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Hole in the Ball!!

Tuesday July 15, 2014 at 10:28am

Well the World Cup is over, so as we are probably all trying to fill the 6 week gap until the start of the new domestic season- here's a blog with football at heart. In this post we look at finding where we have openings in surface models- and the reason why they may not convert to solids. With a football, it won't be much use with a hole in it, so here's a little tip I came across reviewing some of the old SOLIDWORKS World Presentations- it is also one we refer to on the Surface Modelling training course.

Below is a quick visual of the ball, but for some reason I cannot do things such as check mass properties and volume to see whether it meets regulations- this is because currently the ball is not a solid model, but instead a surface.....why is this??

Well generally it is down to an opening which means the model is not water tight (or air tight in the case of the football) and we have to identify this region to close the gap. On very complex models identifying this opening is quite tricky as it could be very small. A utility we can use is the Tools > Check feature- this helps identify open edges and points them out with a yellow arrow. This will focus in on an area that subtly has blue edges as oppose to the normal black edge we see elsewhere on the model. As soon as you close this dialogue window for the Check tool, the arrow disappears so you would have had to zoom in to ensure you do not lose track.

The tip in this case is to change the default System Colors in the SOLIDWORKS Options. Through Tools > Options > Colors and find "Surfaces, Open Edges" and change from the default blue colour (which is already a widely used "Highlight" colour in SOLIDWORKS) to something more prominent- Red works well as it generally signals a warning or error.


This makes it far easier to spot, and a further tip is to use a white background and set the display model to "Hidden Lines Removed" that way you can pick up the red lines against the black lines without being distracted by the background and model appearances. Then it is just a case of filling the gap!

So if you have ever imported or worked on surfaces, use this great tip to help find those problem areas even quicker.

By Alex Hall
Applications Engineer


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