A blog for any other aspiring designers, attempting to learn this useful but kinda tricky program, or any other program, or anyone who can help me learn this program, or anyone really, I'm not fussy...

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Turns out even a coffee cup can be tricky to design! I wanted a rounded espresso glass, with a set volume, so I used http://www.wolframalpha.com/ to find the formula for the volume of a spheroid, rearranged it a bit so I could work out the size the cup would need to be for a given volume, in this case I wanted a 50ml volume, which is 50,000mm3, this would be half of my spheroid, so I used a size of 100,000mm3, and chose an depth of 40mm. The spreadsheet with functioning formula's is available here

So, first of all I drew a L shaped line (well, two lines), and set them to be construction lines in the line properties. I used the smart dimension tool to make these lines 40mm and 15mm long.


Then used the ellipse tool, first click center of the L, second at the bottom, finally at the end of the arm. Used the 'Trim Entities' tool to trim half the ellipse off, as you can see, I had to add a second arm to do this.


Quite a big step this one, sorry!
I used the offset entities tool to create 3 more part ellipses, the first 2mm away, the second 10mm away, the 3rd 12mm, giving a modern 2 walled espresso glass, with 2mm glass thickness and an 8mm cavity. The unneeded parts were trimmed off with the trim tool, only a quarter of an ellipse is needed! Then I used the tangent arc tool to link the tops of the quarter ellipse as shown in the screenshot. The lines at the bottom of the sketch are the results of me realizing that a glass needed a flat bottom... I drew a line 10mm horizontally out from the center line (created by drawing a line vertically through the origin, and ticking construction and infinite length), then a line from that up to the inside line of the outer glass wall, drew lines across and dimensioned as shown, you get the idea, lines that don't make up part of the glass are construction, and then the trim tool was used to remove unnecessary lines. Hope that makes sense!


So then I exited the sketch, and clicked the revolved boss/base function, selected the center line as the axis, and got this! One espresso cup!


Now I moved to the PhotoWorks 2010 program to try rendering the glass, as I mentioned before, the environment pallet doesn't work on mine, so this is how I load environments.


Then select the material and drag and drop it onto the glass.


Click final render, and after a while!

cup render2

Not the best render ever, and the void size isn't equal all round the cup, would have been better off drawing the original with a flat base, then offsetting it, but its good enough for me!


What to design?

So, you've got some basic skills in solidworks? Now what to do with them? Well, you saw my first design, but so far, I've pretty much stuck to basic stuff, strait lines, simple things I learnt in the tutorials! So I need something to design that will push me to learn new skills...

Coffee. Coffee is good, coffee machines are good. Lots of curved surfaces, tricky to design, well thats sorted, I'll design a coffee machine!

Okay... So to make a coffee, you need a coffee cup, so first of all I'll design a coffee cup, and try to upload a kinda step by step style thing on here.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Well this is pretty much where I started, first ever part, from the first beginners tutorial!


Then I worked through the tutorials, first assembly, then the more advanced ones, made myself a hinge, if you want to know what it looked like... well try the tutorial out for yourself! These first few tutorials will get you going with the basics, and with just the knowledge gained in those, and a few idea's, you can design a fair bit!


This was one of the first things I created in solidworks, a fish tank based of the Fluval Edge, but more practical, I hope, never actually made it, but that's not what this blog is about. Its a pretty simple assembly, makes use of the hinge tutorial to allow the lid to pivot, if anyone wants the solidworks files for it, let me know...


It's been rendered in PhotoWorks 2010, the rendering software that comes with solidworks, a very useful piece of software, and incredibly simple to use! Just drag the material you want to use onto the face/part/assembly you want to make that material, and it does it, although for some reason the environment panel on mine doesn't work... can get around that by manually loading an environment in the settings panel though.


Thanks for reading,

A blog...erm...yeah

Right... So I have a blog, I guess mostly to help me, and try and help out others who are trying to use solidworks, and like me a lot of the time, haven't got a bloody clue what they're doing. Clicking random buttons can only get you so far...

So where to start? Well, when I first acquired Solidworks 2010, I opened up a new document, clicked a few buttons, got nowhere fast, so resorted to the 'Help' section on the bar at the right of the default screen. If anyone else is at the stage of having absolutely no idea, I'd recommend doing the same, the tutorials are generally helpful, and should get you far enough to start designing basic stuff yourself. That's pretty much where I am, simple things, I can do, anything else tends to go tits up.

That'll do for a first post then, probably full of spelling mistakes, bits probably don't make sense, so if there's anyone out there, good luck! I'll get a few of my initial designs in solidworks up soon, make the place a bit more colorful, might whack a bit of my photography on as well, you never know, someone might see it, more than will if it stays lurking in the background of flickr anyway... I don't profess to be any good at designing, working solidworks, or photography, but its a bit less depressing if there's a chance someone might get something from some of it!

Thanks to anyone reading this,