Fit Spline can overcome the mystery of splines

Often times I hear from engineers complains about the splines in their design tools that they are just too difficult to use. When probing deeper into their response, I discover that its not that they are necessarily difficult to use but rather they are not easily parameterized or dimensioned as their analytical (lines, arc, circles etc) counterparts. Therefore, they are view as “artsy” and the engineer feels inadequate in properly defining them, On the other hand, engineers, as well as designers know that in some cases, splines are the only correct solution in order to create smooth surfaces with continuous continuity. Fortunately SolidWorks does offer a solution for engineers and designers that deal with this hesitancy to use splines. That solution is the Fit Spline function.

The Fit spline function can be found underneath Menu/Tools/Spline Tools/Fit Spline. The way that it works that gives the user the best of both worlds is a method that allows for creating shapes using analytical geometry that can then be dimensioned and parameterized in a logical way. Once the geometry is define this way, A Fit spline function can be attached to the selected geometry thereby “fitting” a C2 or continuous single entity over the analytical geometry. The ultimate benefit of this is that when a surface is created it is smooth and continuous but can still be controlled with simple dimensions.

Using the Fit Spline tool is as simple as selecting the sketch geometry and then assigning a tolerance (or accept the default tolerance). Adjusting the tolerance allows for smooth result or a tighter, more accurate fit but less smooth. When “underlying geometry changes, the Fit Spline follows thereby allowing you to change the spline’s shape using a simple dimensioning scheme.

I encourage you to take a look at how the fit spline can make you life easier.

Fielder Hiss

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