Surfacing

Using Geodesic Offsets on Complex Curves in SOLIDWORKS

My architect friend was recently commissioned to design a community center. His client’s mandate was that the building had to be pointing to a monument on the other side of the world. My friend did not see this as a problem and proceeded to design the structure. When he presented his project, the client was appalled because it seemed like the building was pointed in a totally different direction. My friend tried to explain that he used a geodesic path to point the building in right direction. He said that if he used the Euclidian method, the building would be pointing infinitely into space, or he would have to point the building into the Earth. It became a heated debate between my friend and the client and suffice it to say he ended up not getting the commission in the end. My friend may have been able to make his…

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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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SOLIDWORKS 2017 Streamlines Surface Trimming Workflow with Offset On Surface

SOLIDWORKS Offset on Surface Midway

Among the many new features in SOLIDWORKS 2017 are features that “Clean Up” or simplify the entire process of creating some types of models — the SOLIDWORKS Offset on Surface tool is one of these. Let’s see how this tool can be put to use. Take a look at the following example of this complex surface from which we would like to remove the center and leave a “Ribbon” around the outside of the shape. Use of the SOLIDWORKS Offset on Surface tool will permit us to easily generate a complex 3D sketch that exactly matches the surface. The resulting 3D sketch can then be used for a trim operation in order to finish up the feature. SOLIDWORKS 2017 Resources Access our resources page to get everything you need to learn what’s new in SOLIDWORKS 2017, including tech tips, demonstrations, and upcoming product webinars. WHAT’S NEW RESOURCES

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SOLIDWORKS 2017 Wrapping sketches over complex surfaces

SOLIDWORKS Wrap Feature

Every year an exciting new version of SOLIDWORKS comes out with shiny new features that have been requested by users. SOLIDWORKS 2017 is definitely no exception with plenty of new tools to geek out about. In this blog we’ll be discussing the enhanced SOLIDWORKS Wrap feature in 2017. If you saw our first teaser video for SOLIDWORKS 2017 you might of guessed that it relates to the Wrap feature. The SOLIDWORKS Wrap feature has always been a great way to project sketches onto 3D geometry, up to SOLIDWORKS 2016 we have only been able to Wrap sketches over Cylindrical and Conical shapes, well with the added functionality in SOLIDWORKS 2017 you can now wrap over complex surfaces as shown in the figure below: SOLIDWORKS Wrap Feature The user interface for the Wrap feature has an added button to indicate that the text you are using can be wrapped around a complex surface. Simply select this option when using…

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New methods of converting Surface into Solid with SOLIDWORKS

When working with surfaces in SOLIDWORKS you would typically be converting Surface into Solid using the Knit Surface or Thicken Surface feature. But with the latest versions of SOLIDWORKS you now have the ability to create a solid using the Boundary Surface or the Trim Surface features, provided the surface features can create a closed volume from the inputs. The ‘Create Solid’ option now included with these features was formerly called ‘Try to form solid’, and in previous releases, you often had to use the Knit Surface tool to combine the surface manually before you could convert the surface into a solid. Converting Surface into Solid using Trim Surface Let’s have a look at a simple example of creating a solid using the Trim Surface feature. Here we have a cell phone button design comprised of two surface bodies (shown in the surfaces folder in the tree). I want to generate a solid model from the two surfaces. I should be…

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Creating Swept Rods & Tubes in SOLIDWORKS 2016

Swept Feature Example

The SOLIDWORKS Sweep Feature has been enhanced for the SOLIDWORKS 2016 release. There is a new Circular Profile option to create a solid rod or hollow tube along a sketch line, edge, or curve directly on a model without having to sketch. This enhancement is available for Swept Boss/Base, Swept Cut, and Swept Surface features. Enhanced SOLIDWORKS Sweep Feature In this example I’ll create a swept rod onto a pool slide surface without creating a circular profile sketch: To start I’ll select Insert > Boss/Base > Sweep. Pick the new Circular profile option from the PropertyManager. Specify a size for the profile in this example I’ll enter 50mm. Then pick a path for the sweep, in this example I’ll pick an edge of the slide surface, a preview of the sweep will be displayed: Pick OK and the swept feature will be added to the model as shown in the example below: Learn more about the Sweep Feature…

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SOLIDWORKS 2016 Flatten Surface Tool Enhancements [VIDEO]

The SOLIDWORKS Premium 2016 Flatten Surface Tool provides more control and more variations of surfaces that can be flattened. You can flatten any face, surface, or set of faces with internal geometries such as holes or extruded cuts. You can select curves and sketches on the surface to flatten. You can also select curves, sketches, and edges on the surface to be relief cuts or split lines. When you select these entities in the graphics area or the FeatureManager design tree, they display in the Flatten PropertyManager. Check out the video below to see the SOLIDWORKS 2016 Flatten Surface Tool in action: To flatten a surface: In an open part, click Flatten (Surfaces toolbar) or Insert > Surface > Flatten. The Flatten PropertyManager displays. Select faces in the graphics area or from the FeatureManager design tree. Then select a vertex. A preview of the flatten surface appears. You can also choose to include relief cuts or not. In…

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Solving SOLIDWORKS surfacing challenges when designing a Golf Club head [VIDEO]

Since I’m pretty terrible at golfing, I’ve decided that designing a golf club head with SOLIDWORKS will make it easier for me to hit the ball. This is the shape of the club’s head: Creating the Golf Club Head in SOLIDWORKS So having a concept for a golf club head, I quickly went about creating it in SOLIDWORKS. Given the very organic shape of it, a Loft feature seemed like the best command to use. Since I wanted this to be hollow, I tried a few techniques. Surfacing Challenges I started by using a Lofted Boss/Base. This created the solid as I would have expected, but I wanted to make a consistent wall thickness around this. My dimensions made up the inside, so I tried to apply a Shell feature with the option for Shell Outward. This failed to work, and all I got was an error message telling me that:…

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