Curve through xyz points
Data can be provided to the designer in a variety of ways from contract drawings, field measurement, word of mouth etc. In the case of field measurement or established geometries, the data can come in the form of a plotted coordinate system.
Let us consider the profile of an airfoil. The geometrical features of an airfoil effect the flow and thus performance of the airfoil in operation. It is important to model the geometry as accurately as possible. The geometry is given in the form of an x-y coordinate system.
It is worth noting that an additional column was added with all zeros in order to represent the dimensions for the Z plane. The three column as given in excel format is not as useful, therefore we can copy the data by selecting the columns and selecting copy and paste it in a text document.
Save the text document since you will need to select it soon.
Next we can start a new part in SolidWorks. In order to bring the airfoil into SolidWorks you can sketch individual points and draw a spline connecting all the points. This manual method is repetitive, labor intensive and time consuming. A more efficient method would be to use the “Curve through XYZ Points” tool from the feature tab.
After selecting “Curve through XYZ Points”, click on browse and select the text file with the coordinates that was created.
Upon selection you should see the points and data values populating the X, Y and Z coordinates. Select “OK”.
Now you should have a full accurate curved geometry that was constrained by the X,Y and Z coordinates that were imported. Creating this curve using this method is significantly quicker than manually plotting each point and connecting them with a spline. “Curve through XYZ Points” is one of many features that makes solid modeling faster and more efficient in SolidWorks.