Help with Chris Shakal's Turbofan Blade

Hi all, I just joined, my name is Ally, 16, from London, UK & I recently came across Chris Shakal's amazing tutorials and models for modelling the high bypass turbofan engine. Unlike him I don't have CATIA but do have SW 2012. So I thought seeing as i'm home from school, just to play about with the tutorial & try it on SW.

I'm on his step 8 where he says:

"Click on the “Multi-Section Surface” tool on the right. Enter the 4 sections you made on the 4 planes as the “sections,” and enter the 2 splines that connected the endpoints as your “guides.” Make sure the little red arrows on your sections face the same way. If not, click on them and they’ll change direction. *Note: You have to click on the sections in order or else the surface won’t work."

I know the Multi-section tool on CATIA is equivalent to the Loft on SW but I can't seem to loft the blade section. Here's screenshots of how far I got :-/

Screenshot 1 shows what it said initially
Screenshot 2 shows what it said when I selected the 4 spline sections of the blade and two splines on the sides of the blade (in purple)

Please explain it in simple steps, I'm not as good as you guys at all!

Thanks :-)
Hope you can all help me & shout out for Chris to take a look & reply back please

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11 Answers

I am doing it now in SW 2012 and I think instead of trying loft you want to use the boundary surface command. I will upload my results when finished.

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I was able to do it in SW2012. the tutorial uses surfaces so it was not the loft command you needed. I left the names of the feature in my model you can look at. you can turn on the surface toolbar or just search for the feature in the upper right corner.
good luck.
wide-chord fan in SW2012 from catia tutorial

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Hi stephen, thanks so much for your help, I haven't yet downloaded your file i wanted to try it myself, I used your suggestion to use the feature 'boundary surface' in the surfaces tab, in the first dialog box I selected each spline section across the length of the blade, then in the second dialog box (i think its the box saying direction 2) i selected the two splines connecting all endpoints of the sections (there are two of these long splines on either side of the blade) and OK'ed everything and VIOLA! THANKS TO YOU STEPHEN!!! :-)

Answered with a tutorial:

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Too bad actual fan blades don't look quite like that!
There are some air foils available on the web that can make the finished product look better! See the RR-Trent engine for inspiration!

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I'm not positive since I've never used solid works, but it seems like your sections and guide curves aren't intersecting in at least one spot. That's a common error when doing things like this in catia, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's the issue.

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See screenshot 3 - see it shows the loft snapped to the LHS now. Seems like whatever guide curve I select first (LHS or RHS) its the side that the loft snaps to.

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Hi Stephen I'm
Sorry for the late reply but I've been trying to reply to you for the past half hour off my phone but it doesn't send and yes of course I'll upload the file now and btw I've seen your tutorials and feedback on other projects and you r so awesome at instructing!

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In SW i use loft and boundary surfaces with guide curves.
Boundary surfaces are very useful because you can set them to be tangential with multiple surrounding surfaces - with no need to have sketches or profiles.
I use a helix to ensure pitch is correct at each loft station.

I split the upper surface from the lower surface and ensure the L.E. is tangential. in some cases i have had 3 independent curves making up the airfoil section depending on the camber of the airfoil. ensuring all loft profiles have the same or similar number of line/curve segments is helpful!

I may not be alone in saying that lofting fan blades is amongst one of the most rewarding things to model!

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It's interesting to try to loft as a solid as opposed to modeling it as surfaces. I model things a s surfaces and turn them into solids close to the end.

The airfoils on fan blades are hard to come by. The airfoils for props are hard enough to get unless you work in the industry.

I would love to see more true representations of fans and props on GC. Making a pretty model for rendering is of very limited use. And professionally meaningless unless you are an animator.

MY challenge to anyone out there would be to make a really good fan for model planes that can be inexpensively machined by someone in the know.

then they could be tested! it would be cool to have a ducted fan competition! standard airframe and interchangeable fans!


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Heres a principle I apply in 3d Modeling. The most simple and less steps method. If the solid loft works then why do surface boundaries and lofts just more steps

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