Using xDesign features to create a Wheelbarrow

Back in early May, I modeled a wheelbarrow (sans fasteners) in xDesign.  You can find the tweet I posted by clicking this link This blog post is all part of an ongoing effort to display and introduce xDesign features, as well as push the boundaries to make the product a CAD tool that everyone can use.

For this technical blog, I show how I create the bucket of the wheelbarrow with a new tool called Through Points. I start with a master sketch to drive the top and bottom planes that own the sketches for the top and bottom of the bucket. Using the Thru Points feature, I select the end points of the sketches to draw a spline that is not bound to an X, Y, or Z direction. The Loft feature, just like in SOLIDWORKS helps create the body, by selecting the top and bottom sketches, and then Shell the object by selecting the top face.


The workflow, as you can see in the video, has a similar workflow that you would find in SOLIDWORKS. The Loft default option, Vertices, creates an error because that option cannot calculate the correct geometry as both sketches have a different vertices count. The Tangency Discontinuity option, which has more solving power to create the desired geometry, produced exactly what I needed, especially after selecting the splines for guides.

I initially created the geometry for the bucket of the Wheelbarrow using the Extrude feature, Draft, then added a few Radii. This approach would have worked fine but I wanted to observe the workflow with the Through Points feature to witness the behavior of this new tool.

To create the rounded lip at the top of the bucket was easy. Create a sketch on the right plane, make the sketch coincident to the edge of the lip, then use the inside edge of the wheelbarrow bucket to Sweep along the path, just as you would in SOLIDWORKS.

There were some challenges to create this part. Sketching can lead you down a narrow path sometimes. I am not sure if it is because I went to fast, or if I inadvertently did something during the sketching that made it go sideways, metaphorically speaking. The good news; I was not able to reproduce this problem and the recreated sketch was fine. I also do not like how the Design Tree (called Design Manager) does not allow to be grouped or to be unflatten. This could make for a very long tree structure for even the smallest of parts.

I am hoping the next xDesign update, which will be around mid-June, makes improvements on sketching tools, assembly mates, and has more user options to make xDesign customizable. I have heard that the “S” will make its debut in the aforementioned release. Now that is awesome news and even more reasons for me to get a replacement “S” key for my laptop. If you are not using the “S” key in SOLIDWORKS, and don’t plan to use it in xDesign…you are missing out!!!

Nonetheless, I am confident the next round of improvements will bring xDesign up another level. The product today, compared to the beta version I first used back in December of 2017, is vastly better and much more fun to use.

Just an FYI…I have limited access to info on new tools or enhancements in xDesign. I mostly find them on my own which is preferred; it also forces me to do a deep dive to figure out how features work. This is valuable information for the Product Definition Team when I share notes and recorded sessions using #xDesign. It also helps them determine if they need to change how the feature behaves.

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Ed Gebo

Owner & Designer of Digital Detail & Design. Lover of Life! I can talk craft beer just as good as I can SOLIDWORKS. Follow your passion and make a difference!