Hot Air Balloon in SolidWorks


Hot Air Balloon

For this post I decide to create something typically not seen every day; a hot air balloon.  This model was unique in the fact that it integrated surface modeling, solid modeling, and weldments all into one project.

To create the balloon, I used a partial revolve feature to get only one section of the balloon.  I then used a circular pattern to create enough segments to create the complete balloon shape.  The surface trim tool was used to remove the overlapping material from the balloon.  When that was complete, I knitted together the surfaces to form one complete surface.  That surface was then thickened and each segment was given a different color. 

Hot Air Balloon Basket

                For the basket, I first created a 3D sketch that was the skeleton frame of the basket.  I then used weldments to create the tubing for the basket.  Using the weldments as references, I created a series of sketches that gave me points on the outside so that a surface could be created that encompasses the bottom of the basket.

The burners were a fairly straight forward part made but using a revolve feature for the base of it and then two helixes were swept for the wire top.  The only difficulty came when connecting the two upper end points of the helixes.  In order to do this a 3D sketch was created that used a spline to connect them.  Reference lines were used to give points that were in known locations within the space (See image below).

Burner Coil Sketch

Those parts were brought into an assembly and mated.  The ropes were then created in context to connect the balloon to the basket.  I also added some propane tanks in order to make the hot air balloon a little more realistic.  Enjoy!


Ian Jutras