Lab 5: Prototyping in SolidWorks
Download this lab’s code here.
The first part of the class tutorials walks you though how to design parts and export drawings for laser cutting. The second part focuses on the more advanced techniques and assembly. You can find materials provided in the class in the lab code folder. Please, note that it is not a starter code for the assignment.
Step 1: Drawing for laser cutting
- Laser cutting is fast, precise, and efficient way to prototype and fast manufacture products. In the class, a simple box design with t-slot edge joints is designed and assembled.
- This box is designed based on the following parameters:
- Dimensions: 6x4x4" (inside dimensions)
- Material Thickness: 1/8"
- Edge Joints: T-Slot
- Tab Width: 0.3"
- Screw Diameter: no-#4
- Screw Length: 3/8"
Once the individual parts are designed, generating an illustrator drawing is very straight forward.
- First, go to File -> Make Drawing From Part
- Uncheck “Display Sheet Format”
- Select “Custom Sheet Size” and enter “24in” x “18in”, and click “OK”.
- Your model will be a 3D model. Drag your model onto drawing. Add each face next to each other. They should not overlap.
- You can also specify the parameters from Edit -> Properties (see below)
- Go to File -> Save As… and save your drawing as a .DXF or directly as .AI
Step 2: Features & Assembly Modeling
For this part of the tutorial, some design features (extrude, loft, fillet, shell, libraries, …) are introduced. Some examples are included in the lab code. Feel free to explore the rest of the features (sweep, chamfer, …).
Djembe shows a couple of examples from Solidworks features.
Let's start with "Loft" to create the curved body of the instrument. To be able to use this feature, firts create a reference plane from "Insert → Reference Geometry → Plane." It should be parallel to the top surface.
Draw one circle concentric to each other in each plane. Don't forget to select the dimensions appropriately (small circle at the bottom plane, large circle on the top). Select loft feature from the "Features" menu. Select the sketches on each plane as profiles (appears on the left panel).
Use the "Shell" feature to create the inner cavity.
Repeat the same for the lower shell. This time, instead of loft, use "Curved Loft" by adding a refernece geometry perpendicular to the top and bottom planes. Feel free to hide the plane for simplicity.
Create an arc between two nodes of top and bottom circles. Repeat the same for the other side.
Select the "Lofted Boss/Base" from "Features". Select the top and bottom profiles. Once you see two sketches appear in the left profiles window, select the "Guide Curves" window to select the loft curves. Add the arc sketches to this window and select the guide curve type accordingly. Practice these options to see which fits better to the rigth shape.
Draw the membrane to fit the outside radius of the instrument body and save all parts individually
Create a new assembly and define the relationship of all the parts (concentric,coincident,tangent, perpendicular,... ) and mate them to fixture.
Now, you may shoot nice images such as exploded view, 2D drawings, etc. Your assembled instrument should look like or better than this:
Assignment (Due on Feb. 12, 2020)
- The goal of this assignment is to design a musical instrument/interface in SolidWorks.
- We don’t expect you to actually make/fabricate your design: we just want you to explore the features of SolidWorks and get familiar with it. In fact, don’t think about fabrication at all at this point: if your design can never be made or if it uses sensors that don’t even exist, that’s not an issue. Go crazy and design your dream instrument!
- You may also start thinking about a potential final project for this class as you work on this.
- Always sketch by hand, again and again, to design your instrument before starting your SolidWorks drawing.
- Design your instrument/interface in SolidWorks exploring its features as much as possible. You won’t necessarily make/fabricate your design.
- Start thinking about a potential final project for this class as you work on this. Try to include the parts in your kits; buttons, knobs, mount jack, Teensy or breadboards, and more.
- Feel free to explore advanced modeling features.
- Make sure that your instrument is expressive, artful, beautiful, playable, etc.
- Send a zip file of all the .SLDPRT, .SLDASM, .SLDDRW files,sketches (hand drawings), and screen shots of your design to Doga and Romain by Feb. 12, 2020.
- If you have multiple parts, submit screen shots of each part and the assembly from different angles.
- Include any sketches with your submission.
- Good luck and have fun!