Over the last few years, SOLIDWORKS has become a very powerful Industrial Design tool capable of creating some very complex geometry.
A few years ago, if someone had asked you to design a car in SOLIDWORKS, you may have struggled with the few surfacing tools that were available in 2006 and earlier versions. But the power and robustness of these tools has come along way and with new additions like the boundary surface, much more is possible. Take a look at http://www.SOLIDWORKSaudir8.com/
for a step by step tutorial on how to model an Audi R8 in SOLIDWORKS. There is a sped up video online which shows how it is done... http://solidworksaudir8.com/watch-video-now.php
However, the surface tools should not be looked at as purely a way to create complex geometry, they are incredibly useful for all kinds of things. Since a surface has no thickness, it has no mass. This means you can use these to great effect in Library features, to use as mating faces, as points of reference, ways to split components into two and when you have finished, you can simply hide the surface and the mass properties remain correct.
Surface modelling is often misunderstood and feared by a lot of SOLIDWORKS users. There really is no need though. If you look at the Solid Features in SOLIDWORKS, you have Extrude, Revolve, Sweep, Loft. In Surfaces, you have Extrude, Revolve, Sweep, Loft. The property managers are all the same, the only difference is, with the surface commands, the sketches just require a single line rather than a closed contour.
At Solid Solutions, we run a 2 day course which goes through all the tools and techniques required for successful Surface Modelling. There is also a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional: Surfacing Specialist exam you can take. Give us a call at HQ and we can get you booked on. 01926 623160.
Give surfacing a go!