March 17, 2015

SolidWorks Tutorial:Pi Day Candle Holder - DIY


Pi Day is a celebration of the mathematical constant pi, 3.14159 or symbolized simply as π.  Pi  Day occurs on March 14th and when written in MM, DD, YY format gives 03 14 15 or Pi!

What better way to celebrate Pi Day than to model your very own Pi Day candle holder.  This Pi day candle holder is designed to project the symbol π when lit

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Let’s start with the solid modeling.  I have created my candle holder profile using a revolve function.  The profile is arbitrary.

solidworks do it yourself tutorial

Next, we apply a shell command.  In this case I have applied a shell of 3mm and have presented the results as a section view.

section view in solidworks

Orient yourself to the top plane and sketch the Pi symbol as shown. This will form the outline of the light projected from the candle.

pi candle holder with solidworks

Drawing the Pi symbol is not a trivial task, therefore we can place a picture of the Pi symbol onto the sketch plane for us to trace.  Access this tool by going to Tools> Sketch Tools > Sketch Pictures

solidworks sketching

Resize and trace the image as shown.  I have sketched the Pi symbol using lines and splines.

solidworks lines and splines

Create a reference axis from the center of the Pi symbol to the center of the flame by selecting two points.  Create one point on the Pi sketch and another point on a separate sketch approximating the center point of the flame.
Then use the extrude cut feature and be sure to cut along that reference axis to get your profile.

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Use a circular pattern to repeat your cut as frequently as you like.  You are now done modeling!

solidworks features

Save your file as a STEP fileThis file can be used by commercial 3D Printers to print your part for you.  Consider printing ABS plastic so your product is more resistant to heat.

STEP file in solidworks

Congratulations you are now celebrating Pi Day in style!

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