Learn methods for creating 3D curves in SOLIDWORKS.
- [Instructor] In this example, we're going to be working on creating a 3D spline curve. Now I have a part that I borrowed from my servicing course, and I've taken this mouse, and I've cut away the back surface. And I need to go ahead and start recreating the back surfaces of this mouse. And you'll probably have something very similar to this in the exam. Now you can see here, I need a line that kind of comes from this point right over here, and kind of swoops around and clicks over here to this back of the mouse. Now I don't have a point over here, but I do have one over here, and I need a control point at both points.
So let's go ahead and create a sketch on the front plane, there it is. Start a sketch and I come over here to the point command. Let's go ahead and click normal, too, so we're looking straight at that sketch. And just go ahead and drop one little point right there. That's where we need it. And then go ahead and exit out of that sketch. Now we have that point right where we want it. Now we want to create a line so that when I create that spline later on, I have the ability to make it tangent to that line. So to do that, let's go ahead and find the top plane there.
Let's go ahead and click on control, choose that point right there, and go over to features and create a reference plane. Click on okay, and then let's go ahead and start a sketch right on top of that plane. I'm going to click normal to it. Here's that little point, and just go ahead and create a center line right from that point kind of going away. Doesn't matter how long, then exit out. Now what we have is this nice little point with a line sticking out of it, and then we have this point over here.
And those are the two points we want to connect together with a spline. Next thing we want to do is go over to sketch, choose a 3D sketch under the dropdown, choose a spline. I'm going to click on that point right there, and I'm going to go ahead and just connect the dots to the other point. Hit escape to get out of that, and then we have a straight line. But really, it's a spline, right? So we have some ability to start modifying that curve. First thing I want to do is click on that line right there, hold down control, choose that tangency line, and say hey, I'd like to make these guys tangent.
Very helpful, look at that. Very nice. Then over here, let's click on this line right there, hold down control, choose the spline again, and this time, I'm going to say let's make it equal curvature. Now it gets a little bit out of control, 'cause I notice it's shooting out this way, but don't worry. We can just drag that back. And that looks pretty good. And if you just want to click on, maybe look at the top plane here, so you can look straight down on it, you can see we're still a little bit far out, so you can just bring that back and get it 'til it's looking correct.
And that looks pretty good to me. We can also adjust this way, as well, if we need to. But because we're equal curvature, generally, that's not a good idea or it's going to be grayed out, so it doesn't give that ability. We just basically have the ability to pull it in and out. Get to the right amount of influence on that curve. Once it looks pretty good, we should be all set. Go ahead and exit out of the sketch, and there's our 3D curve. More than likely on the exam, they're going to be asking you to measure the length of that curve. So go ahead over and choose the measure tool. If you don't have the toolbar here over here on the right hand side, you can always right click and come over here and click on tools, and turn that on.
I like to just keep it up here. If you like to do that, you can always head over to evaluate and click on measure. Either one of those will work just fine. Click on measure, go ahead and click on that line there. Make sure you're in the millimeter unit system, and you only have a two-place decimal, and that should be the length of your line, or something similar on the exam. Hopefully this helps out on 3D curve creation.
- Exam-taking techniques
- Surfacing tools
- Creating splines and 3D curves
- Building a boundary surface
- Extending and untrimming surfaces
- Knitting surfaces together
- Creating surface fillets
- Using the Thicken tool