SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE Works xApps Project Part 4: 3D Creator & Sculptor

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated September 15, 2021

Article

In this part of our 3DEXPERIENCE Works Circular Saw Project, we are designing the hand grip for the front of the saw.  The hand grip needs to be ergonomic, and therefore will require the main grip body to be a smooth, organic shape. We will also need more rigid parametric features for the base, stem and mounting holes. So to accomplish all this we are going to utilize design tools from the SOLIDWORKS 3D Sculptor Role (xShape) and SOLIDWORKS 3D Creator Role (xDesign) to create our component.

Watch the video below to learn about using 3D Creator and 3D Sculptor:

Starting in xShape

We will begin by opening the assembly in xShape, the modeling xApp included with the 3D Sculptor Role. Our goal in xShape is to form the ergonomic hand grip feature. One approach when working with subdivision modeling is to start with a rough sketch to use as a guide. We have already sketched out our idea for the main body’s profile shape and size, so now we will insert that scanned image into the modeling environment.

Adding a Sketch to the Modeling Environment

Adding a Sketch to the Modeling Environment

Inserting and Manipulating a Primitive Shape

The first step in subdivision modeling is to insert a “primitive shape”. This is the starting shape of the body, which is then manipulated through freeform pushing, pulling and dragging of entities on the body. Here, we are starting with the primitive shape of a cylinder.

Inserting a Primitive Shape

Inserting a Primitive Shape

We will need to reorient and resize this cylinder to make it more like the elliptical profile we had in mind from my original hand-drawn sketch. We will apply a 90-degree rotation so that the cylinder is horizontal, and in the image below you can see the new elliptical shape and size of the body after applying a non-uniform scale.

Applying a Non-Uniform Scale

Applying a Non-Uniform Scale

Then, we will drag the body into place and rotate it so that it matches up with the guide image.

Using Guide Image in xShape

Using Guide Image in xShape

Once the body is in place, I am going to select the outer edges and use the quick scale on the triad to shrink the selected entities. Then, I’ll drag the selected edges down and back. This quickly produces a unique freeform shape which would be far more time-consuming using parametric surface modeling tools.

Quick Scale

Quick Scale

Switching to xDesign

Switching from xShape to xDesign

Switching from xShape to xDesign

To create the stem and base for the hand grip, we will switch over to xDesign, where we can add sketch-based, parametric features. This is the modeling app included with the 3D Creator Role. Switching to xDesign from xShape is easy – just press “x” on the keyboard. The same file will remain active for editing, but an entirely different set of design tools will be available.

Creating In-Context Features

For the base of the hand grip, we want the profile shape to match up perfectly with an existing face on the outer red housing of the saw. We can create an in-context feature that uses the existing face as the profile input for an extrusion, rather than creating a new, separate 2D sketch. Using this face as the profile for the Extrude tool means that if the geometry of the original red face is ever modified, the new extrusion will be updated as well.

xDesign In-Context Features

xDesign In-Context Features

The next feature will be an elliptical profile extruded “up to” the hand grip body.

xDesign Elliptical Profile Extruded

xDesign Elliptical Profile Extruded

Utilizing Super Features

Super Features are a unique capability in xDesign which allow the user to edit an existing feature and change what type of feature it is (i.e., Extrude, Revolve or Sweep). This way, the user does not have to delete the original feature and add in a different one, which often leads to broken downstream references. For the hand grip, we decided on a curved, sweeping stem, rather than a straight extrude. After sketching a Sweep Path, we simply edited the original Extrude feature and changed it to a Sweep.

xDesign Sweep Path

xDesign Sweep Path

Finishing Touches

In order to mount this hand grip to the outer housing, we will add a few cuts and holes to the base. And lastly, add some fillets to smooth out any sharp edges.

Adding Holes in xDesign

Adding Holes in xDesign

Upon saving this file, the latest version of the assembly and the hand grip will instantly be available for the rest of our team.

Hand Grip Completed

Hand Grip Completed

Interested in 3DEXPERIENCE Works?

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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.