Creating Curved Helix Designs in SOLIDWORKS

In the following tutorial video, we’ll take a look at how a user can create certain helix designs without having to insert a helix spiral feature. In the example shown, sketch geometry has already been created.

Let’s review the process shown in the video above.

When creating a helix spiral, first plan out your sketch geometry to include a circle for the helix diameter and a smaller circle for the suite profile. In place of a helix, users can implement a straight line for the suite path.

Activating the “Swept Boss/Base” command, under the Features task bar, pick the small circle for the profile and the line for the suite path. Nothing previews, but when selecting “Twist Along Path,” under the “Orientation/twist type” drop down menu, users are presented with the option to define the twist using degrees, radians or turns. In the video example above, we select turns and set a number.

After confirming changes, the straight line and smaller circle sketches used to define the suite are absorbed. Users can still control the diameter of the helix by adjusting the unabsorbed circles diameter. To do so, select “Dia,” located in the feature tree, then select the unabsorbed circle. A “Modify” window should pop up, allowing users to make any necessary changes.

One of the benefits of creating a helix this way is that the path followed does not have to be straight – a user’s helix can be modified to include arcs. To do this, select “Path,” under “Sweep” in the feature tree and click on the “Edit Sketch” option.

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About Author


James Keller has over seven years of CAD and instructional design experience, with a primary focus on SOLIDWORKS 3D design software. A strong design background allows him to wear both the hats of Engineer and Designer at once.