The Spline Tool Gets Some Style

The Spline Tool Gets Some Style

SOLIDWORKS 2014 made some exciting enhancements to the spline sketch tool that gives you an entirely new way to sketch splines. In previous releases, it was quite difficult to both sketch and control the spline. Experienced users would often take advantage of sketching construction lines to create dimensions and relations to the spline. This method would give the user some parametric control over the spline, but it was still almost impossible to fully constrain it. The frustration with these splines is typically encountered when you try to modify them. Applying slight adjustments, it was far too easy to mess up the curvature of your spline where it could go from this to this.Spline Tool Curvature

To help alleviate these frustrations, SOLIDWORKS 2014 introduced the “Style Spline” sketch command. It can be found in the drop-down menu under the spline command.

Spline Tool "Style Spline"

Using this new tool, you are essentially sketching construction lines that are defining the spline’s geometry. The control that these lines apply is very similar to the “Control Polygon” tool that can be used for adjustment of the traditional spline command. In the image below, you can see how sketching with the Style Spline works. As you create the 6 lines with the Style Spline tool, it is automatically generating the spline entity as well.

Spline Tool "Control Polygon”

The beauty of this new Style Spline command is twofold. It not only gives you a very controlled method for sketching a smooth spline, but it also gives you the ability to fully constrain the sketch. This is easily done by applying relations and dimensions to these control lines.

Spline Tool Constrain

Blog Post By: Greg Buter

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