How to create embossed shapes in Inventor

Embossed vs Extruded

So you might be wondering what is so hard about creating embossed shapes or text in Inventor. You just draw your shape and extrude, right? Well, that may be true for flat surfaces, where the starting plane will match the extruded plane along both axes, but what about curved surfaces, where their height of the extrusion is not uniform? We can see from the images below that a simple extrusion will not do the trick.

So here’s how to create an extrusion to give an embossed effect on a non-uniform surface.

Step 1

Start by creating a workplane that is below the lowest point of your curved surface. It need not be accurate as the defining feature is the extrusion distance.

Step 2

Draw the shapes you wish to emboss on the plane you just created. You can draw anything you want in 2D mode and adjust it accordingly. For this example, I have added some text.

Step 3

Next, create an offset surface using the desired base surface. To do this, you can use the thicken/offset tool in your modify tab in the 3D modelling workspace.

Choose the datum surface. This is the surface you wish to create an offset from and from which the offset distance will be measured.

Choose the desired direction, in this case, I wanted an upper boundary so I chose an offset away from the top surface instead of into the surface.

Input the desired height of this offset and click okay.

NB – Ensure surface mode is toggled, otherwise it will be using the thicken feature.

Step 4

Now simply extrude the shape you drew, but pay attention to the extents. Start by clicking on the extrude tool, then:

  •  Select the drawn shapes/text.
  •  Choose the direction of the extrusion, in this case, upward.
  •  Select the output type as join
  • In the distance options, select “to” and click on the offset surface


Click OK to complete the extrude and you will have your embossed shape.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

About the Author


About the Author