Today's Tech Tip focuses on direct editing techniques when surface modeling.

Sometimes a model just isn’t complete without adding a little style. Maybe it’s a feature to add a handle grip, a vent on a helmet for better airflow, or to simply add structural integrity to a plastic part. So how can we add these aesthetically pleasing features when working with surface geometry?

One technique is to use direct editing tools to modify existing features that can then be blended together with a loft or fill surface feature. Let’s take a look.

The example below shows a dish soap bottle in the early stages of design. A lofted surface was used to construct the general shape of the bottle:

A sketch is drawn on the front plane that will be used to split the face of the bottle. This sketch will be used several times for multiple split face operations.

The Split Face feature is used to split the face of the loft using the outermost ellipse profile. This isolates a region to move without moving the entire surface. Once split, the Move Face feature is used to offset the face inward, leaving a .25 inch indentation.

The Split Face tool is used a second time to split the face that was offset inward. Next, the two faces are removed using the Delete Face feature, leaving an open void between the surfaces.

A surface loft is then used to blend the two surfaces together while matching curvature to the start and end profiles. The end result creates a recessed area for better grip when holding the bottle.

Another quick tip: Use the Move Face feature with the rotate option enabled, to reposition a surface before adding a blend. This technique can be used in several applications and is not limited to surface modeling alone. The example below shows a surface being rotated counterclockwise to 8 degrees. Same as before, a surface loft is used to blend the surfaces together.

Try it on your next design. The results may surprise you and help step up your surface game!


Interested in learning more Onshape Tech Tips? You can review the most recent technical blogs here.