Here it is, my first SolidWorks model created using surfacing tools. I started by following the tutorial, but quickly became curious as to what exactly I was doing. So, I used a new SolidWorks 2012 add-in – the Part Reviewer – to comment on each feature as I created it. This ultimately provided a list of questions which I passed off to one of the top SolidWorks surfacing experts – Mark Biasotti. I also added comments that would help remind me of the steps I took, and what I learned as I used each different command or feature.
As simple as the example is, I really did learn a lot about the different surfacing tools. My favorite so far – Start/End Constraints in the Surface-Loft used to create the base of the part. You can see in real-time how the different options change the affect and appearance of the loft. Other tools that caught my fancy include Split Lines (really cool!) and Surface Fills.
I'm still working on this model, changing things and trying out different tools (Filled Surface vs. Planer Surface for example), but I think I'm ready to move to the next step. I've downloaded two presentations – "Surfacing – Where Do I Start" by Charles Culp, and "Explaining Splines" by Jeremy Singley (both available at Charles' swtuts.com site). I'm hoping to gain some insight into creating and editing splines, and of course, getting started on some more complex geometry.
So far so good, but there's still a long way to go. I sure am having fun though.