Twist in SOLIDWORKS

Article by TriMech Solutions, LLC updated April 6, 2023

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I want to discuss some parameters you can take advantage of to stabilize sweep profiles when given uneven curvature fluctuations. When it comes to working with sweeps, we need our path and profile. SOLIDWORKS will sweep your profile along your path, however, with 3D sketches there is an additional degree of freedom to create a twist in SOLIDWORKS. This is how sections of the line rotate around the path. With 2D sketches, these entities hold curvature true to their respecting sketch plane, but 3D entities have curvature that can twist about in space.

SOLIDWORKS twist

You may want to view curvature direction in your part, and this can be hard to see. By using curvature combs we can magnify the curvature of the paths to help understand why we are seeing what we are viewing. You can easily activate this by right clicking on a face and choosing surface curvature combs. Allow me to walk through a brief example showing how to create a simple sweep and add twist to it.

I will start off by creating two sketches, one for my path and one for my profile. In this case, I will just use regular 2D sketch geometry, however you definitely can use 3D sketches. Once you have created your two sketches, go to feature, swept boss/base. From here simply select the appropriate path profile sketches and then go to options.

select the appropriate path profile sketches

The sweep property manager is quite interesting in the sense that you can control several parameters of your sweep and view curvature display all while in the manager. Under sweep options, profile twist we can choose specify twist value. From here you can go to twist control and either manipulate degrees or revolutions. And that is how you create a twist in SOLIDWORKS. To learn more tips and tricks, check out other articles on our blog.

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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.