Let it snow! I wanted to highlight some modeling techniques and thought a festive snowflake might be a good vehicle to do that for January. Let’s get underway!
Step 1. Make a sketch on the Front Plane. Use the Line tool to sketch half of your snowflake structure. Make sure it begins at the Origin and is based on a vertical line as the “backbone” of the structure.
Step 2. Use the Boss Extrude command to make a Thin Feature extrusion. Click in the “Selected Contours” box and pick all of the line contours in the sketch. Do it this way to ensure that you end up with a single solid body rather than separate bodies, which you’d get if you just extruded the sketch as a single item.
Step 3. Use the Mirror command on the Features tab to mirror the body about a face.
Step 4. Create an Axis using the front face of the snowflake and the Origin as a reference.
Step 5. Use the Circular Pattern command and click in the “Bodies” box to focus on selecting the entire part body. Create a 5-instance pattern equally spaced 360 degrees about the axis made in step 4.
Step 6. Make a sketch on the Front Plane and create a pentagon using the Polygon tool on the Sketch tab. Make the top line of the pentagon horizontal.
Step 7. Extrude the pentagon sketch with the Boss Extrude command. Make sure it is defined as a thin feature using the same numbers as the Thin Feature extrusion in Step 2. “Merge Result” should also be checked, which will merge all of our bodies together.
Step 8. Make it look pretty! Turn on Real View, then find the “Diamond” Appearance and double-click to apply that to the model. Then find the “Misty Blue Slate” Studio Scene and double-click to apply that to our scene. If SOLIDWORKS asks you if you’d like to change to using the scene background, click Yes.
Step 9. Make it glow! Select the first extrusion in the tree; the selected geometry will glow blue because you are in RealView mode.
Step 10. Take a screenshot and send it to your friends!
By: John Setzer, Training Coordinator