Tutorial: Making a 3D Projected Curve

Here we go!

  1. Step 1:

    Step 1: First we will start by making a new sketch on our right plane. This will allow us to create a sketch on top of our sketch picture. It is as easy as tracing.

  2. Step 2:

    Step 2: Then you will want to select the spline tool. It is located in the sketch tools section of the sketch tab on the toolbar. We use a spline because not every line on the blueprints is straight and perfect.

  3. Step 3:

    Step 3: I have chosen the body line on the right rear quarter panel to sketch my first spline. It is a good place to start and it is one of the more simpler lines on the body. When drawing your spline you want to pick as few points as possible. I managed to only pick two points; the start and end of our spline. Then, try to match your spline as close as you can to the blueprint curve. Exit the sketch.

  4. Step 4:

    Step 4. Create a new sketch on another plane. I have chosen the top plane because the curve I am trying to create is most visible from this view.

  5. Step 5:

    Step 5: It is very important that both sketches match up. Even though they are in different planes you want the start and end points to have horizontal relations. This will ensure that the projected curve will be the correct size in both views. I did this by making a construction line over the first sketch and fixing the start and end points.

  6. Step 6:

    Step 6: Again create a spline and match it up as close as you can to the blueprint, using as few points as possible. Add horizontal relations to the start and end points of the spline to match it to your construction line.

  7. Step 7:

    Step 7: Now that we have two sketches we can create our projected curve. This tool is located in the feature tab of your toolbar under curves.

  8. Step 8:

    Step 8: Select the two sketches. It will show you a preview of your curve as a yellow line (Solidworks 2010 default). Make sure that it travels the full length of each sketch and click OK. If your curve does not completely travel along one or both of the sketches it may be fixed by applying tangent relations to points on your spline.

  9. Step 9:

    Step 8: There is your projected curve! You can now use this curve as a profile or boundary in a surface or path for an extrude. In this project the projected curve is going to be used as a boundary and/or profile in a surface. The next tutorial will show you my methods in creating adjacent curves and finally using those curves to either make a lofted, boundary, or filled surface.