How to Quickly Create a 3D Sketch From a Solid Body in SOLIDWORKS
3D sketching can be very challenging to do quickly. Whether you struggle with dimensioning, over-defining, or not sketching on the correct plane, I have a simple trick for you to try. I am going to show you a way to speed up the 3D sketching process and still work with-in the comfortable realm of 2D sketching.
Here is how I took a single sketch entity and quickly made a 3D sketch of a decahedron.
First, I placed a single line sketch entity on the Top Plane and then created a Thin Extrude with Direction 1 set to Mid Plane and added a draft angle. By utilizing the options with-in the Extrude command I have already cut out the need for multiple extruded features and a separate draft angle feature.
Once I have my desired shape with the correct angles, heights, and widths I can use this solid body to automate the 3D sketching process. The dimensions are already set up from when I set the parameters in the Extrude so I won’t need to wrestle with those specifics once I’m in the 3D sketch.
Before I start the 3D sketch, I’m going to preselect all the model edges as shown in the figure below. Using my Selection Filter set to Edges Only I’m going to box select my model then while holding the CTRL key I’ll select any missing edges
With all the edges pre-selected I can start my 3D sketch. I’m careful not to make any other selections otherwise all the pre-selected edges will now be deselected. You may also start your 3D sketch and then select all the edges you would like to include in your 3D sketch, either way, works.
Since Convert Entities is an available tool in the 3D sketch environment, we can really take full advantage of just how powerful this tool really is. With all the edges selected, select Convert Entities from the Command Manager, and voila! an instant hassle-free 3D sketch.
From here I can Hide the solid body and use the 3D sketch for Weldments, Sweeps, Reference Geometry, etc. You can also use the Delete/Keep Body command to get rid of the solid body and just work with the sketch.
You can try this technique with other extruded 2D sketches, making a more custom and modified shape. This technique is great for making a quick weldment structure. Now that I’ve shown you how I like to quickly create a 3D sketch I encourage you to test it out and find a way to make it your own.
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.