6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 29, 2011 5:49 PM by David Stuart

    Modify Spline with points file?

    David Stuart

      Hi All,


      First post here, so sorry if this is in the wrong section...


      I am from a Pro_Engineer background and recently started using solidworks for work. I have a points file (x,y,x) which I have successfully used to create curves, however my understanding is that I cannot use curves as sections for a revolve/extrusion...


      In Pro Engineer, a points file can be used to modify a spline curve within a sketch. By drawing a spline on a sketcher coordinate system, and selecting to modify from a .pts file which is very similar to the coordinate .txt file solid works can read. ProE then modifys the spline curve in much the same was as SolidWorks creates a curve through X,Y,Z, however as its in a sketch the modified spline can be used to define revolves/sweeps/blends extrudes etc...


      Is there a way to achieve this in solidworks? Or am I unaware of a method to use curve through XYZ (from insert curve menu) as a 'sketch' for defining sections of a feature?


      I know I can sketch a spline on the "curve through XYZ" manually, however I have a file containing point corrdinates (a large number of points) and need to have the spline exactly through these points.


      Thanks in advance for any ideas/help. Any more info needed?




        • Re: Modify Spline with points file?
          Scott McFadden


          Welcome to the forum.

          There is not an easy way to do what you are asking for.

          I used to use Pro-E and don't remember that feature of it.  Was that a family table

          driving the spline or a generic table?

          I know there are methods for driving and creating models using design tables

          which are Excel based and I could point you to such threads, but short of that

          I am not aware of anything else.

            • Re: Modify Spline with points file?
              David Stuart

              Thanks for the reply scott.


              The modify spline through points option (ProE) is an within the sketch, one of a couple ways to bring it up is to RMB on the spline and select modify. then you select from file, select the sketcher (or global) coordinate system (that the points file will import with respect to), then navigate to the .pts file of x,y,z coords and it will modify the spline appropriately.


              (A story for another day is how puzzled I am that you cant use a coordinate system in solidworks other than the global (default) one for reference like above...)


              I am familiar with design tables, and thinking of how to use one... I might be able to make a series of (i ) generic points in 3d sketches whos x(i),y(i),z(i) coordinates are driven by the design table. I can then bring in the coordinates file to the design table perhaps?


              I am trying to speed up a very manual task into a pretty quick automated one, where the initial curve needs to be spot on the money accurate. This curve gets revolved, then another created by intersecting at an offset to the centreline of the revolve. Its the second curve I need to use as the section of a Blend/Sweep.

                • Re: Modify Spline with points file?
                  Scott McFadden


                  What you described with Pro-E marginally sounds familiar.

                  The last time I used it religously was 2000i2.  I used wildfire 3

                  for a short period about a year ago.

                  It is frustrating in that what you are describing can't be done the same

                  way, but it appears that you have the right idea on how to tackle it in Solidworks.

                  What you said is what I was trying to convey to you.  Another possibility might be to

                  create it in Pro-E then call it up directly into Solidworks.


                  Since Pro-E is fresh in your mind you should browse the SW knowledge base

                  and search to see if this has been addressed as an enhancement request.

                  If you don't find anything like it then you should start an ER addressing this.

                    • Re: Modify Spline with points file?
                      David Stuart



                      I think I have worked out a way around this problem for the job Im doing at the moment by placing a series of ref. points on the curve defined as a % distance along the curve length. Then draw a spline between these ref. points.


                      Re. Enhancement Request, I will look into it - I didnt know you could do that... I have made the change into SW pretty fast from ProE, with most hurdles behing small and only due to SW calling something a different name or a slightly different method, and I'm starting to learn to 'think SW' - I'd rather learn how to do it in SW as opposed to constantly wishing I could just do it the ProE way! . I do however really miss ProE's datum (reference) features (particularly points and coordinate systems), it just seems to give you more control...


                      Thanks for the help mate!

                • Re: Modify Spline with points file?
                  Jerry Steiger



                  If a Curve can't be used for a Revolve, there is a fairly easy workaround. Make your Curve and then open a new sketch on the plane you want the Revolve to be in. (I assume that will be the plane of one of your X, Y or Z coordinates for the Curve.) Open a sketch on that plane and then Convert Entities on the Curve. This will give you a spline in the sketch that you can Revolve.


                  Jerry Steiger