I am looking to get into CNC woodworking and I am wanting to design some flowers to put on a jewelry box. Does anyone know where I can find some good tutorials on intricate floral designs? Thanks in advance for all of the help.
I'm new to the solidworks world but I used to work with Pro/e wildfire. I was also interested in floral designs and spent a lot of time modeling them.
I don't know of any tutorials for floral designs but if you are going to model a lot of them then go through as many surfacing tutorials as you can - you'll need them.
One place you can get ideas for modeling is to look at old buildings. 75-100 years ago architectural ornament was common on buildings and a lot of it is very good. The quality varies from city to city but usually large cities have preserved some of their older buildings.
I used to take pictures of the ornament and then come home and try and model it in Pro/e. It wasn't easy and I used most of the surfacing commands but after a while I got pretty decent at it.
I'm itching to get back into it so if you can take a photo of some ornament, I'll take a crack at it and try and make it into a tutorial.
Maybe something similar to this. Flowers and all. Thanks in advance.
As Francis said, go through the surfacing tutorials.
Depending on the CNC you're planning on using, SolidWorks may not be the best way to go. There is a bunch of software out there for CNC routers that would probably be a better route.
The surface features I would use most often for the photo you put up would be sweeps, boundary surface and lofts. As I mentioned I'm
new to Solidworks but those are the commands I would use in Pro/e. You want to get really good at projected sketches and 3d sketches because the above surface features usually follow them.
All that being said your cnc problems may be more challenging than your solidworks problems. Since the surfaces of the flowers are so irregular you would probably need a 4 or 5 axis machine to do the intricate cuts. You are also going to have to figure out how to program it. I think you might want to talk to an experienced cnc guy about what is involved.
On the other hand you could simplify the modeling so that a 3 axis machine could handle it.
I'll be happy to give you some more tips but I need to get familiar with the Solidworks interface first.
Thanks for the help guys. I am still a student. With that being said we have a 5 axis woodworking router in our lab. We also use Creo 3.0/ Mastercam / and Solidworks so programing the machine is taken care of as well. I was just curious I had never done a flower design like this before. Just looking for the most effecient way to handle it. Thanks again guys.
If you are concerned about modeling efficiency, I think using a polygonal modeler would be preferred for this kind of work.
However, if you need to import the file to Mastercam for CNC milling, you may have to go the nurbs route.
Most people who have Mastercam say it cannot program optimized toolpaths from triangulated (polygonal files). I recently learned that some newer versions of Mastercam can use polygonal files for toolpath programming. So its best to check with the people that run/program your 5 axis machine.
If you can use a triangulated file (STL for example), a poly modeler will give you more flexibility. You can also use greyscale images, called heightmaps or displacement maps, to create the surface.
I'm not saying you can't do this kind of work in SolidWorks, but it is more time consuming.
PowerSurfacing is a plugin for SolidWorks that allows you to use a polygon representation to create and modify a nurbs model. Check to see if your school might have this plugin. If it does not, it would be a good suggestion for them to purchase it.
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