Tutorial: How to model a wide-chord fan in CATIA

Tutorial by Chris Shakal

Steps below. Here is the link to the original files. high bypass turbofan front fan (10:1 ratio)

  1. Step 1:

    Step 1.
    Enter GSD in CATIA and create planes 500 mm, 1630mm, 2752mm, and 3180 mm away from the yz-plane using “plane definition” command and choosing “offset from plane.”

  2. Step 2:

    Step 2.
    Enter Sketcher on the first plane (500 mm away from origin) and draw a straight line with the constraints shown in the picture. Then exit sketcher.

  3. Step 3:

    Step 3.
    Enter sketcher on the 2nd plane and draw the spline with the constraints shown. Then exit sketcher.

  4. Step 4:

    Step 4.
    Enter sketcher on the 3rd plane and make another spline with the following dimensions. Exit sketcher afterwards.

  5. Step 5:

    Step 5.
    Enter sketcher on the 4th plane and make a spline with the following dimensions.

  6. Step 6:

    Step 6.
    Click on the “Spline Definition” tool on the right toolbar. In the menu that pops up for it, click on the 4 endpoints of the 4 splines that you made. See the picture for reference. The spline tool is highlighted in orange in the picture.

  7. Step 7:

    Step 7.
    Make another spline for the other endpoints using the same method as above. Now the blade is finally taking shape.

  8. Step 8:

    Step 8.
    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.

  9. Step 9:

    Step 9.
    Enter sketcher on the zx- plane and draw a circle centered at the origin with the following dimension.3

  10. Step 10:

    Step 10.
    Click on the “extrude” tool on the right and extrude the circle to 690 mm, enough so the top part of the blade is covered by the extrusion. Extrude tool is highlighted in orange in the picture.

  11. Step 11:

    Step 11.
    Click the “Split” tool on the right side. It looks like a saw. Select the fan blade as the “Element to Cut,” and the extruded circle as the “Cutting Element.” Make sure the top of the blade that sticks out of the circle is the part that will cut off. If the wrong side splits off, click “other side” in the split definition box. Hide the circle after the split.

  12. Step 12:

    Step 12.
    Click on the “Thick Surface” tool on the right. This tool is buried beneath a bunch of other tools, so you have to drag them all out until you find the bar with all the purple tools. Thick Surface is one of them. It is highlighted in orange in the picture. Click on the fan blade and put in 14 mm for “First Offset.”

  13. Step 13:

    Step 13.
    Almost done. Now hide all sketches and planes, and also hide the multi-section surface that you made earlier. Recolor the blade to gray if you want by right-clicking on the fan blade and clicking “Properties” and going to the “Graphic” tab. You can apply a material to it as well. Just click on the “Apply Material” tool on the bottom row (not the right) and select a material. See the picture for reference.

  14. Step 14:

    Step 14.
    If you want to make a whole set of blades, click on the “Circular Pattern” tool on the right. You’ll have to find the “Rectangular Pattern” tool first, then find the circular pattern under it. Click on the blade to pattern it. It should say “Thick Surface” in the “Object to Pattern” box. For “Instances”, enter 21, and put 17.143 degrees for “Angular Spacing.” For “Reference Element,” unhide the extruded circle and click on it until the orange outlines of all the blades appear. After clicking OK, hide the extruded circle.

  15. Step 15:

    Step 15.
    Now you are just about done. If you want, you can create a spinner for it to complete the look. I suggest making a “Product” and putting the fan in it and making a part for the spinner. Otherwise the material you added to the fan will be applied to the spinner. Just enter Part Design and enter sketcher on the yz-plane. Create a profile like the one shown in the picture, though it doesn’t have to be as fancy or anything. Make sure the lowest part of the sketch lies right on the yellow “H” axis.

  16. Step 16:

    Step 16.
    Click on the “Shaft” tool on the right and click the “HDirection” axis for the “Axis Selection” field.

  17. Step 17:

    Step 17.
    Recolor the spinner the way you like. I added a spiral using GSD, but black and gray would do fine. You are done!


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