Autodesk introduced multi-body part capabilities in the 2010 release of Inventor.  The benefits for adopting multi-body design vary depending on the specific design and application. You may have intentionally modeled the part as a single solid master that is easier to develop as a top down solution, or you need an alteration that would be counter productive to back up and add to the overall design strategy.

In this article we’ll discuss splitting a part into two separate bodies. Later we’ll cover what to do with the two parts.

Solid Bodies

The Solid Bodies collection at the top of the Model Browser organizes these in the part file.  In the example below there is a single solid body.


I need the body split into two parts.  The Split tool will accomplish things well.  The process to split a solid into two is:

  • Sketch geometry for a profile to guide the split tool
  • Start the Split command
  • Use the ‘Split Solid’ option to select the body to split (ours defaults because there is only one)
  • Select the sketched guide profile

Split Profile Details

2D sketch geometry defines a path (profile) for the part separation.  The Split tool will part the model along the sketched axis, curve or polygon. The split profile will be projected perpendicular, above and below the sketch plane, and will cut the extents of the solid model.

*Note: You will want to be careful with open geometry profiles, as split will extend along the open axis through the entire solid until it can find ALL edges to cut.  The split will not stop at the nearest edge.  If limitations need to be adhered to, then use additional geometries to direct the Split profile.


In the example below I need to cut the arm off of this part, but I need the cut piece saved. I sketched a rectangle that represents the split edges.


Split Solid

Use the Split command on the Ribbon. The Split dialog contains three buttons along the left side represent the application option. The bottom button is‘Split Solid’.  Split Solid option will cut the solid into two, but save them both in this file. This option expects 2 inputs:  A solid body, and split profile geometry.

If there is only 1 body, that solid is selected by default, and the pick solid button is disabled. Otherwise the button is available, and the target solid will have to be selected.


Next pick the Split Tool button that will prompt for the sketch profile to be selected.  In this example I chose my sketched rectangle.


That’s all there is to it.  The application will cut the part into two separate bodies.


Model Browser

The Split Feature will appear in the model browser, and can be reordered and organized like any other feature.

The Solid Bodies collection at the top of the browser records the bodies present in the model.  A quick peek here shows two bodies now. Inventor can now differentiate between the two, making the distinction available for future modeling tasks.

Check back for more applications using the split part.

Go to the MFG-Pages