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Need to model a spring with a helical profile

Question asked by Krey Miller on Dec 12, 2016
Latest reply on Dec 13, 2016 by John Stoltzfus

I need to model a spring with a helical (and sometimes other oddball) profile...but am no solidworks expert and this one gets a little beyond my knowledge.


I can get exactly what I need but it has extraneous features used in the modeling which I can't seem to get rid of without using a bit an imperfect procedure.  I'll explain how I get there and maybe someone with more between their ears can come up with a better procedure or an alternative to get what I need.


Here it is in photos to help explain how I get there now:  This is the helical sweep to create the edge I need (shown a bit extra thick).  After making the initial standard helical sweep, I cut-extrude an ellipse down the center.  That is what leaves the exact profile I need in order to sweep the actual spring on one of the inner edges


helix 3.JPG

I can then add a circle in a drawing and sweep an inner edge which effectively gives me the exact spring I am looking for.

helix 1.JPG

Here is a planar view to clarify the kind of profile involved (and that profile can vary from an ellipse to a slot to even sort of a rounded square on different springs).  In technical terms, these are often called "magazine springs" as they are sometimes used in gun magazines.

helix 2.JPG

So...can anyone tell me a better way to get this result that doesn't leave me with the initial extraneous construction bits to hide?  Maybe a way to make that initial helix invisible?  Some way to select the needed edge and move it into a new drawing? The best I can do now is extrude-cut away the outside which is a bit clunky. It actually tends to leave a flat spot.  Can one make the initial sweep with zero thickness?   As I said, I'm a bit ignorant as to all the features available so there might be something easy I'm missing.


Any help or ideas to try would be GREATLY appreciated!  Thanks in advance.  Solidworks pro 2016 BTW