3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 10, 2011 12:26 PM by Chris Kamery

    Best Practice: First Surfacing Project

    Brent Theobald



      I have been building solid models since the early 90's using various CAD packages. Our company hasn't been using all the powerful tools available. (We ignore all the surfacing tools.) This is a shame since we primarily build handheld electronics. So, I have taken it upon myself to learn surfacing.


      The project I have decided to tackle is to bring a scan of a 3 view drawing into SW and trace it. My goal is to build complex geometry with surfaces from a 2D image.


      I am interested in what you experienced folks think the best way to start this project would be. (I have Lombard's Surfacing bible here too that I am referencing.)


      Thank you in advance,



        • Re: Best Practice: First Surfacing Project
          Charles Culp



          I have compiled a great collection of surfacing videos, tutorials, and presentations.


          Start soaking: http://www.swtuts.com/?s=surfacing


          But to answer your question more specifically. I do this style modeling often, here is what I do:

          1. Create an assembly file. Drop the 3D scan into that. Start a new blank part file, drop that in too.


          2. Try and match up the key areas that you can draw 2D planes, so you can sketch on those. Use splines. Use symmetry. Use tangent constraints across the planes of symmetry, to make sure the two halves have a smooth transition.


          3. This is a skill that you learn by practice, so review the presentations and videos that I linked to, and then give it a try.

          • Re: Best Practice: First Surfacing Project
            Chris Kamery

            We welcome you to the dark side. I always hear about people saying that surfacing is a dark art and frankly, I don't try to correct them (I don't see the need).


            The best advice I can give is keep trying and don't get discouraged. There is more than one way to accomplish something, some ways are better than others, but it is sometimes application specific. If something isn't lining up or working out the way you would like, don't be afraid to just start a new part and try again from a different approach. I have parts that started one way, just to scrap it, and restart a different way. With experience, things just come together easier.