Chapter 26. Modeling Multibodies


  • With great power comes great responsibility

  • Understanding multibody techniques

  • Creating multibodies

  • Managing bodies

Just a few releases ago, SolidWorks software did not allow what were then called disjoint solids. Feature trees began with a base feature that could not be changed or reordered, and every part had to contain a single contiguous solid. Most SolidWorks users accepted this situation as good enough, mainly because most of the arguments for the need to use more than one solid within a single part were simply not convincing.

However, as the usage of surfacing techniques in SolidWorks became more prevalent, it became apparent that surfaces and solids were not handled in the same ways. Users coming to SolidWorks from other high-end systems, such as Unigraphics, Pro/Engineer, Catia, and SDRC, already had some experience with the more complex techniques. Surfacing techniques resulted in surface geometry that was not contiguous. SolidWorks grouped the surface functions in with the reference geometry functions, such as planes and axes.

With the advent of what became known as multibody modeling, a world of possibilities opened up. If you remove the constraint that all of the geometry in a part must be linked into a single solid body, and see the surface features also being created as independent bodies, then many more options become available.

This created a best-practice crisis for some users. For years, the SolidWorks Corporation preached ...

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