Indent Overview

The indent feature creates an offset pocket or protrusion feature on a target body that exactly matches the contour of a selected tool body, using thickness and clearance values to create the feature.

Depending on the body type selected (solid or surface), you specify the clearance between the target body and the tool body, and a thickness for the indent feature. The indent feature can deform or cut material from the target body.

The indent feature uses the form of the tool body to create a pocket or protrusion in the target body, so more faces, edges, and vertices appear in the final body than in the original body. This differs from the deform feature, where the number of faces, edges, and vertices remains unchanged in the final body.
The indent feature shape updates if you change the shape of the original tool body used to create the pocket.

Indent is useful in many applications where complex offsets with specific thickness and clearance values are required. Some examples include packaging, stamping, molds, press fits for machinery, and so on.


  • Either the target body or the tool body must be a solid body.
  • To indent, the target body must be in contact with the tool body, or the clearance value must allow for a protrusion through the target body.
  • To cut, the target and tool bodies do not have to be in contact with each other, but the clearance value must be large enough to create an intersection with the target body.
  • To indent (cut) a solid with a surface tool body, the surface must completely intersect the solid.

    Solid target body and surface tool body

    Surface must cut solid body completely

    Select side to keep
    Result of indent cut using a clearance value
  • Conversely, you can keep the surface after indenting with a solid tool body.
    Example of keeping a surface indent using a solid tool body - 2mm clearance
    Resulting surface indent with clearance
    Conversely, you can remove the solid tool body from the surface indent
  • The only indent combination not permitted is a surface target body and a surface tool body.