8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2014 3:38 PM by Shad Thomas

    Embossing on spherical-like or compound curve surfaces

    Shad Thomas

      Hey all.


      There is a problem that I keep running into. Often times we need to emboss artwork on to the shoulder of a bottle. The shoulder area of a bottle is usually somewhat spherical in shape. Sometimes the curves are large enough, and the artwork is small enough that it is not an issue. Other times, it is a nightmare.


      Depending on the situation, I have used several different methods to varying degrees of effectiveness (some steps may be left out):


      1. Create a plane that is tangent to the curve. Extrude artwork curves. Offset shoulder surface the desired thickness. Trim surfaces (or use split lines). Thicken artwork surfaces.


      2.  Using a line tangent to the curve, revolve it to make a cylinder surface. Wrap artwork sketch onto surface. Thicken artwork surfaces, Trim with offset shoulder surface.


      3.  Create lofted surfaces from the artwork sketch to a focus point. Trim surfaces and thicken.



      All the above methods work somewhat in most situations. However none of the methods are completely accurate as far as deformation goes. Does anyone have a better way or ways of approaching this? Anyone with experience in the matter? I have searched high and low, both here and on the interwebs and have found only a handful of cases. I suppose I could modify the original artwork in order to simulate this, but that defeats the purpose of using a program like Solidworks.


      I have been told that we need to be able to geo-map and that Solidworks is not capable of doing so. Your thoughts on this? We have used Alias in the past, which I am told is a high end surfacing program. It seems to have no issues doing this sort of thing.



        • Re: Embossing on spherical-like or compound curve surfaces
          Jerry Steiger



          Unfortunately for you, the Wrap feature is limited in its ability to fairly simple shapes. Sounds like you are probably an expert in working your way around its limitations. You can put in an Enhancement Request. If enough people want it, it may eventually be implemented.


          Jerry S.

            • Re: Embossing on spherical-like or compound curve surfaces
              Shad Thomas

              Thanks Jerry.


              Sadly, I have made several ER's along these lines. I have also met with a Solidworks engineer. Here's hoping something changes soon. I would hate to have to go to management and tell them that Solidworks can not do all of the things we need it to do. I'm the only member on the team currently that is familiar with Solidworks. Training the other members of the team on Solidworks along with a surfacing program would be too much!

                • Re: Embossing on spherical-like or compound curve surfaces
                  Dan Essink

                  Just did this by creating a flat solid that was not merged and went though the object. Then do a revolved cut to the depth of the emboss. You can then use the indent to take the image away. creating the indent. do a delete body on the solids.

                    • Re: Embossing on spherical-like or compound curve surfaces
                      Shad Thomas



                      Yes this method works, but it has the same limitations as I mentioned in the above methods. With the soft radius that you have on your part, and the short length word, all appears fine. The distortion that should be present is minimal, so it is basically unnoticed. However, if you were to have, for example, a beer bottle and multiple words to wrap around it, this method would not work. The problem is that the artwork/text must deform in multiple axis, which Solidworks does not do. The wording/artwork must wrap around horizontal and vertical. To make matters even more complicated, at times I need to do this over several different radii.

                • Re: Embossing on spherical-like or compound curve surfaces
                  Charles Culp

                  There is no built-in functionality for this. The most accurate way I have found is to use the flex command. You will have to use it twice, once in the X axis, and once in the Y axis.


                  Imagine the Y axis runs along the centerline of the bottle:

                  1. Create your 2D "flat" design on a plane that is either normal to the surface, or parallel with the Y axis, but otherwise normal to the surface.

                  2. Flex along the X axis

                  3. Flex along the Y axis




                  Then use the loft to a point technique, which is centered on the centerline of the bottle.



                  This creates a close approximation to whatever curvature you need. Since all techniques for wrapping 2D lines onto curvy/sperical surfaces are inherently an approximation, the question is "how close is close enough".



                  I have attached a file. You will see that I tried to use split lines to show the edges. You can then select the split line, and do a "extrude surface from surface" command to make the emboss:



                  In this instance the split lines were not happy with my source sketches (probably because it is just text). I assume that with "real" sketches it will work correctly. Since this error is not part of what i am trying to describe I am just going to ignore it for this description, I hope it is enough to show the technique I suggest.