Written by: Shaun Johnson, Application Engineer
With the release of SOLIDWORKS 2019, Dassault has made it even easier to import and adjust non-native CAD files for use with SOLIDWORKS designs. The Slicing feature streamlines the creation of intersection profiles, perfect for creating and manipulating sketch sections for lofts and sweeps.
In this instance, we have a mesh body of a wing. This mesh body may be from a 3D scan, or perhaps it was generated in another modeling program. Regardless of its origins, the mesh body is faceted and does not quite represent the ideal final shape.
The Slicing tool is found under the Insert menu within a SOLIDWORKS Part or Assembly. Clicking on this tool launches a dialog within the Manager Pane where the various selections are made to generate 2D cross-sectional sketches.
Slicing planes can be created as offsets from a planar surface or a plane, or they can be created by rotating about an axis or line. In this example, we use the controls in the Manager Pane to select the large planar face on the near end of the wing as our start point.
Next, we define the offset between planes and the number of planes to be created. Once satisfied with the number and location of the planes, we manipulate the bounding box size to encompass the entire part and click on the “Preview Slices” box to preview the resulting sketch profiles.
The resulting sketches are still rough and made of multiple segments which exactly match the intersection of the slicing planes and the mesh body. To make adjustments and smooth out the profiles, the user can edit the definition of each of the sketches and use the created entities as a reference or use ”Fit Spline” to smooth out the profiles.
In this way, we can further leverage non-native CAD files to speed our designs and explore new approaches to challenging engineering questions quickly and easily.