8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 11, 2010 7:41 PM by Dale Dunn

    3D Sketch Blocks... ????

    Jeff Radke

      I work with a lot of in-context designed parts, exhaust systems mainly. Many times I'll have a master assembly to work from, (often times created with other 3D Cad software, so it'll usually be an iges or parasolid model). What I do then, is create a 3D sketch for my exhaust system path, and once I have a satisfactory 3D sketch, that will become my "master sketch" for creating all the components of the exhaust system. Now to my question:

       

      Why can I not create a 3D sketch block???? Please Solidworks, I would think that 3D sketch blocks would have been implemented by now! 3D is what you do!!! I would like to copy my "master sketch" and drop it into a new part, and then be able to align certain segments or important features to the existing planes or origin. That would make life quite a bit simpler when I get to detailing these parts, or sending them out for tooling or fixturing. I know I can create new planes, and new origins and all, but it would make things so much easier and cleaner if I could just move that 3D sketch around as a block.

       

      Does anyone have a good method, or suggestions, as to how I can manipulate the 3D sketch as a "block"?

       

      Thanks!

        • Re: 3D Sketch Blocks... ????
          Philip Blair

          Have you tried using the move command?  It works in 3d sketches.  Paste in your master sketch, select everything, click move and move a point to where you want it.

            • Re: 3D Sketch Blocks... ????
              Jeff Radke

              Yes, I am able to move the 3D sketch, but I also want to be able to orient the sketch to the planes or origin. This would involve rotating the 3D sketch, often on 2 axis. For example, I attached a 3D sketch that has a construction line straight section, but is oriented in a slightly angled direction. When I bring that sketch into a part file, I would like that long straight section to be on my 0,0 axis say oriented in the X-Y direction, there is no way to "tweak" that geometry to get it aligned with my XYZ planes. See the attached file. Maybe I'm just missing something obvious here...

               

              I think it should work just like bringing a part into an assembly, drop it into the sketch, make it a block, make a sketch line coincident with a plane, make another sketch line parallel to a plane, set a sketch point at a certain offset from a plane, create an angular mate of a sketch line to a plane... etc, etc, etc. Seems like it should be that easy. (as a side note, I HAVE done it this way, brought my 3D sketch as a part into an assembly, oriented it how I wanted, and then created a new 3D sketch in the assembly, copied THAT 3D sketch to use as my master sketch.) Kind of a long way around.

                • Re: 3D Sketch Blocks... ????
                  Matt Wallace

                  Take your 3d sketch part, as you have it, and insert it into subsequent parts and use it to build the downstream parts.

                   

                  This will be a test to see if I can upload this.

                    • Re: 3D Sketch Blocks... ????
                      Jeff Radke

                      Thanks Matt,

                      That is close to the method I currently use, but not quite what I'm trying to do. What I really want, is to be able to orient the 3D master sketch that the subsequent parts are made from. For example, take your "mid-pipe" part, what I want to do is take the centerline of that extrude/loft, and move it so it coincides with the "Y" axis, and then rotate the sketch so the "small-pipe" centerline is on the top and front planes.

                       

                      ...And I want to do that to the 3D sketch. If it were a block, it would be very easy.

                        • Re: 3D Sketch Blocks... ????
                          Matt Wallace

                          Theoretically, you can orient your incoming part however you want to, but it is not working to well with the sketch.  If you create some phony reference solid geometry, or surfaces maybe, I am sure you can do what you want.

                           

                          The question is why would you want, since you will be giving up some cool functionality.  Notice how in the asm I did, there are no mates, so no mates can blow up.  You can just drag and drop the parts into the assembly and the will be oriented properly.  What are you going to gain by sacrificing that?

                            • Re: 3D Sketch Blocks... ????
                              Jeff Radke

                              Matt, the way you did the assembly is essentially how I do it now. The point you are missing is, I want to be able to orient the 3D sketch in the part, to the existing planes. For instance, if you put a 2D sketchblock into a sketch, you can orient it according to the existing geometry or planes, and it will stay intact. I want to be able to do that with a 3D sketch.

                    • Re: 3D Sketch Blocks... ????
                      Matthew Perez

                      You can make blocks in a 3d sketch but they have to be on planes i believe.  Probably not what you are looking for.

                       

                      How much of the exhaust are you dealing with?  are you going up to the header(splitting into multiple routes) or are these single line paths?  Are these imported parts used to create your path and thats what you want to export?  Im just trying to understand the context of what you are designing.  It sounds like you already have a cad model of the exhaust system but this is a simplified version.  You are using it to create components along the exhaust.  Is it not feasible to import your iges/parasolid, create a sldprt from it and use that as a master in an assembly file rather than inserting a 3d sketch into a new part?