Bent Spring

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Problem:  You need to create a spring that is bent. 

You need it to follow a path, something like so…

Bent spring 1 
Helix will not because it only works in a straight line.

 

Solution:  Create a Sweep… Yes, a Sweep.

You will need to use the option to twist along path under the Orientation/twist type.   

Bent spring 4 

When you have a high number of turns, as I do in this particular part, it can flatten the profile. 

Bent spring 2 
This is not exactly the best solution either.

 

To fix this, you will need to change the profile sketch, sketch plane.   Change it to the same plane that you created the path for the sweep.  This goes against conventional wisdom when it comes to creating sweeps.  However, in this situation, it works rather well.   SOLIDWORKS will not give you a preview if you use the standard options.  But if you switch to the twist option, it works…

Bent spring 3 
Bent spring 5 

You can also combine this technique with the helix…

Bent spring 6 

Now you can go design your very own old school phone cord.

 

Nathan Brunner, CSWP

Technical Analyst

Computer Aided Technology, Inc.