3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Tutorial Part 5: Working with xShape Models in SOLIDWORKS

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated July 15, 2021


In the previous 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS tutorial of our carving knife design project, we created an ergonomic handle using the 3D Sculptor Role (xShape App). In this step of the project, we will show you have to work with xShape sub-d models in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, the cloud-connected version of SOLIDWORKS desktop.

One of the great things about 3DEXPERIENCE Works is that you can access it from anywhere as long as you are connected to the internet from a computer. Once the files are saved, they can easily be utilized by any team member without the complication of controlling and managing servers. Watch the video below to learn how to use xShape models in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS.


When using the Bookmarks Editor, a nice feature is the option “Allow products expand”. This is important when opening the last task file, which is an item coming from xShape. It lives underneath the top-level assembly, so this will let me see the xShape part in the Bookmark.



Working in a Collaborative Environment

Next, after the file is opened, we want to edit the cordless handle part. 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS warns us that the file is read-only. This is a great first step in understanding work in a collaborative environment.



In this case, the file has been reserved and we inserted a part inside the New Handle Shape part. This is important because it receives the data from xShape. If there are changes to the handle from xShape, we can see those changes in this part in SOLIDWORKS.



Shelling the Plastic Designed Part

Now that the part from xShape is open, we will quickly apply a constant wall thickness to this part- it will ultimately be 3D printed for both prototyping and injection molding, so a constant wall thickness will ensure its ability for manufacture toward the end of the design stage. In SOLIDWORKS, you can shell the part to the tune of 2 millimeters here.

Applying a Constant to the SOLIDWORKS xShape Model

Applying a Constant to the SOLIDWORKS xShape Model

Splitting the Plastic Part Into Halves

Next, we want to separate this body into two pieces, a left, and right-hand version. Boolean operators have been included in desktop SOLIDWORKS for nearly 30 years. In 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS, it’s quite similar. Users can add, subtract, combine and split the bodies with a convenient selection of the datum planes here.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Modifying xShape Model Sections


Fitting the Parts

In the assembly, the handle half matching up to the internal guts of the electro-mechanics can now be seen more clearly. It is starting to look good here. We will account for clearance to the cutting knife and also plastic standoffs for a nice fit between the two halves.



3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Internal Components Detail

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Internal Components Detail

What to Do When You Get Interference

Oh-no, there is interference! We want to run a quick check and analyze for potential problems in our design. Clearly, in this case, the issue needs to be communicated back to the teammate who created the handle shape that it needs to be a bit more ballooned to account for the motor coil area.

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Interference Detection

3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS Interference Detection

That completes this installment. We took the complex handle design from xShape, inserted it into SOLIDWORKS Connected and created more parametric and mathematical design features in 3DEXPERIENCE SOLIDWORKS including shell, standoffs and clearances to the mechanical components. Because we are using 3DEXPERIENCE Works, our team members are quickly made aware of the interference issue and can start working on design changes.

Interested in the 3D Sculptor (xShape)?

Visit our website to get a quote for the SOLIDWORKS 3D Sculptor and learn how 3DEXPERIENCE® SOLIDWORKS® connects the industry-leading SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD Desktop solution on the 3DEXPERIENCE Works platform, a cloud-based product development environment.

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TriMech Solutions, LLC

TriMech provides thousands of engineering teams with 3D design and rapid prototyping solutions that work hand-in-hand, from sketch to manufacturing. Javelin became a subsidiary of TriMech Solutions LLC in 2021.