How to create organic shapes using Sub D modeling with xShape.

Basavaraj H, Application Engineer Feb 2nd, 2022

The industries are not what they were a few decades back, and the speed at which the technologies are changing is overwhelming. It took us 9 decades to transition from Industry 1.0 to 2.0, but we have taken less than 30 years to arrive from 3.0 to 4.0, the current era of digital manufacturing. As technologies evolve so should our way of thinking, working, and designing. Otherwise, we will miss the train. In the current times it is not the tools and skills that matter, what matters the most, is that those tools and skills are relevant and future proof.

Welcome to the exciting world of platforms and collaboration on the cloud. 3DEXPERIENCE is the name that resonates with the current industry trends, and it is, a future proof solution, not just for manufacturing, but for every industry. It offers tools for every division in the organization, may it be design, manufacturing, sales, finance, HR, or management. The whole Eco space of 3D Experience is unique, it offers a named user-based licensing, contrary to the machine activation, and its tailor made not just to the organization but each individual teams. And for collaboration it is ultra-convenient as it has built-in communication tools which are molded into the 3D application like SOLIDWORKS, where designers for example can add mark ups, view the models, and use Community to share ideas and posts.

3DEXPERIENCE is especially powerful if we want to design on the go. It offers compatibility with touch devices, so that, our creative process does not come to a halt, even when we are travelling. One such application is xShape, which utilizes the Sub Divisional modeling technique to create organic shapes. Subdivision modeling was developed as a quick approach to sketching. Once the user is familiar with the software, results can be achieved with substantial time savings, especially when compared to other tools, like NURBS.

One can launch the xShape app from 3D Sculptor Role via the 3DEXPERIENCE Compass. Through the landing page one can start off with a new component, open an existing project, Import the local SOLIDWORKS files and can also go through the training as well.

Starting a New Component brings us to the very friendly user interface, with an array of useful tools on the bottom.

The designers can directly import the concept sketches right from their notebook to the xShape in a couple of clicks and position it accurately, to build a model upon it.

Tools> Insert Picture.

Here users can choose the file location and there are multiple options to scale, position and alter the transparency as well.

  • Designers can use the option of On-Screen Points, to accurately scale the sketch to the required dimension. It can be accessed from the Scale drop down.

Once the sketched picture is scaled, now we can insert the Sub D shape. X Shape offers up to seven 3D and three 2D primitive shapes. It is a digital hunk of clay using which we can push and pull material to form organic shapes with C2 Continuity by default, which is a great advantage for Industrial Designers. The skill with Sub D modeling lies in choosing, which point to pull and push, to create the desired shape.

Once the primitive shape is in place, we can translate, rotate, and scale it using the Robot to form the shape we need at the end. If the shape has more detail, then we can add more loops so that we can have more control, over the primitive shape.

The Robot is used to alter the geometry of the Sub D primitive shape. Here is what the Robot can do:

Using the dot we can align the points to a line, a sketch, and with each other.

Using the arrowhead, we can translate the points to desired length.

The arc is used to rotate the points/loops to a particular angle.

Tip: Always start with a lower number of loops to have more command over the primitive shape, if needed then loops can be added.

Sub D modeling is like playing with clay, it is an iterative process, but X Shape has unique and useful features which makes it a breeze to use. Like align to sketch feature, lets us align the points of primitive shape to a free hand sketch on the go.

In Sub D modeling not only can we push and pull the loops, points, we can also extrude the surfaces using the Extrude command. We just need to select the faces where we need the extrusion, and we are good to go. we can also scale the extent of extrusion in xShape, by holding down the Alt Key

The xShape app is built into the 3DEXPERIENCE platform but it is not limited to it, the models can be brought into the, ever-familiar SOLIDWORKS, and features can be added to the models.

Another notable feature of xShape is, we can run the draft analysis and can change the geometry on the fly, to achieve the draft, so that it can be easily manufactured.

The xShape app is one of the many applications 3DEXPERIENCE offers along with many other limitless possibilities, for an organization to work efficiently and effectively under one single environment. If a team has tailor-made needs the 3DExperience will offer tailor made solutions to fulfil the requirement.

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AUTHOR: Basavaraj H, Application Engineer

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