The Sweep Tool in Autodesk Inventor creates a 3D profile (e.g. square or circle) and extrudes it along a path. With it you can easily make wires, pipes, and more. Basically, you can draw a line that can be any shape and create a three dimensional shape around it. Without further ado, let's get into the tutorial.

Step 1: Create a New Sketch

Make a new sketch and add a circle that is 10mm in diameter. Once you are done move on to the next step.

Step 2: Configure Origin Plane Settings

The next step after you have finished your sketch is to turn on an Origin Plane that will run perpendicular to the sketch you just made. We will use the XZ plane in this tutorial. Turn on the XY plane by opening up "Origin" on the left-hand side and right click on XY to turn its visibility on.

Step 3: Project Geometry

By now you should have a 10mm circle and the XZ plane turned on. The next step is to use the Project Geometry tool on the center point of the sketch. Using this tool will allow us to make a new sketch on the XZ plane that lines up with circle sketch.

Step 4: Add Another Sketch

Now it's time to create a new sketch on the XY plane. We drew a couple of arches and some lines in this sketch. The size, direction, and layout of your sketch does not matter in this tutorial as long as you don't have intersecting lines or lines that are too close to each other. If you make something similar to the image above then you should be good to go.

Step 5: Sweeping

We have two sketches that are 90 degrees to each other and fully constrained. It's now time to use the Sweep Tool. The Sweep Tool is under 'Create in 3D Model'. After you click on Sweep Tool you will notice that a circle we created is highlighted. If it is not highlighted click on it. To finish the sweep, click on the second sketch (the one with lines and curves in it) and click ok.

The second image above shows a preview of what the sweep will look like. Settings such as the type or orientation can now be changed. We will leave the type and orientation as 'Path' for now.

The third image shows what the final model should look like. Obviously, the final results will vary depending on how you designed your sketches. As you can see, Sweep is an extremely useful tool for those wanting to extrude a non-linear shape. It's important to keep in mind that the lines of the shape cannot intersect. You can create multiple planes that can be used together to create a 3D model that sprawls out all over.

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Bio: 3D Insider is a leading 3D printing publication.
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