Preferences: Inspire

Define preferences for mouse controls and options related to how information is calculated and displayed.

CAD Import Translator

Choose between a CT or Spatial reader.

By default, CATIA and STEP models use the Spatial reader.

Preference Description
ACIS (.sab, .sat) The default reader is CT.
CATIA V4 (.model) The default reader is Spatial.
CATIA V5 (.CATPart, .CATProduct) The default reader is Spatial.
IGES (.iges, .igs) The default reader is CT.
Inventor (.ipt, .iam) The default reader is CT.
PTC Creo (.asm, .prt) The default reader is CT.
UG NX (Unigraphics) (.prt) The default reader is CT.
SolidWorks (.sldprt, .sldasm) The default reader is CT.
STEP (.step, .stp) The default reader is Spatial.


Preference Description
Surface Thickness: Define the default thickness used when creating surfaces.
Fillets Radius: Define the default radius used when creating fillets.
Chamfers Distance Angle: Define the default distance and angle used when creating chamfers.

Distance Distance: Define the default distance 1 and distance 2 values used when creating chamfers.

Part Replace Auto Position: If Auto Position is enabled when doing part replacement, Inspire reads the internal transformation of the part within the CAD file to position the part within an assembly. If this option is turned off, it reads the part in where the part was created, generally (0,0,0).
Partition Default Offset: Define the default offset used when creating partitions.
Parts Select to maintain part orientation when moving to a new assembly.
Autofind Select to automatically find features upon entering tools.

Export format: Select either ASCII or Binary as the export format for STL files.

Export subdivision quality: Increase the level to create more triangles by splitting existing ones, maintaining the original geometry.


Import Format: Select whether to convert to PolyNURBS or mesh when importing OBJ files.

Import from CAD File Fastest import:
  • Off (default): Use Check and heal (check each part and only heal when necessary) when importing CAD.
  • Without diagnostics: The fastest CAD import option.
  • With diagnostics: Turn on the ability to run a diagnostic test on the imported model to review issues with parts. For more information, see Clean Up CAD on Import.

Import hidden parts: Select Yes to import hidden parts that exist in some CAD formats like Catia V5. Note that importing hidden parts makes the import slower.

Healing: When importing a CAD model, choose how the application repairs geometry issues.
Note: Healing is not available when the Fastest import options, Without diagnostics and With diagnostics, are turned on.
  • Check and heal: Check each part and only heal when necessary.
  • Always heal: Heal all parts without checking.
  • No heal: Do not heal any parts.

Split cylindrical faces: Enable this option to trim CAD cylinders on import.

Save to CAD format Ignore deactivated parts: When saving a model as a Parasolid, IGES, STEP, ACIS (.sat, .sab), STL, VRML, or Evolve (.pn) file, use this option to indicate whether to include parts that have been deactivated. This setting does not have an impact when saving as Inspire PolyFoam .imod files.

Save parts in current positions: Select the checkbox to save parts in their current positions without maintaining transformations relative to the assembly. This simplifies the model structure when you import the data into your CAD system.

Parasolid export version: Select the version of Parasolid that Inspire exports to. By default, files are currently exported to 28.1.

SimSolid: Face Faceting Parameters

SimSolid uses lightweight facets to represent part faces. Assembly, part names, and hierarchy are retained. Default facet settings should be sufficient for most geometries, but adjustments can be made. The following faceting parameters are used to control tessellation:

  • Resolution: The Standard, Enhanced, and Fine options will calculate the face faceting parameters automatically. Select Custom to input each parameter manually.
  • Chordal deviation (mm): The maximum distance between the actual part surface and the tessellated surface.
  • Angular deviation (deg): Influences the tessellation of curves with relatively small radii in comparison to the overall CAD model.
PDM (Product Data Management) Select the check box to Check for updated parts at a regular interval as specified in the Timer (minutes) field.


Preference Description
Recovery File Create recovery file: Select this option to attempt to recover your model if the application closes unexpectedly, such as during a loss of power.
Recovery Playback Step-by-step recovery on right-click: If this option is enabled when you load a recovery file, it allows you to right-click to progress through the sequence of actions that preceded the crash. You can resume the application normally at any time during the step-by-step process.

Mouse Controls

Preference Description
Zoom Speed Use to change the speed when zooming with the mouse.
Presets This option defines the pan, view, and rotate controls assigned to the left and right mouse buttons, so they are the same as used in another application.

Presets mouse controls for Inspire can be edited. To restore the preset values, click Use Defaults in the lower left corner of the Preferences window.


Preference Description
Visualization Tessellation edge deviation: The maximum distance allowed between the edge and the geometry used to approximate it for rendering. A smaller deviation will result in better graphical quality but slower system performance.

Tessellation surface deviation: The maximum distance allowed between the surface and the geometry used to approximate it for rendering. A smaller deviation will result in better graphical quality but slower system performance.

Enable fading effects: Select this option to make a part slowly fade away when you hide it. We recommend that you deselect this option when working with large assemblies to improve performance.

Show section cuts in part color: Show section cuts in the same color as the parts.

Load labels: Select which constraint types are visible in the modeling window.
  • Show Only Forces and Pressures
  • Show All
  • Show All with Magnitudes (default)
View Cube Show view cube: Define when the View Cube is visible in the modeling window.
Position: Define the position of the View Cube in the modeling window.
  • Lower Left (default)
  • Lower Right
  • Upper Left
  • Upper Right

Show axis arrows: Display the x-, y-, and z-axes on the View Cube.

Geometry: Define the View Cube's shape.
  • Chamfered Cube (default)
  • Simple Cube
Show View Cube rotators: Define when the View Cube rotators are visible in the modeling window.
  • Mouseover (default)
  • Always
  • Never
Show View Cube reflectors: Define when the View Cube reflectors are visible in the modeling window.
  • Mouseover
  • Always
  • Never (default)

Increment angle: Define by how many degrees left- and right-clicking the arrows incrementally rotates the view. By default, left- and right-clicking increments by + and - 15 degrees.

Mass Calculation

Preference Description
Mass calculation Right-click the column header in the Model Browser and select Mass to view masses. To improve overall performance, when a CAD file is imported the mass sizes are not calculated and are shown as ** in the Model Browser. Click the Calculate button to display the mass.

Move Tool

Preference Description
Free Move: Show angles when editing tool position By default only the X, Y, Z coordinates of the Move tool origin are shown in the microdialog. If this preference is selected, the angles are shown as well when editing the tool position.

Collision Detection

Preference Description
Check for collisions Define whether Inspire PolyFoam should check for collisions between all parts, no parts, or only parts that specifically have collision detection applied.