Join John Helfen for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the edit form tool, part of Autodesk Inventor 2018 Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] On the screen, you can see the base T-spline form we created in the previous movie. As we continue on through these movies in this section of the course, we'll start to sculpt this into a more ergonomic mouse shape. To begin, we need to edit the form, and we can do that by double-clicking on it in the Browser. By doing that, we enter the Freeform mode. You can tell because, on the Toolbar, we now have a Freeform tab, and all the Tools we need to edit this geometry are available to us. The one we're going to focus on and use most here is the Edit Form tool.
You can find that in the Freeform tab under the Edit panel, here on the Ribbon Bar. Really, you're going to access this most often through the right-click menu. It's the option here at the top, and when you bring that up, you see the Edit Form dialog box. And there's a lot of different things here that we could look at, but for this course, an essentials course, we're going to focus on the things that are most important, and that's essentially everything that we have in the Filters section. What the Filters will do is tell Inventor what, specifically, you're looking to edit. You have the option to pick from Points, Lines or Edges, Faces, All Faces, or specific Bodies.
We're going to start by selecting the Vertex option, or the Point option, and look at this from the top view. If we pan over, over on the right is the front of the mouse, and over on the left is the back of the mouse. We're going to begin by manipulating some of these points to begin sculpting this shape to look a little bit more like the mouse we created previously. With the Point filter selected, we can left-click and drag over several of the points here in the corner and we get a Manipulator. This Manipulator allows us to do many different things to this geometry.
If you were to left-click and drag on an arrow, you would move the vertex points that are selected in that specific direction. You also have the ability to rotate, which, when you're selecting a vertex point, isn't quite appropriate. But you'd also have the ability to move not just in one direction, but in the same plane in two directions. I'm going to use that option here, because it allows us to very easily start manipulating these points to create a more rounded edge on the back of our model. It's important to know here that there is no right or wrong answer.
At this point, we are sculpting digital clay. What you see on my screen may not be what's on your screen, and that's completely appropriate. What we need to do here is understand the process of manipulating this form, so that you can manipulate the form to fit your specific needs, or your specific design intent. Next, we're going to go ahead and select these vertex points on the other side, and use the same rectangular shape to move in that plane and go ahead and round the front off a little bit more as well. As you do make modifications, I highly recommend that you use the View Cube and your rotation capabilities to kind of move around the model and look at the results of making your modifications.
Sometimes you might select something you didn't intend on, and the shape might change in a way you didn't expect. You can always use the Undo and Redo tools here to step forward and back in your process if you make a mistake. Now I'm going to rotate to a front view, and I'm going to go ahead and select, by left-clicking and dragging over these points here at the back, some vertex points, and then I'm going to use the Manipulator to begin shrinking that down and creating a shape that looks a little bit more like a mouse.
Once again, there is no right or wrong answer here. You can go ahead and manipulate this in any way you see fit, and take some time to practice. Again, after making some modifications, go ahead and rotate the model. Have a look at what you're doing. Make sure the changes you're making are appropriate, and you can always adjust as needed. Right now, this generally looks pretty good. Up to this point, everything we've done is symmetric. I might make one more change here. I'm going to go ahead and select the vertex points up in the front, I'm going to slide them back to give a little curve or tilt on the front of the mouse.
I'm going to go ahead and select OK to get out of the Edit Form tool, and hit the Home button, and I'm going to go ahead and evaluate this model just a little bit by rotating it around, seeing what I like, and what's important here is to know that you can get in and out of the Edit Form tool at any point. We haven't left the Freeform Edit mode, and you can tell because we still have the Freeform tab and we have this Finish Freeform button on the far right of the Ribbon Bar. What that means is, while you're in this environment, you can always right-click and return to the Edit Form dialog and continue your editing process.
And I'm going to do that a little bit here. I'm going to go into a Vertex mode, or a Point mode. I'm going to move the Heads-Up Display out of the way a little bit, and I'm going to go ahead and move this point in on the corner just a little bit, so that we can round that top edge just a little bit more. As a matter of fact, if you want, we can even select a Face, and we'll go ahead and just move this face in a little bit, and make the overall curvature a little bit more defined. To see that, I'm going to rotate to the right, look at it from the side, and I'm actually going to make a little rotation, and I'm going to hold Shift down and select this face as well.
Because we have Symmetry on, when I select these, the other two faces are also selected. Just remember that. Rather than have such a sharp edge here, or a sharp curve, I'm going to use the arrow here and drag this face, or this set of faces, forward, and you can start to see that starts to stretch that face out and smooth that shape just a little bit. We can even raise those faces if we want, to help smooth that transition. Again, remember, there is no right or wrong answer. We're just manipulating the shape to our need. Once you get the shape to a point you like, go ahead and hit OK, return to your Home view, and hold Shift down on the keyboard, press the middle mouse button, just rotate around a little, make sure you like the way everything looks.
I'm going to go ahead and return to my Home view. I like where we're at, so I'm going to go ahead and hit Finish Form, and you'll see that we've returned to the Modeling environment in Inventor, and in the Browser we have Form1, and just like any other feature, you can double-click on this to return to editing it. Even after you've created features down the tree, for example, maybe you'll create a hole or a fillet or a shell, you can still always go back and double-click on this form to continue editing.
- Reviewing interface changes
- Projecting and importing geometry
- Working with Autodesk AnyCAD
- Understanding part modeling
- Building parts with placed features
- Working with partial chamfers