Helix

Creating Threads in SOLIDWORKS for 3D Printing [VIDEO]

For years, the ability to create a realistic thread in SolidWorks was something of artistic fantasy; a way to demonstrate your proficiency in SolidWorks. The rebuild times on a small assembly would be long enough to get a warm beverage, and on larger assemblies it would be long enough for me to fly somewhere on vacation. Nevertheless, with the arrival of 3D Printers, the need to create very accurate 3D CAD models of threaded parts is less fantasy and more reality. Of course, there are no shortage of videos out there demonstrating how to model threads in SolidWorks. However, to my knowledge, none of them focus on any sort of “best practices” for creating a thread for 3D Printing. Some testing we had previously done here at Javelin led us to some pretty complex calculations regarding offsets and gaps at Maximum Material Condition (MMC), but at the end of the…

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How would a CSWE design a marble roller coaster? (Part 1 of many) [VIDEO]

A marble roller coaster should be easy to assembly and use as little material as possible.  If it can be made with very little material then it can be 3D printed at very low cost. When designing these parts I will consider how they will have to be printed to try and minimize the amount of plastic and support material required. Another requirement of the 3D printer is that the roller coaster must be modular, otherwise the printer envelope would control how big the roller coaster can get, and a lot of support material would get wasted, therefore the trickiest problem to solve is how to connect the modules together. My first thought was to use a snap, but unlimited by software and manufacturing process I believed I could design a perfect spherical snap that would minimize space, maximize holding force, look good, and show off the capabilities of our 3D…

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3D Sketching a Helix for a Pipe Route for SOLIDWORKS Routing

When using SOLIDWORKS Routing, a simple way to have a coil of tubing for strain relief or packaging reasons, is to create the helix outside of the 3D Route sketch and then use convert entities to copy the helix into the Route sketch. The basic steps for Helix for route are: Insert a dummy part to create the helix in Create the 2D sketch to control the diameter of the helix Create the helix for route using the standard helix sketch feature Edit the 3D sketch and use the ‘Convert Entities’ sketch tool to transfer the helix into the 3D sketch Lastly, tie in the transferred helix into the route sketch. Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Routing To learn more about SOLIDWORKS Routing you should attend our SOLIDWORKS Routing training course either online or in a classroom near you.

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How to create a Spiral / Helical Sheet Metal Model that can be flattened

If you want to create a spiral / helical sheet metal model, using the sweep feature + insert bends will not do the job. You will need to use two different size helix / spiral paths: Then, convert these curves to 3D sketch entities: Now, use lofted bend to create sheet metal: Flattened state:

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How to create a SOLIDWORKS rolled component that can be flattened

A recent customer query had us considering a number of different methods to create a roll of material. After a number of attempts using various methods, the following suggestion was to create a SOLIDWORKS rolled component using the sheet metal functionality, this technique came from technical sales manager Elton Smith at DS SOLIDWORKS. The advantage to this method is that the roll can be unrolled using the sheet metal tools within SOLIDWORKS. To create the desired spiral component, we will need to form two sketches on offset parallel planes. Each sketch will contain a copy of the original spiral, inserted into the sketches with the Convert Entities tool. Once the sketches are complete, it is time to use the Sheet Metal Lofted Bend tool. This will create a lofted section from your two projected sketches. The final result should be a rolled component. The Bonus to this method is that the SOLIDWORKS rolled component can then be unrolled, using…

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Creating a Helical Sweep in SOLIDWORKS

Helical Sweep

It is possible to create a helical solid in SOLIDWORKS which, rather than extending linearly, actually follows a helical (or other) path.  This is actually done using the Sweep command using a twist along the sweep path.  The end result can vary quite dramatically, but can potentially look like a twisted phone cord such as this example: Creating the helical sweep The steps to create this are as follows.  Note that for this example a helical path is used, but in actuality any open loop that would be acceptable for a Sweep path can be used, resulting in a very wide range of end results: Create the helical path using the Helix/Spiral command (Insert-> Curve).  You first sketch a circle, then use this circle as a basis for the helix.  Note the orientation of the main planes with respect to the start of the helix – it is easier later on (but…

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