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The 25th SOLIDWORKS Power-User Challenge - Center Vent on Flatten Hole (Cylinder Case Study)

Question asked by Alin Vargatu on Mar 23, 2019
Latest reply on May 28, 2019 by John Stoltzfus

Many thanks to Jamie Hill for providing inspiration for this challenge and the next. We had a brainstorming session yesterday, working on a custom method to solve a customer-specific problem.


One of the challenges was identifying the center of a flatten cut-out in a sheet-metal rolled cylinder. The main problem is that the faces of the hole change, depending on its position on the cylinder.

We found a pretty good solution and were very proud of it. But now, we ask for our "humbling" pill. We know that you will find much more interesting solutions. Can't wait to be surprised!




1. Watch this video. It is also attached to this post, for those of you without access to YouTube.

2. Download the attached part. If you use SOLIDWORKS 2016 or older, you can model the part yourself, using the instructions in the video.

3. Switch to the Flat Pattern configuration

4. Create a new configuration called Mid Ribs

5. All new features to be added after the Flat-Pattern feature, in the flat

6. Add 2 ribs centered on the cut-out.

7. Make the rib width = to the Custom Property TabW, which already exist in the file

8. Test how well the ribs update if the hole is moved anywhere on the cylinder. The only exception is the hole touching the top or bottom base of the cylinder.

9. Once you got a robust model, create a new configuration called Vent

10. Multiply the ribs to fill the cut-out. The gab between two ribs is equal to the width of the rib.

11. Repeat step 8.

12. Upload your finished file to this thread before

12. Provide your solutions before midnight EDT on April 7th, 2019.


In my solution, I did not use macros. If you use macros, and they are really good, we might award a special prize for them.



For eternal glory and 10,000 points, come with the best, most elegant and original solution which allows the mid ribs and the vent to rebuild fast in all positions of the flatten cut-out. The more details you add in your explanations, the bigger your chances of winning.


Videos describing your solution are welcome. Please record your voice too, as you explain the steps you took.


Good luck!!!


Update 2019.Mar.25: A second 10,000 point award is offered for the best solution solving the problem without referring the sketch of the circle used for cutting the hole.