You can use the Loft tool to create complex shapes defined by cross-sectional profiles. This tool interpolates the shape of the body between the cross-sections you specify. For more control over the shape in between the profiles, you can create guide curves and make use of connection points.
To learn more, explore the sections below.
Understanding Loft elements
Elements of a loft include cross-sectional profiles, optional guide curves, and control points. Learn about the different loft elements below.
Profiles can be faces or sketch regions that represent cross-sections of the completed shape. There must be a minimum of two loft profiles — one located at the beginning of the shape, and one at the end of the shape. Additional profiles can be defined between the start and end profiles as necessary.
Note: Loft profiles can only be single closed cross-sections. Two cross sections from the same plane or intersecting cross sections cannot be used.
Connection points are automatically generated between loft profile vertices. They help identify how the vertices from one profile are mapped to the vertices in the next profile. Connection points can be dragged to modify how the vertices are mapped. Making changes to connection points will often introduce twist into the loft feature, or can remove twist. Connection points will not be available if guide curves are specified for a loft.
Guide curves are an optional loft element. They can be used to control the shape of the loft in between the loft profiles. You can use sketch curves or edges as loft guide curves.
Note: Make sure to connect the guides to the cross sections. If the guides are not intersecting with the cross section curve or they are inside the cross section, the loft will fail.
Using the Loft tool
Follow these steps to use the Loft tool.
Create the necessary loft elements:
- For the loft profiles, draw closed sketches on separate planes.
- Optionally, sketch guide curves that intersect every cross-section.
Go to Tools > Loft.
For other methods of accessing this tool Accessing tools.
- Select the loft profiles. If more than two profiles are being used, select them in the order they should be connected.
If necessary, adjust the loft connection points
If necessary, select the loft guide curves.
Note: When using Loft from the adaptive menu, select an empty area of the grid to complete the tool.
To manage history settings for the Loft action, find the step for your specific loft and then view or modify the following:
- Start Tangent Continuity – Select the dropdown to choose between a None, G1, and G2 start tangent continuity.
- Start Tangent Magnitude – Enter a value for the start tangent magnitude.
- End Tangent Continuity – Select the dropdown to choose between a None, G1, and G2 end tangent continuity.
End Tangent Magnitude – Enter a value for the end tangent magnitude.
Learn more by watching the video below: