How to model ripple effect on curved surface.

I'm attempting to create a rippled effect on a curved surface. Specifically, a finger indenting a balloon causing a rippled effect as if the balloon surface is water. I'm new to 3d modeling and using SolidWorks 2014. Any assist will be greatly appreciated.

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6 Answers

this is most likely not the best project to undertake when getting started in SOLIDWORKS, and 3D modeling.

Two ideas you might consider though:
1. Sometimes it is easier to model the solid/surface you are looking for, and then remove it from the model. It might be useful to model (as a positive volume) the deformation you are looking for, then remove it from the balloon by way of the Indent tool.

2. Ripples on a curved surface can be tricky, but I think you'll have a good chance by creating a sketch of a single ripple/ring. I assume you'd use a circular sketch, but using an ellipse could work in some instances.
This sketch should then be projected onto the curved surface by using the tools found under the Curve(s) menu.
The resulting curve can be used as a path for a sweep feature. The profile of the sweep will be the profile of the wave\ripple.

The end results might look good, or terrible. Freeform shapes can be made in SOLIDWORKS, but they take some effort\tricks.

If you can post some images or models, there may be other methods suggested.

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This is a good start. Thank you. I'll give it a try and post.

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Partial ripple modeled although I'm a bit lost in the process. Any assist will be appreciated. Thank you.

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Nice layout sketches. Those really help to give a better sense of what the final shape should look like.
I think you are on the right track, just keep in mind that there are often dozens of ways to get a shape. Sometimes it takes several attempts to find the better method.

It looks like you are working with SW2014, so you won't be able to open my file, but I'll post a parasolid version, and a screenshot of the result.

1. Break this up into smaller parts. I'd focus on a quadrant at a time.

2. The layout splines are handy, but will be hard to work with as they are a single complex spline. Again, I'd break the spline(s) up into separate segments. It is possible to select smaller portions of a spline with some of the feature tools, but in my experience I like the certainty of working with discrete segments.

3. I used lofts to create the small portion I recreated here. Boundary surfaces could also work, but I think Loft is a better option since you have some valleys which transition into peaks. Using a boundary surface would mean creating a more complex sketch for the elliptical edges.

4. Don't jump too far ahead with the model if it is going off course. Surface Loft4 is pretty far off course from the desired shape of 3DSketch2. It is best to try and fix the model at an early stage, as later repairs will likely "blow up" the entire model.

5. A 3D sketch should not be needed for the profiles in this model. Using one won't hurt, but it is not needed.

6. Surface fill 9 at the end is a good way to close the model off. A boundary surface should work well too. Just check the controls of the feature, you'll most likely want to make the resulting surface tangent to its neighbors.

7. If you proceed with your current model, the next feature should likely be a Knit command to stitch all of the separate surfaces into a single one. You can often knit as you go along, but I prefer to knit at the end.... As long as I have a really good feeling that everything will knit. Otherwise it can be handy to knit as you go along as a form of error checking.

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Thank you. Your suggestions are very helpful and your time responding is really appreciated. Onward and upward!

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I forgot to include a link to this tutorial/tips for splines that I made: Some Tips for Dealing With Splines

It might be something to look through.
I like to break big splines into smaller chunks though. It makes future edits much easier since the entire spline won't wiggle with a small change.
Also, showing the curvature combs for a spline is great for seeing how well it is drawn.

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