Offset an Object

Offset an object to create a new object whose shape is parallel to the original object.

For example, if you offset a circle or an arc, a larger or smaller circle or arc is created, depending on which side you specify for the offset. If you offset a polyline, the result is a polyline that parallels the original.

TipAn effective drawing technique is to offset objects and then trim or extend their ends.

Use OFFSET to offset the following object types:

  • Lines
  • Arcs
  • Circles
  • Ellipses and elliptical arcs (resulting in an oval-shaped spline)
  • 2D polylines
  • Construction lines (xlines) and rays
  • Splines

Special Cases for Offset Polylines and Splines

2D polylines are offset as individual line segments, resulting in either intersections or gaps between segments. To complete the offset, intersecting lines are trimmed and gaps are filled.

Splines are trimmed automatically when the offset distance is larger than can otherwise be accommodated.

Offset the Edges of Faces on Solids and Surfaces

The OFFSETEDGE command creates a closed polyline or a spline from the edges of a planar face on a 3D solid or surface. Splines result when one or more edge segments cannot be represented as lines, arcs, or a circle. For example

  • In the left illustration, the edge of the top surface of the solid was offset, resulting in the closed, yellow polyline shown.
  • In the middle illustration, the polyline was extruded.
  • In the right illustration, the polyline was extruded and then subtracted.

With the Corner option, you can specify sharp corners or rounded corners for the polyline. External and internal corners create rounded corners differently depending whether the corners are concave or convex—the radius of the arcs maintain the specified offset distance.

Procedures
To offset an object by specifying a distance
  1. Click Home tabModify panelOffset. At the Command prompt, enter offset.
  2. Specify the offset distance.

    You can enter a value or use the pointing device.

  3. Select the object to offset.
  4. Specify a point to indicate whether the object is to be offset inside or outside of the original object.
  5. Select another object to offset, or press Enter to end the command.
To offset an object through a point
  1. Click Home tabModify panelOffset. At the Command prompt, enter offset.
  2. Enter t (Through).
  3. Select the object to offset.
  4. Specify a point through which the offset object is to pass.
  5. Select another object to offset, or press Enter to end the command.
To create a polyline or a spline that is offset from the edges of a face
  1. Click Solid tabSolid Editing panelOffset Edge. At the Command prompt, enter offsetedge.
  2. Select a planar face on a 3D solid or surface.
  3. Specify a point location inside or outside the edges of the face, or enter an option to specify an offset distance or a corner style.
  4. Select another face to offset, or press Enter to end the command.
Commands
OFFSET

Creates concentric circles, parallel lines, and parallel curves.

OFFSETEDGE

Creates a closed polyline or spline object that is offset at a specified distance from the edges of a selected planar face on a 3D solid or surface.

System Variables
OFFSETDIST

Sets the default offset distance.

OFFSETGAPTYPE

Controls how potential gaps between segments are treated when polylines are offset.