Tech Support: 888-223-3334

CADD Edge Engineering & Design Blog
Tips, Tricks & News from CADD Edge

CADD Edge Helping AMVETS

Posted by David Sciuto on Fri, May 23, 2014 @ 16:05 PM

Leon Austin
By: Leon Austin
Technical Manager for CADD Edge
CSWE (Veteran of USAF)
How can you say no to helping out an American Veteran?

We recently received a request from a member of the veteran’s organization - AMVETS (American Veterans) - to make some modifications to a medal he had so that he could generate chocolate molds for promotional purposes. The downside was he didn’t have an electronic model, he only had the medal itself.

As a designer and instructor with with over 14 years of experience with CADD Edge, I have access to the cutting edge SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD technology needed for such a task. And as a fellow veteran, I wanted to help.

How do I get this model into SOLIDWORKS? 

I started by putting the medal and a ruler onto a regular office scanner and emailed myself an image.  SOLIDWORKS allows me to put an image file into a sketch.  This could be a scan of an actual model, or even an artist hand drawn sketch.  The ruler will ensure I get the correct size.
scanned insignia
Next, I imported the scan as a Sketch Picture (Tools->Sketch Tools->Sketch Picture).  As I add the picture, I can size the it to the correct dimension, which makes the ruler handy.

From here I was able to create sketches and start extruding geometry to duplicate the original model. Below you can see my approach.  I started on the outside edge with an extruded feature.  After that, I just used a circular pattern to get it around half the part, then the mirror command to ensure both sides were identical.
Import into Sketch Tools
Imported Scan into Sketch Tools
Spline Tool Trace
Spline Tool Trace
The spline tool made it easy to trace the eagle.  Using fewer points is best to make it easier to control and look smooth. The Control Polygon also makes adjustments easy.  I added a little text instead of tracing it and I was almost done.

Step by step, I was able to duplicate each feature and make the height changes needed so it would work as a chocolate.  The key was getting the detail pronounced enough to stand out. With the completion of the medal, I was able to create the mold tool. I simply used the disjoint bodies to create two separate bodies and then used the Combine feature to subtract one from the other.
Pronounced Detail
Detailed Medal
Create the Mold
Created Mold
A 3D model on the screen is good, but nothing is better than having the part in your hand.  Using our Objet30 Pro 3D Printer from Stratasys, I was able to print out an actual model.
This proved I was able to capture a perfect replication of the original with even a little added depth so it would be recognizable when made out of chocolate.

With tools like SOLIDWORKS and Stratasys printers available, how could I not offer to help?

To all the veterans who have served to make this country what it is, I thank you.

Leon Austin, CSWE
(Veteran of USAF)
Final 3D Printed Product
Final Result

Sketch Relations on 2 Planes

Posted by Keith Vittitoe on Fri, Aug 23, 2013 @ 07:08 AM

One of my favoritest toolbar buttons when designing is convert entities.  There's no easier way to re-use geometry than to sketch everything in one place and use it over and over as you build a part.

But sometimes you want to convert that sketch geometry onto another plane that isn't parallel. Then the sketch relations you need may not work.  You just can't add a relation between sketches on two non-parallel planes.  Yes, you can link dimensions, but I'm talking about stuff you want to drag around.  One way to get around this issue is a surface - a swept surface.

describe the image

describe the image
describe the image

Of course, you need a path and maybe a guide curve on occassion, so don't forget the pierce or coincident relation.


Tips and Tricks: Changing Sketches from John

Posted by Jess Levasseur on Mon, Nov 29, 2010 @ 16:11 PM

We've posted another of John's Tips & Tricks videos over on YouTube.  If you've ever had to make changes to a sketch and it was dimensioned or constrained in a way that made it difficult you should check out this video.  SolidWorks has some great tools for changing sketches and others for fixing problems in them when they occur. 

Check it out and let us know what you think.



Tips and Tricks for Reference Planes and Centerlines from John

Posted by Jess Levasseur on Tue, Nov 23, 2010 @ 15:11 PM

Johns latest video tips are centered around reference planes and center-lines.  SolidWorks 2010 revamped the interface for creating planes making the creation of certain planes a lot easier.  If you work with molded parts with draft, imported parts with planes in the wrong places, or any part with symmetry you'll find John's tips this week useful.



Tips and Tricks for Better SolidWorks Sketching from John

Posted by Jess Levasseur on Tue, Nov 09, 2010 @ 06:11 AM

Last week we posted John's Tips & Tricks presentation from the Northeast Rollout.  He has started producing a series of short video versions of these videos. 

This week he starts with some little known tools that are really powerful and will allow you to sketch more efficiently with SolidWorks.


Using SolidWorks Virtual Sharps at the Intersection of Two Lines

Posted by Jess Levasseur on Wed, Nov 03, 2010 @ 13:11 PM

A question we get a lot on the support lines is “How do I dimension to the theoretical intersection of two lines?"  If you use a sketch fillet it's really easy since SolidWorks automatically puts in a virtual sharp for you.  But what if you didn’t use a sketch fillet? How come there isn’t a “Virtual Sharp” command within the sketching environment even though there is a whole section under Document Properties dedicated to controlling their appearance.  The solution is simpler than the preceding introductory paragraph.  Thanks to Stefanie for providing the screen captures and directions.

describe the image

Step 1

  • Hold Ctrl and select the 2 lines as pictured below.
describe the image

Step 2

  • Select the Point describe the image icon.
  • A point/intersection will appear representing the virtual sharp.
describe the image
Virtual sharps can be inserted into 2D sketches, 3D sketches and Drawing views.  To change their appearance go to Tools/Options/Document Properties/ Virtual Sharps.

Subscribe to Blog