I know importing rhino models into solidworks is possible…but my question is…Is this often done at design firms or in corporate companies for production/manufacturing? Doing complex surfacing/modelling in solidworks is obiviously pain/impossible for certain forms(ie auto-like forms or even a windex bottle)…are there methods to make the imported rhino model more easily changeable and manipulated in solidworks for specing out and changes for manufacturing? Is the model usually transformed into many sketches for a more highly defined lofting in solidworks?..I am really curious…

You cannot do much to a Rhino model after you finalize it. Generally designers do surfaces in Rhino or another program and bring it into Solidworks for shelling and fillets.

Stitch your surfaces to form a watertight polysurface. Export as a parasolid. This is the easiest for SWX to handle. It should come in as a surface if the polysurface is open. If the polysurface is closed it should import as a solid.
Once inside Swx you can thicken surface, shell etc

When the Rhino model is imported, it appears in the SW Feature tree. If changes are made to the original Rhino surfaces, the edited surfaces can be updated by “edit definition” in SW. Then, all features such as thickens, shells, etc that were done on the imported surfaces will attempt to update too. This can work well, if the edits to the Rhino surfaces are not too drastic . I haven’t used this technique commercially myself, and I find the Rhino import to be flaky sometimes…but otherwise I don’t see why it shouldn’t be viable. SW surfacing is actually quite capable now…where it’s lacking is with control over over curvature matching of curves and surfaces.

just did this the other week…

used a completely organic rhino surface and exported it as an iges. Inserted it into SW2004 as a feature then used it to cut out a section of a model.

Worked like a charm. I also shelled behind the “cut” feature afterwards.

Model went to SLA no problem, looks great and feels beautiful.



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believe it or not, i have never NOT been able to surface something in solidworks. That tool is a very powerfull surfacer it just takes a lot of practice.

2007 will be even better.