I am trying to make a 3D model. It consists of a cylinder resting on an extruded ellipse as you can see in the picture below. I now want to join the top edge of the ellipse with the top edge of the circle. In a sense, I want there to be a chamfer between the side surface of the ellipse-prism and the top surface of the cylinder. However, I don't even know what tool to use. Is it a chamfer? Is it called something else? The problem is that the distance from the cylinder to the edge of the ellipse changes depending on whether you are looking at the north/south/east/west sides.

I am using Autodesk's free 123D design software.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ In solidworks it would still be called a chamfer, for whatever that's worth. Common problems creating a feature like this would be that the two cylinders don't touch exactly (have either a gap or interference.) $\endgroup$
    – Ethan48
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 17:10
  • $\begingroup$ The 123D design software is very limited. This option may not even exist to be honest. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 18:08
  • $\begingroup$ This can be done easily in MM3D. However, the result is triangulated. It exports to DXF. $\endgroup$
    – user4463
    Commented Jan 12, 2016 at 17:15

1 Answer 1


This type of feature is typically called a "loft", but I would caution you that this should be used only if needed. Lofted features will cost you a lot of money if you try to get them machined. If you're going with 3d printing it doesn't matter too much (complexity is free).

That said, here's some pictures of before:

Loft Input

And after a "loft" command:

Loft Output

When you do a loft command, it's useful to give "guidelines" that to help the program determine what path the loft feature should take to get from profile 1 (the ellipse) to profile 2 (the circle). Here I just added a straight line from the circle to the ellipse on the long (XY) and short (ZY) planes of the ellipse. If you wanted the loft to have a concave/convex ("bubbled") appearance, you would do it by altering the guide lines in this step. Note that I colored the guidelines RED here because I thought Solidworks' gray was a little hard to see.

enter image description here

Finally, use the loft command. Assign the circle and ellipse as the "Profiles" and the guidelines as the guidelines, then accept the output.

enter image description here

The process is similar in Autodesk Inventor, which I could show if you wanted, but I don't have (have never used) 123D, so I can't speak to whether or not that package has this tool.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a great answer. Thanks! I saw the command before, but was not sure how to use it. I looked at a youtube video and I will attempt it now. $\endgroup$
    – PJazz
    Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 19:24
  • $\begingroup$ Great answer, the additional bit about costly complexity really makes it. +1 $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2016 at 20:28

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