ tab in the sweep dialogue. The edges that we used to create our sweep can be seen in the dialogue, and we can apply continuity using the drop downs for each edge.

Autodesk Inventor surface conditions

The drop down options for each edge allow you to apply surface continuity to maintain specific relationship between the two surfaces (If you are not familiar with the meaning of G0, G1, G2 & G3 surface conditions, check out this post).

  • The ‘Free’ condition will maintain a G0 relationship between the two surfaces, the surfaces will always touch whatever inputs you change.
  • ‘Tangent’ is equivalent to a G1 condition, the two surfaces will touch and be tangent.
  • ‘Smooth’ will maintain a G2 relationship between the two surfaces, the two surfaces will touch, be tangent and have the same curvature where they meet..

Note: Keep your eyes peeled for the surface conditions options in Inventors other feature modelling dialogues, such as boundary patch and fillet.

The surface condition options are not always very obvious, but they are extremely useful to know about when building surface models (here are five more hidden surfacing commands you may also not be aware of!).

Sadly There is no G3 surface condition in Autodesk Inventor. To maintain a G3 relationship between surfaces, you will have to create guide geometry to control your surface.

Click here for more Autodesk Inventor Tutorials!

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