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So, you have mastered the sketch construction, and the extrude process in the new SolidWorks 2008. But sometimes there are parts and details that can be much easier constructed by rotating a sketch relative to certain axis. Let’s say you have a part that looks like this:
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To construct it by using the simple extrude feature – it will take you 7(!) steps – every time defining the circle’s center and radius. However, if you use the “Revolved extrude" you can create a part with only 1 sketch. The editing will be much easier in that case as well. So, let’s get familiar with the Revolved Extrusion. The part pictured above is clearly a profile which is rotated around its center axis.
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Creating a sketch
To create a revolved part, we, as usual, start by constructing a sketch:
Click on any of the principle planes, and draw a profile. Notice the vertical/horizontal signs. Set the desired dimensions – according to the part. Remember to divide the diameters by 2 as you are actually defining the radii.
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Revolved Boss/Base Feature
You will see a “Revolved Boss/Base" options on the left of your screen. The default is 360 degrees revolution (full circle). Note, that the line you have clicked on (when asked to lick the sketch in previous paragraph) is selected as the axis of revolution. If you have selected a sketch first – no axis is selected. Click on the axis which you would like the sketch to rotate about – a preview of the revolved feature will appear on your screen. If you decide to opt for partial rotation – reduce the degrees to desired number – you can also pick a direction of rotation (“select side") and construct a symmetric revolution by selecting the “mid-plane" option. Once you are satisfied with your choices – click on the green “V" on top of revolved boss/base options screen –and your part is ready!
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Summary and more to come
Notice – the part is created with a single feature. In order to edit it – you can just right-click on the feature and edit either the feature itself or the sketch. Easy, isn’t it? But sometimes your axis of rotation would not one of your sketched lines… To learn that – read the next artcle!