Blob House With Door OpenImage Credit: Forgemind Archimedia

Recently, Mike started off our Inventor 2015 Deep Dive series with a great post on the new sketch features in Autodesk Inventor 2015. You can find that post here. He made reference to the “sexy” new Direct Editing and Freeform surfacing tools but didn’t elaborate as he wasn’t the lucky author who drew the longer straw, I was. So here we have it, the second post in the series which explores the new features that Mike finds…… sexy.

Now unless you’ve had your head under a rock for the last little while, you’re bound to have heard that Autodesk have thrown some great new toys in the Inventor box this year in the form (no pun intended) of Freeform bodies and Direct-Edit model manipulation. We covered the announcement right here on Design and Motion, but in this article we go a little bit deeper and take these new technologies for a spin.


T-Splines technology, in the form of Freeform bodies, has given us an entirely new way of creating organic forms (like the one in the title image) in Inventor. The tools that Autodesk have built allow very simple conversion from the t-splines body to a solid body, which you can perform all of your normal solid editing operations on. You can also go back and edit the original freeform body just like you would with any other history-based feature.

In the video below, I’ll take you through the basic tools and how to use them.

Direct Edit

Direct edit opens up a whole new set of workflows for Inventor that transform it from a history-based modeller to a true hybrid. The implementation of this technology has been well thought out, and combinations of multiple Direct Edits as well as the way they affect each other, behave in a logical way. This video demonstrates the new Direct Edit technology with a simple example.

Stay tuned for more posts on the other new tools in Inventor 2015.