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Christmas is finally here – we hope you have enjoyed our 12 Days of Christmas series thus far. To complete the series, we are going to celebrate with a tutorial based on the modelling of a present and some key hints and tips for working with animations.

Modelling Overview:
The modelling of this present is fairly straight forward, thanks to the rectangular form – you can adapt this to virtually create any shape. To create the box a Boss-Extrude has been used followed by a shell to form the inner parameter.

Model this box in two sections: 1. The base of the box and 2. The lid.

To add the ribbon details – extrude four slim rectangular bosses around the perimeter. Once you have all of the surrounding ribbons add fillets to smooth out the transition around the corners. Create a bow profile on the front plane – position it in place so that it can be patterned. Use the circular pattern feature to add multiple instances of the bow – use the desired preferences.

SolidWorks Animations:
You can create realistic animations using SolidWorks – this is especially useful for quickly providing visual communications to prospect or captured customers. See the animation created below:


SolidWorks Animation:

To begin an animation, select the “Motion Study 1” tab located in the bottom left of the SolidWorks display. Use the dropdown to ensure that the Animation parameter is selected:

To begin the animation start by dragging the bar within the timeline to the length of the desired animation (this can be edited later but it is likely to be predetermined). Exit the motion study manager and click back onto the model tab.

  • Create a path using a sketch. For this example, I used a spline on the front plane
  • Open the present lid model and create a sketch on the top face, add a sketch point in the centre of the face – this will be used to locate the model along the path
  • Add a path mate – this will enable you to edit the percentage along path for use in the animation
  • Add an angle mate – using two references create an angle mate between the lid model and the box model. This will enable you to rotate and alter the angle along the path

Expand the mates tab within the motion study – this should display the two mates previously added. Place a key where the end of the amination has been set – for both the path mate and the angle mate. Move the timeline bar back to the beginning of the animation and place two new keys – add values for the key positions – determining both the start angle and the percentage along the path. Replicate the same process adding multiple different keys of different values increasing in magnitude until you have a product you are happy with.

You can also animate the view/orientation of the camera. To do this, use the time bar to place keys – changing the orientation of the camera as you do so. Use the calculate button to refresh the animation ensuring it contains the changes made to the values of the keys.

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