I need to create solid models of quite complicated networks of channels (grooves or slots). These are typically of similar width but the structure may have many branches and crosses, etc.
To date I mostly use slots to define the pattern for an extruded cut (see attached example). However, as the network becomes more complex, it gets harder to work with for the following reasons:
a). Having to dimension every single slot width.
b). Having to select many contours for the feature. (This gets particularly slow and I find the selection process very tricky).
c). A high chance of zero-thickness & geometry errors if contours are missed (and little help to find the missing ones).
A multi-path slot tool and some way to automatically select all the contours in my cut would solve my problems but I don't see these tools anywhere..
I can't help thinking there must be a better way but so far have not found it. Doing a swept cut does not seem to work as it can't handle forks of crosses in the design. I could split it up but I would then end up with many separate swept cuts which becomes equally cumbersome.
Can anyone suggest other ways to achieve my parts?