Cover Design

One of our products has a set of large FRP cover panels. These panels
were "designed" by an industrial designer in another part of the
corporation using SDRC (or something like that). Of course the covers
are all curvy and artistic and organic. The part files were then
exported to IGES and set to us.
We then import these files into SolidWorks, and added mounting
hardward, holes etc and created drawings. It was painful working with
the imported files, but we got thru it.
Now we need to modify the covers to accommodate new product features.
I'd like to do all of the modelling here with SolidWorks, and avoid the
artist who is 500 miles away. I need to tweek and pull some of the
curved surfaces to make new covers that fit. The original cover models
are just 'dumb' solids, with hardly any straight edges constant curves.
I'm not sure where to start. (I an practically no experience with
surfacing.) Is there something I can do with the existing model so I
push and pull edges and curved surfaces? How do I approach this?
(I hope what I wrote makes some sense.)
Rob
Reply to
cadman_357a
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Rob,
Solidworks can't do that (push pull surface points) without add-ins.
That being said, it's probably (damn likely) not the way you want to do it anyway. This isn't he way it was originally done in SDRC "Ideas" either. Ideas modeling methods are similar to Solidworks (and most other solid modelling systems)
What you probably want to do is use the current model as a pattern to create a native SW model. I usually do this in an assembly environment. Knowing where, and how, the new model will change will allow you to build a model to accomodate these things. Most of us aren't that lucky
Just because it's curvy and organic doesn't necessarily mean it was constructed using surfaces. Of course, I really can't tell without seeing it.
Regards
Mark
Reply to
MM
Take a look at ShapeWorks add in. It can extract surfaces and you can pull and push to change the geometry of your part.
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Reply to
Baren-Boym Company
Ditto on that. I think point editing is, for the most part, eye candy (looks appealing, little nutritional value) where "part" design / modification is concerned. That said, though, making minor changes to imported topology could be very useful if dependant features don't fail because of an entity ID change. Problem is; all surfaces (probably most created by a mechanical modeler; surface degree, point / knot structures, density) are not well suited for point editing.
Reply to
Jeff Howard
Have you tried importing the file using Featureworks? Maybe it will import it with features that editable in Solidworks.
Reply to
Richard Charney
Yes, I tried; but nothing useful came out of it.
Rob
Reply to
cadman_357a
ShapeWorks or GeometryWorks might work for what you want to do. If not, then you probably get to remake the parts in SW. Go to the DiMonte Group website
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Download Ed Eaton's Curvy Stuff tutorials. Learn as much as you can.
Make an assembly with an old cover. Start your new cover in that assembly. Figure out where you are going to need your sketches. Put in your planes. Open a sketch on one of the planes and convert edges off of the old cover, or make intersection curves. Use this sketch as a target for a new sketch where you make your own splines to match, as closely as you think necessary, the old curves. When you get your sketches done, do your lofts, sweeps, fills, and such. Compare the new one to the original and try tweaking your sketches. Maybe you will need to move your plane locations. Maybe you will need to add more sketches. Maybe you will need to take some away. Maybe you will need to try a completely different method.
After a bit of practice, go back to Ed's tutorials and pick up a bunch of subtleties that you missed originally. Try again. Repeat till you get the part close enough to the original. Then modify it get your new part.
If you never seem to be able to get close enough to the original part, go back to the original designer, or ask Paul Salvador or the DiMonte group for a quote to make you a SW part from it.
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
Reply to
Jerry Steiger
This is a great answer. The intersection curves work very good for this type of work. It will take time to get it accurate.
Reply to
kmaren24
It really depends on what kind of editing you want to do.
Push and pull directly on the solid is not something that you can do in SolidWorks today. Even with the add ins other people mention, you are just editing surface copies of the solid faces, and will eventually need to be patched back into the solid. Personally, I don't believe that the add ins in the end actually do anything for you that you can't do some other way in SolidWorks directly.
If you don't have any experience with surfacing, it is possible that you won't be able to do the modifications even if you had native data. Without native data, you will almost certainly need to be more than just passable with surfacing to get the job done. It's possible to learn on the job, but skill with complex surfacing usually comes from having pounded on it a bit.
If you are trying to change overall shape, SW has some tools for "deforming" entire models or sections of models which may help you, but are more likely to get you part way. If this is what you need, then remodeling is a better idea, or get a talented local contractor with SDRC experience. Rhino might also be a good option, but it would involve learning new software.
If there are just areas that you are looking to change, you may be able to cut out the existing areas and remodel new ones. SW is certainly capable in this arena.
I've done this same task for companies that get tired of dealing with moody or tempermental artists and/or need some engineering design on a complex shape. The latest project I converted to SW native was a law enforcement stun-gun handle. Originally modeled in Alias, remodeled parametrically in SW in about 6 hours. Fairly swoopy, shelled plastic, left and right.
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Anyway, good luck.
matt
cadman snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.ca wrote in news:1107210008.968145.143910 @c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com:
Reply to
matt
"I'm not sure where to start. (I an practically no experience with surfacing.) "
You can start learning surfacing with Rhino which will make things a lot less painful than trying to learn surfacing with SolidWorks.
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Learning surfacing with Rhino will give you a much better understanding of some of the concepts you will need to apply in SolidWorks.
If you ever get really serious about surfacing you will dump SolidWorks and Rhino and get a real hybrid modeler that gives you transparent modeling tools.
Here are two examples of products that make SolidWorks look like the bad joke it is when it comes to surfacing tools.
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jon
Reply to
jon banquer
Rob,
Without seeing the part it is hard to say what is best. Howver, my instinct is to tell you that learning how to do complex surfaces quickly is not realistic - if you need to do this quickly.
What you should learn is how to easily import and then reimport existing surfaces. I often work with imported surfaces generated in other programs. It is quite easy to update these surfaces by selecting the features and re-import the updated surfaces. There are usually some minor rebuild errors that need to be corrected, but it is not too bad. I think you will be more productive going back to the original designer, especially as it sounds like they are in-house. Better yet, give them your complete file (IGES or watever they need) and explain the change you need. It should be easy for them to give you the new surface. I say let them do their job so you can do yours! That may be faster all around.
Good luck!
Cheers, Daniel
Reply to
daniel
We did this the first time around, and they still ignored our mounting information. Then management and the artist decided to "save time" and release the artist's model to the mold shop and get a jump start on tooling. By the time the models got communicated back to us, and we discovered that the covers would not fit, it was too late to stop the tooling. We were forced to machine cast aluminum brackets in order to make the covers work. Luckly the tooling was made from MDF and had a short life span. This is why I want to do the new covers without the artist.
I appreciate your the input!
Rob
Reply to
cadman_357a
Thanks for the link. Some good info at this site.
Regards,
Rob
Reply to
cadman_357a

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