Using SOLIDWORKS Sketch Text to create a Magic 8-Ball

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated April 1, 2013

Article

To get into the April Fool’s spirit, I’ve decided to go with a bit of a silly one today. After hearing on the radio the other morning that economists are again predicting a recession, I decided that in an effort to save money, I would make my own economist.

For those of you unfamiliar with a magic 8-ball, it is a plastic ball with a window on the bottom. Inside, floating in liquid, is a 20-sided shape with various fortunes written on each face (such as “Signs point to yes” or “Ask again later” and so on). As if modelling up this 20-sided shape called an “Icosahedron” wasn’t challenging enough, you’ll soon see the fun I had trying to populate all the faces with text!

Okay, I know what you’re saying. What if I wanted a glimmer of hope? What if I wanted my economist 8-ball to give a different answer? What if I wanted to change the text on ONE face to say something different? Using the method described above it can’t be done, because I’ve dissolved the text. I would have to create a new feature. But, there is a better way: Library Features (stay tuned). This better way also will ensure that my text is positioned every time and also means the text will be consistently oriented (with the triangle pointing down).

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Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim has been using SolidWorks since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).