15 Replies Latest reply on Jun 5, 2016 8:23 PM by Bill Toft

    helix out of sheetmetal - student level

    Maurits De Wolff

      Hello,

       

      I'm working on a school assignment (engineering). This particular assignment is about general business improvement. I want to illustrate my text with a fancy Plan-Do-Check-Act circle. So far I have created 2 identical helix shapes in SW 2015. How do I convert both lines into metal sheet (any solid looking surface would be good). I studied several video's about sheet metal helix but I don't get it. Also, I want to partition my helix in 5 segments per 360 degrees and somewhat colorize those parts. Like I did in my simple and flat version. I do appreciate all the advice I could get.

       

      Thanks Maurits

        • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
          Bill Toft

          Don't use sheet metal. Instead use surfaces. Create a new 3D sketch and convert the 2 Helixes, then join the ends with lines. Use surface fill. Then use split line to get your segments.

            • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
              Maurits De Wolff

              Thanks for your replie Bill. I followed your instructions. I set up a simplified version of the two helixes, I then selected both of them (ctrl-click IIRC) and converted them through >insert>surface>extrude. I get a reference of 100 which is the difference between both radii. So something did happen there.

              Then I started a new sketch-on-plane where I seem to be able to connect the 2 helix lines at both ends.

              Then I click OK and try to use >insert>surface>fill but this option is greyed out.

               

              Solidworks interface seems very complex to the novice user. Where did I take a wrong turn?

               

              Thanks maurits

            • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
              Maurits De Wolff

              I did get some kind of surface effect with the loft-command. But that is not good enough. I'll keep working on it.

                • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                  Bill Toft

                  Maurits,

                  I did a single 3D sketch. In it I first converted the two helix curves. Then I added the straight lines to join the ends. So I ended up with a single 3D sketch that was closed. Now the Surface Fill command will work.

                  Then I did a Sketch3 on the Top plane (the arrow heads) so that I could do a split line through all the spiral surfaces. I then added a red & green appearance to 2 of the cut surfaces. See attached screen shot.

                    • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                      Maurits De Wolff

                      What command do I use for the conversion of the helixes? I tried various options under >insert> surface. But that is not correct I suppose. Looking at your image.jpg I see 2 separate helixes in a single file. In the left pane there is this tree of all the steps you did right? If I would try to copycat those steps I would and up pretty close with what you did I guess.

                       

                      But where would I activate 3DSketch3? Should be in the neighborhood of Sketch or 3DSketch but I don't see it in SW 2015-2016.

                      I'm mostly interested in how to do the conversion. Thanks for your time again.

                       

                      Maurits

                      • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                        Maurits De Wolff

                        I found some instructions on internet on conversion.

                        2014 SOLIDWORKS Help - Using Convert Entities

                        I made a new 3Dsketch with 2 helixes. I tried the conversion as indicated in the link. But my >Tools>Sketch Tools>Convert Entities is greyed out. The alternative route says first activate Convert Entities then select the helixes. But Convert Entities stays greyed out.

                         

                        Another strange thing is that I can only successfully sketch-on-plane the second helix when it's done in the order of larger circle+helix first and smaller circle+helix second. The other way around I can't create the second helix: >insert>curve>helix is greyed out.

                         

                        SolidWorks is driving me crazy with low memory reminders. All I haven open is 1 browser with just this forum thread and SolidWorks with 2 helix sketches. My computer is 5 years old. It's not a Lamborghini but it's not a Commodore either. There is some moaning on the forums about SW2015 being buggy. Theacher at school says the pros just know how to work around all the bugs. And by the time most serious bugs are taken care of the next buggy release comes out. What is your take on this?

                         

                        Maurits

                    • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                      John Stoltzfus

                      Bill is correct in using surface to make this part.  The only way this would work in Lofted Sheet Metal is one revolution at a time and create an assembly to put everything together. The only reason to go sheet metal is the ability to flatten each segment, to either add holes or other design elements.

                      • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                        Bill Toft

                        Maurits,

                        I did a quick video to show the steps I took. The first part shows how to create the 3D sketch for the filled surface. The second part shows how to use the split line to divide the spiral surface into "arrow' segments.

                        As to PC memory, I would say 8 Gb is the minimum and you should try for 16 Gb. RAM is cheap.

                        My understanding is that the educational release is based on SP3, so most of the initial bugs in SW2015 should have been fixed. My VAR recommends waiting for at least SP2 before doing an annual upgrade.

                          • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                            Maurits De Wolff

                            Very instructive video. Lots of thanks! Hopefully I will have time to work on this project again off and on the next few days. I'll report back on my progress.

                             

                            Maurits

                            • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                              Maurits De Wolff

                              Oke, I made some progress but have a few more questions. I switched from Windows 10 to my laptop with Windows 7 on it. I'm not getting those greyed out features this time.

                               

                              I split my helix circle into 5 equal sections of 75 deg. This would result in a intentional overlap onto the next revolution. I'm not sure if this is possible at all. I got stuck there so I switched to a more simple setup with 5x72 deg in the circle. I wanted to control the shape and angle of the arrow points better. So I made 2 separate sketches for split line. Before doing the actual split line I deleted all excess construction lines.

                               

                              Then I proceeded with the coloring part. This should not be a problem for someone with moderate level Phtoshop experience + Bill's video. In SW this seems very counter intuitive (or it's a bug again, or my laptop). It is hard to describe all options presented to me after every mouse click. I could print my result to file, but I can't save most of the colors to SW.

                               

                              I'm at this coloring thingy most of the day now. Im totally drained. Because I don't want to give up too soon and I don't want to ask stupid questions online (or anywhere for that matter). I'm no expert so I cannot tell if it's my quirky desktop computer, my quirky laptop, or just inexperienced me. I don't know how to fix this.

                               

                              Two more questions I have.

                              1) How can I prevent the helix lines from showing crossing the surface in the upper revolution? It messes up the overall perspective.

                              2) How can I cut out the surface area at the bottom of the helix in order to follow the indent of the starting arrow? At the final arrow I'm missing the same amount of surface fill. At the point in the video were Bill is closing the helixes at both ends I tried to draw 2 straight lines in the proper angel. But SW doesn''t like that.

                               

                              Thanks for any ideas

                               

                              Maurits

                                • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                                  Bill Toft

                                  Maurits,

                                  1) To hide any sketches, etc., just right click on the feature (in the expanded feature tree) and choose Hide.

                                  2) To get the pointed arrow at the top, I first modified the two Helix/Spiral features to add another revolution.

                                  I then used Delete Face (Surfaces menu) to delete all of that extra revolution except for the pointed arrow.

                                  I also used Delete Face to delete the pointed arrow at the bottom of the Helix.

                                   

                                  As to Widows 10, SolidWorks did not officially support it until SW2015 SP5. See this discussion for more info:

                                  Will SolidWorks 2015/16 install on Windows 10? I'm downloading through a University license and the student access form at the top says for Windows 7/8.

                                    • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                                      Maurits De Wolff

                                      Thanks for your last instructions, Bill.

                                      I still don't understand why the coloring of the helix segments is behaving so erratically in Windows 7 Premium. I followed each step in your video only to find that I'm not getting the options you seem to get. This includes the side panel with the green saving arrow. Meaning I don't get that panel most of the time and I don't get no green arrow and I can't save properly. My only option seems to be able to export the helix while in RAM memory. Then I save the file under a new name >file>save as. When I select my saved file for opening in SW, thumbnail image does show the fully colored helix. When the file opens in SW it shows almost no color. I don't know what's going on here.

                                        • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                                          Bill Toft

                                          Maurits,

                                          I see your DeleteFace3 missed the bottom arrow, so I added that face.

                                          I also see we only have 1 surface body, so I created a new sketch (on Front plane), then used convert entities to get a duplicate of Sketch1 (used for Split Line3). I used this sketch for the Split command.

                                          Now we have 25 surface bodies, and each can be colored separately. Expand the Surface Bodies folder and apply appearance. You can also copy and paste appearances.

                                          • Re: helix out of sheetmetal - student level
                                            Maurits De Wolff

                                            I'm still having problems Bill. I didn't know I had to create separate surface bodies in order to color them, or do I?

                                             

                                            If yes, then still I'm having difficulties following steps in your video, towards the end at 4:00, creating and coloring separate surface bodies. I don't see no uptick in the left pane in your folder Surface Bodies in your instruction video. I don't have no surface bodies either, but still 6 arrow bodies keep their color. How come I am succesfull at making those bodies keep color?

                                             

                                            I can't open your latest file. You probably have a newer version, or it's my limited student version. However you added a separate image (Split Bodies.jpg). This folder is now showing the contents of 25 files. How come you were able to add color in your video without any split bodies in your Surface Bodies folder?

                                             

                                            I'm reading online tutorials about split bodies and split lines like: 2015 SOLIDWORKS Help - Split and Save Bodies PropertyManagers. But that doesn't seem to work for me.

                                             

                                            Anyway, I rolled back to the point where I added 1 revolution to the top and 1 to the bottom (see attachment helix5h). I created a new sketch on Front plane with identical 5 arrow parts filling 1 revolution. When I go to the Split command under >Insert>Feature>Split. The only thing I can select or activate in the Trim Tools pane on the left is my old Split Line3. SW says it wants specified bodies for the Split operation. But I don't seem to have any other options here. I'm at a loss (again).

                                             

                                            Thanks for all the help. I really appreciate your trying to help me out.

                                             

                                            maurits