Learn about creating splines in SOLIDWORKS.
- [Narrator] When working with surfaces, a lot of times, you're going to be given a picture or a sketch that you're going to need to create some entities on top of like a spline or series of lines in curves, so, in this case here, I already have this side profile of a mouse which I'm going to use and I'm going to be creating a spline on the side of it as well as some other lines and I want to show you how to do that. Now, more than likely on the exam, they're already going to give you this picture. It's already going to be loaded into a sketch or you're going to download it from the testing client. If you didn't know how to do that or you do want to know how to do that, all you really need to do is just jump into SOLIDOWORKS, start a sketch on a certain plane.
For instance, this one over here like top plain. Let's do the front plane. Start the sketch. Then, come up here to Tools, come down here to Sketch Tools and then you got Sketch Picture right here. You can then choose a view, click on Open and notice it just brings that view directly into our model. This one happens to be really big, so you probably want to scale that back down and then generally what you want to do is you want to scale that appropriately and place it where you like to in the model, so, in this case here, we want that kind of be right about there and we want to make sure that we then add some type of a measurement to it, so, in this case here, let's go ahead and click on the green check mark, create a center line or something like that and just space it out, give it the dimension, I'll say this mouse is probably about two inches wide, okay; and I just normally like make this a midpoint and then we can then scale the picture by double-clicking on it.
Scale it, move it and just kind of make sure that we're kind of right about where we need to be in the scale. Obviously, this is not an exact science, but in that case, there (mumbles) you have the sketch picture in the front; Click Okay and now you've got a picture of the front and you've got the picture of the side. More than likely, you're going to already be given something similar to this that you're going to start working with, so, I'm going to go ahead and just hide sketch number two here, so we're not seeing that. Now, we're just looking at side. Now, I'm going to go ahead and not create a sketch on the existing sketch.
I want to create a brand new one, so let's go ahead and left-click on the right plane. Start a sketch and let's go ahead and click normal to that sketch. Now, let's jump over here into the Spline command which is right up here; click on Spline. I'm going to start right down here at the bottom. I'm going to snap to this line here and go ahead and create a couple of different lines here and then when you're done creating the lines, go ahead and click on Escape and now you can click on this control point to kind of move things around as needed. So, this is one type of a Spline and notice I've only got one control point here, so you might want to go ahead and right-click on that and add in more control points if you need to, so we also have a bunch of different options here.
What we can do; we can add Tangency Control, Curvature Control and that one here is what we're looking for is Insert Spline Point which drops right there and now I have the ability click on that and kind of play with the shape just a little bit more and move this one down here and so on, so I can get a little bit closer to that shape and you generally don't want to add too many of those points, cause sometimes it can get a little bit out of control, but in this case here, it looks pretty good. We can also add a couple of things like Tangency right here; click on that one here; click on Control and choose that line there and let's go ahead and make that tangent; that way we know we're coming directly out of that one here and we can then move this line around a little bit more and I move this guy in just a little bit and right there, it's looking pretty good.
That's one way to create a Spline. We can also interchange that with regular lines. Here's a regular line. Let's go ahead and just go up this direction here and that looks like a pretty straight shot up to about there and there we might want to jump into some type of a curve. If you don't have to use a Spline, I generally choose not to use a Spline, cause Spline is going to be a little bit overwhelming and (mumbles) be kind of get out of control pretty quickly, so if you feel that you can create a line without using a Spline, generally, a regular arc is probably a better way to go, but sometimes you have some very complex shapes.
You have to use a Spline, so then you definitely need to know how to do that. Over here, let's go ahead and a try three point arc, so click here and click there and just see if you can fit something in that looks pretty decent. Right there, it looks pretty good, so instead of having to use the Spline, a regular three point arc works pretty good there and same thing down here and let's go ahead and create a line from here to here and see if we can fit a nice little arc in there and if you have something that's kind of varying like with this one down here, you might be forced to use a Spline, so go ahead and choose here, come down and choose there and then you can continue with this (mumbles) it just get out of that and then on that spline you can also just click on these control points here and drag it around, but we also want to make this line and that line Hold down Control, make them tangent to each other and then you can grab that little Control, push it back a little bit and get the shape we're looking for.
So, that is creating Splines; creating regular lines and arcs. It's a great way to kind of outline and go around a shape that you have either brought in as a picture or as a sketch and more than likely, on the exam, you're going to have to do something similar to this by eyeballing the actual lines on top of the sketch and making sure they look fairly close to where they need to be. More than likely, you'll be asked then to measure the length of the line or the arc or something along those lines and then maybe create a surface out of those lines and then measure the length or the area of that surface.
Hopefully, this gives you a little bit of an insight on creating Splines or regular lines on top of a sketch or a picture and more than likely, you'll definitely need to know how to do this in the exam, so if you're not completely familiar, definitely brush up and make sure you do a little practice before you start taking the exam.
- 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