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One method of modeling a Chain in SolidWorks

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE created/updated June 29, 2010

NOTE: This is an older blog post.  The latest versions of SOLIDWORKS now have the Chain Component Pattern feature which is a better method.  See the following blog posts:

New in SOLIDWORKS 2015 – Chain Component Pattern [VIDEO]

How to use the SOLIDWORKS Belt/Chain Assembly Feature to control a Chain

 

 

If you need a chain in an assembly, here is a quick and easy method of modeling a Chain in SolidWorks.

Modeling a Chain in SolidWorks

Modeling a Chain in SolidWorks

Step 1: Create a Sketch for the chain layout.  You may want to create an in-context sketch within the assembly.

Chain Layout Sketch

Chain Layout Sketch

Step 2: Under Tools > Spline Tools, use Fit Spline and select all sketch lines to create a continuous curve.

Continuous Curve Applied

Continuous Curve Applied

Step 3: Model the chain link profiles.  Uncheck Merge Results for the second link to keep them as separate bodies.

Model a Chain Link

Model a Chain Link

Step 4: Mirror the bodies to complete the links.  Uncheck Merge Results when mirroring the second link.

Mirror the Bodies

Mirror the Bodies

Step 5: Use two Curve Driven Patterns to pattern each of the chain link bodies along the sketch curve.  The sketch curve length should provide a whole number when divided by the center distance of the links.  This gives the number of links to pattern.

Apply a Curve Driven Pattern

Apply a Curve Driven Pattern

The Chain is now complete

Completed Chain

Completed Chain

Have you created a Chain in SolidWorks? If you have then leave us a reply below and tell us how you went about it.

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.

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