I have wanted to write about using Autodesk Inventor Fusion to simplify 3rd party models that are undergoing design studies in both Inventor Stress Analysis and Simulation Multiphysics. As my Fusion install was damaged, I had to perform quite arduous workflows to accomplish this. Now that Fusion is functional, simplification is so easy that I look forward to it.

imageEdit Solid

My workflow usually comes through Inventor and Vault, and subsequently I use the ‘Edit Solid’ tool. Fusion is started in a shell that is linked back to the Inventor Part. Once the operation is over, the changes are shipped directly back to the open Inventor model.

Find Features

Once in Fusion, each feature can be manually selected and, using the delete key, quickly removed. This takes a lot of time, and features are sometimes overlooked. Fusion’s ‘Find Features’ tool is wonderful. image

Once selected, a control panel is displayed that allows the user to search a component for fillets, holes, chamfers, extrudes, revolves, mirrors, and patterns. Just select the component, and pick OK. The tool then searches the part geometry for key signatures that fulfill these filters. Once detected, the features are populated into the browser. At this point the features can be selected in groups through the Browser.

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imageOnce the features are located and accounted in the Fusion Browser, the Simplify tool can be used to review these and remove them with the push of a button. Sliders for each feature type can be manipulated from the smallest to largest feature size in order to limit the feature set included in the removal. Each feature that remains in the Simplify selection is graphically highlighted on the model, making the decision process a snap.

Picking the check mark at the top completes the process. The features are then removed.

One word of warning is that you should inspect your part features before using the feature, to find areas that might not be resolved well by removing features. After the tool is used, review the features again to ensure that everything went according to plan.

Repeat Recommended

Occasionally, I do find it useful to repeat the ‘Find Feature’ step again. Often, once certain features are removed, Fusion can then identify others that it could not interpret previously. Additionally, if numerous features are found, Simplify can be run again as well.

Return To Inventor

The final step is to pick the ‘Return to Inventor’ option in the Ribbon. Fusion closes and immediately returns the adjustments to the Inventor part. Note that the ‘Edit Solid’ tool implements permanent changes to the original imported solid. Once made, the changes cannot be reversed. Having my components managed by Autodesk Vault allows me the luxury of backing up to a previous version when I’ve gone too far.

If you haven’t tried this process, I encourage you to try it. While Fusion has trouble with some features that essentially merge into infinity when simplified, there are workflows to increase the process effectiveness, and reduce a lot of struggle. More on that later.