There are several modeling features within SolidWorks that can be used to create complex shapes. The key (and challenge) with these features is to get what you were looking for out of your design.
Deform does just that, it modifies your model based on the use of points, curves, or a surface. Figure 1 shows the initial and target curves used to produce the results shown in Figures 2 and 3.
Figure 1 – Pre-deformed model
Faces, curves, and edges can be used to preserve (fix) portions of the model resulting in dramatically different deformations. In the examples below, Figure 2 shows the results without fixing any faces or edges. Figure 3 uses the same intitial and target curves but adds the edges highlighted in purple in Figure 1 as fixed edges.
Figure 2 – Deform with no fixed faces or edges
Figure 3 - Deform with fixed edges
The Flex feature has a number of options that can be used to twist, taper, or stretch a solid body. Note that the cursor changes when you are over a valid edge to drag and the cursor icon is based on the type of Flex feature selected (Bending, Twisting, etc.). Numeric values (angle, radius) can also be directly inputed in the Property Manager. Figure 4 shows a twist.
Figure 4 – Twist (note the curly arrow on the cursor)
Figure 5 shows the Bending option. The bend axis can be moved as well; it does not necessarily have to go through the centroid of the body.
Figure 5 – Bending a solid body
Many of these feature types can be used to create differing shapes based on what you have to start with and the desired end results. These features are interactive and allow for the direct interaction and modification within the graphics area.
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