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Surfacing or Solid Modelling for this type of part?

Question asked by Kim Panattoni on Nov 25, 2017
Latest reply on Dec 4, 2017 by Kim Panattoni

Heya everyone,


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This is an edit note for clarity before reading the rest:


The goal here is to recreate the upper surface of the part shown in the image FinalProducts.png. I have lost the parts files due to life circumstances and lost access to the computer I was using due to the same reason. I have to start over as it says in the first sentence. I am asking for your opinion on the best approach to making these cuts/shapes in the revolved surface while I tinker with the part myself. This is a bit of a challenge, if you will. Please read on below. I have given you a few a part file with the revolved surface, and a few sketches on planes. I have also given you a high resolution image of the final product as well so you can see what it is supposed to look like in the end. Surfacing or solid modelling? A combination of both?


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I know it has been ages since I last posted, and a lot has happened. Firstly, I lost access to the machine that had SolidWorks on it, and I moved. I also lost the hard drive that had my files on it to a crash, so I have to start all over again. I am using a computer with an older version of SolidWorks on it, back to 2012.


I am told by someone in Scotland that the project I was working on might be better achieved using Surface Modelling rather than Solid Modelling, though I am really unfamiliar with the former, and have no idea how to use it other than to solve a few problems with fine face issues. So I put this to you:


I do not even remember as it has been about 4 years, how I achieved what I accomplished in the the image called Final Products. As in, I do not remember the process other than I used Solid Modelling and no Surface Modelling tools whatsoever. I have included 2 image files here of the current iteration of the recreated upper surface of the parts used to create the image in the Final Products image, with the radials and rings sketches created on planes, which is about as far as I remember getting before I started troubleshooting the idea of how I wanted to proceed.


I ask you how you would proceed, and what advantages there would be to either. I remember that I went through some funky methods to achieve the surfaces cuts in the upper saucer in the final part, and you can see some of the methods for the bottom saucer in my previous posts here in the forum. I have to create the radial grids in the upper saucer, and while they are round in the previous versions as you will see in previous part files in the forum, the ideal method here is to recreate the cuts in the surface as if they were made with a handheld metal scoring tool used to cut into 1/8” styrene. This part will be a reproduction to the finest detail if possible in the end. The cuts are about 1/16” wide and not much deeper than that if that.


There are ways to accomplish this with solid modelling, though I did not find a good way to do so in few operations. I recall having to do each circle individual as swept cuts and then the radial ticks on top as individuals then reconcile the way they cut into the rings and do a lot of maintenance.


As surfaces, I am told there are a lot simpler ways to do it. I have no idea how, but online tutorials suggest it is so easy with trims and replace surfaces and such, but I have tried to immense frustration. To further frustration, I find myself finding that the operations outnumber those required for solid modelling.


Thoughts? I have provided the part file for you to fiddle with.