Surfaces

How to use SOLIDWORKS Surfaces as Reference Geometry for Mates

SOLIDWORKS Surface Reference Geometry

Dummy/reference surfaces can be utilized for various design situations in SOLIDWORKS. Due to the fact that the surfaces have no thickness and do not contribute to the weight or mass properties of the parts or assemblies. Surfaces are useful as reference geometry and can then be hidden from view.  In this blog as describe an example of using dummy surfaces as reference geometry for a mate in an assembly. SOLIDWORKS Surface Reference Mate Example Mating spherical joints in SOLIDWORKS can be a bit of a challenge depending on the required settings and final application. In the following image a handle and a base plate are shown which are connected with a ball joint. A specific movement is required for the assembly. The handle can only move as far as it hits the sealing/edge of the base. The ball on the end of the handle must  always be tangent to the bottom of its seat in…

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Inserting Surfaces in SOLIDWORKS Drawing Views

Surfaces do not appear in SOLIDWORKS drawing views by default.  When used as reference geometry, surfaces are usually not required in a production drawing.  However, when the entire model or some of its elements are designed as surface bodies, the drawing is incomplete if surfaces are not displayed. Surface bodies can be inserted in drawing views as model items:  Insert > Model Items > Reference Geometry > Surfaces.  In the Source/Destination section, the source can be selected as entire model or a feature, and the import can be applied to all or selected views. PropertyManager for section views provides the option to include surfaces in the section cut and to display surfaces.

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New in SOLIDWORKS 2015 – Slice Section View now includes Surfaces! [VIDEO]

Until the current release of SOLIDWORKS, displaying surfaces within a drawing view has been a bit tricky in SolidWorks. Past releases have had us jump through a few hoops to get exactly what we want to have displayed on a drawing. SOLIDWORKS 2015 alleviates the majority of those extra steps, as we can now include Surfaces as objects to split within a section view: This should go a long way for anyone who works with imported surface bodies and has had to re-work an import to ensure it’s display in a drawing view.

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New in SOLIDWORKS 2015! – The Split Feature can now split Surface Bodies! [VIDEO]

Split Surface Bodies

As we climb up the steep hill that is the list of new enhancements to SOLIDWORKS 2015, I wanted to peddle backwards for a moment to a feature that is a tad underused by most SolidWorks users – The Split Feature. This tool gives us the ability to create multiple Solid Bodies within a SolidWorks file by chopping them into bits. In prior releases the “Cutting” of bodies was limited to Solids. This is not the case in SOLIDWORKS 2015 as we can now use a surface to “Split” another surface. Again widening the possibilities we have to generate our models more efficiently. To learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2015 Attend a Canadian SOLIDWORKS 2015 Launch Event in a city near you this October to experience live demonstrations of SOLIDWORKS 2015 and integrated 3D solutions; so you gain a better understanding of how SOLIDWORKS can make your product design process even more…

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SolidWorks Tutorial: Import Diagnostics (4) – Sheet Metal Conversion [VIDEO]

This is the fourth in a series of articles focused on troubleshooting and healing topological errors from geometry imported in SolidWorks. After we demonstrated the power of the Import Diagnostics tool for healing topological errors in imported geometry, today we will consider a completely different case study; a sheet metal part that, when imported, will generate topological errors wherever faces are superimposed on each other. This type of error can be revealed by the Import Diagnostics tool, but cannot be healed automatically. In order to solve the topological problems and convert the imported geometry into a SolidWorks Sheet Metal part, we will use various techniques you can learn in the Surface Modeling and Sheet Metal courses, including: copy surface convert a surface body into a solid body convert a solid body to sheet metal find the minimum radius of curvature of given face delete and patch faces create hems Enjoy the video: Note: The model shown…

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Thoroughly Checking Models with Verification on Rebuild

In general, a standard rebuild with the toolbar button or a complete rebuild by pressing CTRL-Q will update the model with the changes you’ve made.  But you may want to add an extra step if you’re working with complex models or surfaces. By default, rebuilds check every new or changed feature against only adjacent faces and edges.  This allows for a faster rebuild times and will locate issues in the majority of models. When you are working with complex models and surfaces, it’s a good idea to do a thorough error-check every once and a while to ensure all features are error-free.  There is a setting under Tools > Options > System Options tab > Performance. Enabling “Verification on Rebuild” will force the model to check new or changed features against all faces and edges of the model.  This will decrease performance, so you should disable this option after the…

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How to prepare pictures of real parts or hand drawn sketches as input for SOLIDWORKS 3D models

Remote Control Sketched Elevations

As SOLIDWORKS users, sometimes we have to convert hand drawn sketch into SOLIDWORKS model provided by a creative professional, such as an industrial designer. Quickly adjusting the images in Adobe Photoshop can provide more accurate results when the images are used as modelling aids in SOLIDWORKS. The above image is used in our SOLIDWORKS Surface Modeling training course. It is representative of a hand drawn sketch made by an Industrial Designer. In discussions with the designer, we have determined that the remote is symmetrical and the top silhouette edge in the side view is supposed to be horizontal. In Adobe® Photoshop®, the first thing I do is use the rectangular marquee to draw a box around the edges of the remote. I then use the crop tool (Image > Crop) to shrink the image to the edges of the remote. This will help in sizing the sketch in SolidWorks, as I can simply…

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SOLIDWORKS Surfacing Techniques: Embossing on Non-Planar Faces

This post originates from a discussion I had with students in my SOLIDWORKS Essentials training course a few months ago. Some time, in the third day of the course, we decided to take lunch together so I could answer all questions in regards to their further training paths. One particular recommendation provoked quite a stir: I stated that the SOLIDWORKS Surface Modeling training course should be taken by every SOLIDWORKS user, not only by industrial designers and “artists”. I mentioned the standard benefits: ability to repair imported solids, gain more control over the design intent and find unique modeling solutions. I also said that in a lot of cases they will save a lot of time using surfaces to modify solids. At this point, the discussion became a heated debate. Apparently “everybody knows” that surfacing is “very complicated, cumbersome to use and slow”. Students who previously used other CAD software told…

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