This tutorial is to take 123D captures (or other meshes) and convert them to editable solids in Inventor using the following workflow:
Autodesk Mesh Enabler
Step 1: Take a 123D Capture
Grab Autodesk's 123D app to capture the geometry of whatever it is that you'd like to model. Use your phone to take photos and upload the model for your to download to your computer.
Step 2: Use Meshmixer to Refine Capture
Once you've got your capture downloaded, use Autodesk's Meshmixer to import the capture.
1) Refine the capture to include only the pieces you want to keep for your design.
2) Convert the part to a solid.
3) Play with the different edit commands to create exactly the geometry you want and make sure the dimensions of the piece are correct (size and units).
4) When the design is ready, reduce the mesh density down to somewhere around 15,000-25,000 facets, or less. This depends on your machine and versions of software, but play around to get the most detail possible with the lowest facet count. The next step recommends <5,000 facets, but more is possible.
*Optional: 4B) You can try to repair/heal your solid model directly in Meshmixer, but I had mixed results.**
5) Export from Meshmixer to an. STL file.
Step 3: Use Netfabb to Repair Your STL File
Go to the Netfabb website to download software that will allow you to repair any gaps in your model to create a solid that Inventor will be able to recognize without errors. You can skip this step if you feel confident in your heal/repair in Meshmixer. I recommend it anyways, it's easy.
1) Import .STL file
2) Select Repair>Automatic Repair.
3) Export .STL file.
Step 4: Download Mesh Enabler
Go to the subscription app page for Autodesk's Mesh Enabler, which allows you to convert a mesh to a solid base feature once your file is imported into Inventor. Just download the app and close Inventor. When you restart Inventor, it will be automatically embedded in the program.
Step 5: Import Into Inventor and Convert to Solid
Finally , the moment we've been waiting for...
1) Open Inventor and create a new part.
2) Import your .STL file.
3) Select the mesh and right click to select convert to base feature.
4) If your model turns a dark color and you see the yellow cube feature icon, you're done! Model away!
4B) If your model turns light grey, you probably have some gap in your mesh that you need to repair. Try Netfabb again, tweaking repair parameters.
4C) If conversion stalls or crashes Inventor, you probably need to reduce your facet count in Meshmixer.