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SolidWorks Tutorials Beginner Surface Design

SolidWorks Tutorials for Beginners – Basic Surface Design Question – part 1

Hi everyone. Here is another post for our SolidWorks tutorials for beginners series, and this one deals with some basic surface design. I recently received a question from one of my YouTube viewers regarding a basic surface design questions.  Here is the question:

“I’ve used the 3D sketch tool to create 2 joined triangles. One is on the top plane, and the other is on the front plane. The two triangles share a line. I want to convert them into two triangle surfaces. How can I do this?”

Let’s figure this out! While for intermediate users of SolidWorks this is an easy-breezy task, for newcomers this question provides an opportunity to explain and demonstrate some of the structural thinking that needs to underpin your geometry when you’re working with surfaces, and hence a great question for my SolidWorks tutorials for beginners questions & answers.

Let’s begin with a New Part Document and then go to the Sketch tab.

Fig 01 – Choose “new”.

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners - new file

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners- new file

Fig 02 – Choose the new part document.

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners - New Part document

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners – New Part document

Create a 3D sketch. Activate the Line Tool; we’ll use it to sketch a triangle on the top plane. First, let’s make the plane visible in the graphic area. I’ll do this by double-clicking on it in the tree. This makes it visible even while we’re sketching, and seeing the top plane makes it easier to sketch out this simple geometry.

Sketch three lines for the triangle:

Fig 03 – Our first triangle sketch on the top plane.

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners - the first triangle

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners – the first triangle

Then go to the confirmation corner and click on the green checkmark to save your changes and exit the sketch.

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners - save & exit your sketch

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners – save & exit your sketch

Fig 04 – The confirmation corner in the top right of your window. Click the arrow to save & exit.

Now, I’ll select a line of the triangle, press down the CTRL key on my keyboard, and select the Front Plane. We’ll apply an On Plane relation to the third line of my triangle.

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners - On Plane Relation

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners – On Plane Relation

Fig 05- The “on plane” relation in the line property manager.

Let’s proceed with the second triangle now. We’ll sketch this geometry on the front plane. When we double-click on the front plane in the tree, we make it visible in the graphic area. Activate the Line Tool. To place this triangle, we’ll snap to some of the points on our first triangle. Instead of snapping the final point of the second triangle to the first triangle, let’s snap somewhere on the line. Exit the line tool with a right-click > Select. Let’s review what we have created. We have two triangles. One belongs to the front plane. The other belongs to the top plane.

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners - the second triangle

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners – the second triangle

Fig 06- Our second triangle sketch.

Let’s exit our sketch and go to the Surfaces tabs.  If we try to create a surface from this geometry at this point, it just won’t work.  Let’s try the Filled Surface tool – basically, nothing will happen; Solidworks can’t execute the command. We’re going to need to make some modifications to our geometry in order to work in the Surface Design environment successfully.

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners -Filled Surface tool

SolidWorks tutorials surface design for beginners -Filled Surface tool

Fig 06a – The Filled Surface tool on the Surfaces tab. No can do! Solidworks can’t execute the command with the geometry we’ve created.

For the rest of this tutorial in our SolidWorks tutorials for beginners series, please stay tuned for part 2.  Interested in learning more about Surface Design? Check here for our SolidWorks Tutorials on surface design: http://www.video-tutorials.net/shop/solidworks-video-tutorials/solidworks-video-tutorial-surface-design-modeling/

You can also see a video of this tutorial at our youtube channel, http://www.youtube.com/videotutorials2.

Here is the link to the youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCu9GWDqNpU&list=PLx-VY2mDlK2EHvtjEtTc64lT7FpqnkN3a&index=5