from Civil to Inventor

The Autodesk enthusiast exile

Inventor – Loft Angle and Weight

Lofting….I don’t know about you, but this has been one of the things I learned to hate.  Maybe because the application seems to have more control that I do during the process, or because I had some bad experiences with 3DS 10 years ago (pre MAX).  Whatever the reason, I just never liked Lofts very much.

Lofting is an extremely useful tool.  While you can reproduce the model by other means, the pain involved would be extensive.  The Loft Feature has so much control over the process, by weighted interpolation, there is no reason not to use it.  The trick is to control the interpolation to accomplish your goal.

Today, we’ll use Angles and Weights to create a transition between 2 other features, that would normally take a bit more time and planning to complete.

In the image below, you should see the part I needed to tie into another loft feature, with a specific angle at the transition.


While a Sweep around an extruded Feature might normally get a similar job done as easily, you would need more than 1 rail, adding complexity to process.  The Right side view (below) shows the problem with fillets and sweeps.  The rear edge is offset farther than the front, and the upper edge is not a typical fillet This is a perfect candidate for a Loft.

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March 16, 2009 Posted by | 2009, 3D Features | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Civil 3D – Part Builder Part 2

Today we continue from where we left off in Part Builder Part 1.

Before we proceed, I’d like to note that a wing wall may not be everyone’s biggest desire.  I needed it, and I felt that it would proved a fairly well rounded view of things. It needs equations, and gets worked laterally instead of vertically, which make it more of a challenge.

Sitting on the axis of 2 different careers I can see this type of workflow from 2 different perspectives, and want to provide everyone with a bit more information that may have been unavailable.

  • The 3D modelers understand the construction methods.  What they need to understand is the limitations stopping them from working naturally through this process.
  • The Civil 3D techs know about odd application limitations, but need to understand how the construction methods, dependencies, and calculations work.

If you don’t get something out of this session, it will be because you already had a good working knowledge of Part Builder, or you failed to post your questions here.

The 3d Model (which is what you came for, right?) is created using the following procedures:

Create a Work Plane, Create Geometry, Add Dimensions, Add Constraints, Create Profile, Modify Dimensions, Create Modifier, and Configure Parameters.  We will discuss the first six today.

Open the part for the last session, named Wingwall Sloped.


Create a Work Plane

Let’s begin by creating the Top Work Plane.  I always like to get my Top plane in first.  Either I am working on it, or visually referencing it.

Under Modeling, Right Click the Work Planes folder and select ‘Add Work Plane…’


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November 25, 2008 Posted by | Part Builder, Pipes | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments