11 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2016 3:01 PM by Antonio Lee

    Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?

    Antonio Lee

      Hello everyone,

       

      I want to first apologize if this is a very basic question. I have tried searching it beforehand, but I did not really know what to search. Anyways, I am trying to sketch some figures for a mold - they are actually a combination of arcs and lines as you can see from the first image. This geometry should be simple to create, and I am sure there is a faster process than what I am currently doing. Here are the steps I did:

       

      1. Create circles and rectangles in the desired locations and define

      2. Make all of these shapes for construction

      3. Use lines and arcs with the construction geometry as guidelines to fully define new figure

       

      This creates a figure with so many relations and I feel some may be unnecessary. On the other hand, it seems equally cumbersome to do this with just arcs and lines. Split entities sounds like a good idea, but I cannot split at an intersection (rectangle and circle) perfectly. Any tips or advise to make this an easier process?

       

       

      Capture.PNG


      Thank you so much!

        • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
          John Stoltzfus

          That's how I would do it, why would you want to add a split line, only more relations ??

          • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
            Deepak Gupta

            I would keep it simple and would not worry for those extra lines/arcs. So no need to split, trim or add more relations

            • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
              Craig Schultz

              Set up your base with construction rectangles and some mirror lines, turn on dynamic mirroring, then draw the arcs, lastly the lines. No trimming involved.

              • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
                Tom Gagnon

                Your sketch looks simple enough. I have just a couple ideas which you can take or leave as it suits you.

                 

                Sometimes I create construction geometry framework and normal geometry upon it in the same sketch. Other times, particularly with larger designs, I will keep a few layout sketches named as such, and then create separate related sketches with hard lines to feature from. It depends on the complexity of the result, as well as the intended lock-down or flexibility of the result.

                 

                For Split entities, I'd only use that if trying to create a loft, to match quantity of endpoints between profiles.

                • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
                  Paul Risley

                  Simpler or not this is how I would do the part you have drawn there:

                  #1.JPG

                  #2.JPG

                  #3.JPG#4.JPG

                  Draw the base design of the 3 circles w/ centerlines. bi directional offset of the centerlines

                  trim and mirror and finally trim.

                  1 sketch and it is done.

                  That is just how I would approach a part that looks like it is symmetric.

                    • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
                      Brian McEwen

                      The other thing to consider is the underused "Selected Contours" option when you are doing a Boss-Extrude (or Revolve).

                      With that you could stop your sketch work at Risley's 3rd image and the Boss feature would work fine (it doesn't matter if you have multiple overlapping closed contours, you can even create a Boss from his 2nd sketch, not that I would).  2014 SOLIDWORKS Help - Selecting Contours

                       

                      Selected Contours is great for using one sketch to control a lot of dimensions. And you can use it instead of stacking other sketches on, like your step 3. But as Gagnon mentioned, sometimes it is better to have separate sketches, it just depends how busy it is.

                       

                      And my personal preference is not to use Mirror in sketches, unless it really saves time. I'd rather use equal relations and dimensions. I feel like mirror relations are more fragile, when I end up changing something.

                       

                      [[[some edits]]]

                        • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
                          Paul Risley

                          Selected contours is a great tool the only reason I went the extra step was for a complete profile similar to the one he had shown. As far as mirror vs. relations I have never ran into an issue unless the part becomes un-symmetric for some reason.(usually the customer changed their mind) But that is a whole separate discussion from this one.

                      • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
                        Glenn Schroeder

                        Antonio Lee wrote:

                         

                        Split entities sounds like a good idea, but I cannot split at an intersection (rectangle and circle) perfectly.

                         

                        I did some playing around, and after placing a Split Line point you can drag it (and it will snap) to the intersection with another line, so it's effectively coincident with that intersection, but it still only splits one entity.  If this is something you'd use often you might want to consider submitting an Idea (SOLIDWORKS World 2017 Top Ten List)  to have a split line point that's coincident with a sketch line intersection split both lines.  That way you could turn the unneeded remaining line segments to construction lines without losing the relations and dimensions that define the sketch.

                        • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
                          Christian Chu

                          If you use this kind of  sketch more often in your design, would you consider to make it a block so you can reuse it. Then it doesn't how complex the sketch is, just insert it into a new part

                           

                          Edit: please read this - I just love it since it saves me lot of time

                          Here are few from mine

                          Capture.PNG

                          • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
                            Antonio Lee

                            Thanks everyone for your replies! There are definitely a lot of new methods I want to try that you guys listed and I will see which one is the most effective. I really like Paul's method of creating offset lines from the construction geometry. Also, I agree with you Brian, I don't really want to use the mirror as changing a parameter after mirroring creates a whole new set of problems.


                            I will definitely also try the split entities snapping and making sketch  blocks. Thank you all again

                            • Re: Simpler way to sketch complex shapes?
                              Rob Edwards

                              It's more work later but if you want a really simple sketch you can use multiple extrudes and patterns.  This would be a useful approach if you wanted to adjust the number of legs