14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 6, 2016 6:05 PM by Rob Edwards

# Fill an empty space question??

For example,  I have a cardboard box with a lamp in it.  I want to fill the box with foam peanuts.  In Solidworks, how could I achieve this in the most efficient way?  I would want each peanut to be a separate part.  It would just be duplicated how ever many times to fill the empty void.  Hope this makes sense....I can't actually tell you what I working on....but that is the easiest example.  Any and all comments are appreciated.

Thanks,

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

Jason,

Not that my experience is of any help here but I tried a similar thing but instead with how many parts I could fit in a box.  I tried to use a motion study and keep adding parts to the simulation until the box overflowed and parts started spilling over the side and that would generate the number I could fit.  Well unfortunately with doing it in that method even with the parts being simplified just to be the size of the external geometry, with the needing to tell the model to apply collision detection to everything so the parts wouldn't phase through each other or the box...  Well after I added a couple hundred parts to the simulation, trying to add more caused my SolidWorks to crash every time.

So in short I resorted to a much more estimate of an answer and took the height width and depth of the major dimensions of my part and figured out how many rows, columns, and stacks I could make inside said box. The parts I was working with weren't cubes so this number wasn't going to be precise as parts would kinda fill spaces, but this gave me a reasonable estimate.

~Eric

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

Unfortunately, an estimate is what I am trying to avoid.  I need a more precise process.  Thanks for reply though, I appreciate it

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

How's about using decal with image of foam peanuts - Here is an example: it's an image on a board, not real components

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I am not familiar with decal but will do some research into and see if that would work or not.  Thanks for the advice!

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Its a SW build-in feature in PhotoView360

Edit decal, select a face on the 3D model and browser an image

it's simple and easy

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

Let's assume for a second that a packing peanut is about 1 inch^3, your box is 18 x 18 x 18, and the peanuts are randomly packed. This will leave you with about 4000 peanuts, and your computer is going to spend more time frozen than unfrozen at any time you are trying to work on this. I have in the past tried to model gumballs to solve a forum problem--I think you are going to have a bad time.

If you need to calculate how many peanuts you need. There are ways to do so that are at least as accurate as such brute force.

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

It was in 2011 or so that I did that. I just tried it again on my big honking 2016 machine (12 core xeon, 32GB etc.) and, although it took about 2 minutes to redraw the first time, and the video is pretty slow, I can view and manipulate it. Recommend to turn the image quality way down.

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I accidentally did 16k gumballs...

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Totally Agree !

Unless there is a must, I try not to duplicate parts/features

I got a BOXX system but it's still choking when I have about 300 holes on this part

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

Actually the real issue is time spent doing that, timewise you would be better off counting them one at a time and dropping them in the void then depending on SW.  There are somethings certain software is designed for certain things, filling voids with styro peanuts won't work w/SW.

There is nothing wrong with doing a few bench tests, with the following voids - more than likely the vendor would be able to tell you how many peanuts it takes for a certain volume

1" x 12 sq

2" x 12sq

3" x 12sq

etc....

After you fill the void shake it up a bit - remove the excess and count the peanuts.

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

Unfortunately I am not dealing with packing peanuts but something on a very smaller scale.  I guess I could just do some calculations to figure out ballpark answers..  I would like to be able to replicate it in a 3D model that has depth (else the decal would work).  Thanks for all the suggestions!!

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

This may be interesting to you.

• ###### Re: Fill an empty space question??

2015 SOLIDWORKS Help - Using Envelopes as Selection Tools

this may help somewhere along the line

I used two linear pattern to get all the parts, then dissolved them

the other approach I considered was in a part do multibody patterns to get all your discrete peanuts (not quite touching) then do a merging feature of your lamp, then delete that body