December 13, 2015

SolidWorks 2016:Splines and Surfaces

New functionality to splines and surfaces in SOLIDWORKS 2016

 Consumer Products can be challenging to model with complex surfaces and the use of sketched splines.  SolidWorks 2016 adds new functionality to splines and surfaces to make modeling consumer products faster and easier.

Consider the following Jug:


This is an image of a jug and we would like to create a 3D model based on this image.  We start by first sketching the neck side profile of the jug:

style spline

New to SOLIDWORKS 2016 is the ability to choose between B-Splines as well as Bezier curve types.  Using B-Splines, we click to place our control points:

spline and surfaces new features solidworks 2016

Following the control points, it is a good idea to turn on the “Show Curvature” option that allows the designer to visualize the curve.  

spline curvature

With this in mind the designer may now click and dynamically drag the control points so they fit the form of the jug.  Now the curvature of the handle portion was approximated with a spline. 

convert to spline 

The designer may now select the spline and select the convert to style spline from the fly out menu.

spline and surfaces  

In doing so, we have a one to one conversion since the resulting style spline will be a B-Spline with degree 3.  The designer may how adjust the control points to modify the curve to match the side handle profile.  With style splines it’s easier to create curves that are fast and easy to manipulate.
Having created the main surface and a few more control surfaces, the designer needs to trim all the surfaces to get the consumer product shape.

spline and surfaces solidworks 2016

In SolidWorks 2016, SolidWorks Trim Surface is easier to use with new preview tools.  By selecting “show excluded regions” the software shows the surfaces that will be excluded from the trim.  

surfaces solidworks 2016

Furthermore, the preview option for Trim Surface can also be switched to show only the surfaces left after applying the trimming feature.  If the Trimming feature yields a solid body, a new “Create Solid” option is now available to allow users to create a solid directly from the trim without any additional operation.

Following the main trim, the designer can now apply smooth asymmetrical fillets on the base:

surfaces solidworks2016

And complex variable fillets on the handle with control points:

solidworks 2016 splines and surfaces

Followed by a mirror function and shell operation to get the final jug product:

splines and surfaces

The additional functionalities to splines and surfaces in SolidWorks 2016 are meant to make modeling consumer products with complex shapes easier and quicker.

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