Lets say you draw a spline in an irregular shape, then convert it to an editable poly. Not a box or circle, but more like an amoeba or even something that isn't organic but still very irregular. I'm looking for a way to essentially select the border of the shape and shift+scale so that I get an extrusion, but I want it to be evenly distributed along the entire border. I guess I'm looking for it to take the edge normals into account. I'm just not exactly sure how to do that. I also tried using the extrude function in editable poly, but that didn't work well either.
I want to perform this sort of operation very often when I'm hard surface modeling, and I've never figured out how to get it to work the way I want. You can see in the image below how the extrusion intersects with the original shape because it's just extruding from the center of the entire shape instead of looking at the normals for each edge.