Find us on Google+ Redefining a Sketch or Workplane in Autodesk Inventor ~ Inventor Tales

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Redefining a Sketch or Workplane in Autodesk Inventor

"If at first you don't succeed, redefine success."

I've done it before.  I've been working on a part that is nearly symmetrical, but not quite.  I draw a profile on a face, extrude it, and it's then that I realize that I should have put it on a different face.  

Usually there's a bit of profanity at this point.

In cases like this, many of us would just redraw the profile on the new face, and carry on.  And  there are cases where this "cut bait approach is the fastest way to complete your task.

But if there's been a significant amount of work put in the sketch, this may be "less than appetizing", so to speak.

What to do if this was accidentally built on the wrong face.

In cases like this, there is another, little known tool that may be an option for you.


So what makes this tool special?

Redefine is selected by right clicking on a sketch or workplane and choosing "Redfine".

Selecting Redefine to move the feature

After activating the tool, a new face can be selected, much like when a new sketch or workplane is created.

Moving the sketch and the feature.

The sketch or plane will attach to the new face, bringing nay geometry with it.  The sketch may have to be rotated and moved to get it correctly placed on the new face, so there may be a little bit of work involved on the "back end".

Some repositioning may be required.

That's why I say there will be cases where it's easier to rebuild the geometry.  Redefine won't necessarily "Redefine" how you approach ever sketch (pun intended).

But what it does do is give you another tool, when faced with having to get geometry from one face to another. 

So while there may be times when it's easier to recreate geometry, there may be those other times when redefine saves you the trouble of having to recreate a lot of geometry.

So keep keep it close, and use it wisely!

I've attached a video for redefine below, take a look! 

And if you have any suggestions, or places where you've used Redefine, leave a comment!


  1. Jon,

    As a rule I generally only put sketches onto planes instead of faces. The plane can be attached to the face. This in a lot of cases means you can redefine the plane to another face and the sketch remains perfectly intact, assuming the sketch was constrained to projected geometry which can still be 'seen' from the planes new orientation & location.

    Its a small extra step which can save you a lot of angst just when you need it.



    1. Unique approach, Scott!

      I use the part face myself, but I can definitely see why you would take the extra step to save time later!

      Good tip!


    2. Anonymous10:35 AM

      Scott seems to have a better approach.

    3. Scott is a very astute, and rightfully respected member of the Inventor community.

      I see a lot of merit in his approach and if you prefer it, I encourage you to use it!

      Thanks for the input!