DE­SIGN YOUR FIRST PROP SWORD

3D Artist - - THE PIPELINE -

As cos­play­ers, we have found the sword to be a great first build. it is a clas­sic in the ar­moury that more in­no­va­tive weapons build upon, and it has a rich his­tory that pro­vides an ex­cit­ing in­spi­ra­tional and struc­tural start­ing point for those look­ing to delve into prop-mak­ing. swords also make a great first model for para­met­ric solids mod­el­ling, for they have var­i­ous pla­nar and or­ganic sur­faces that re­quire the mod­eller to touch a di­verse num­ber of tools, while pro­vid­ing a fa­mil­iar base that can be eas­ily built on and cus­tomised.

With this par­tic­u­lar style of mod­el­ling, es­tab­lish­ing and un­der­stand­ing the work­flow is per­ti­nent when start­ing out. The soft­ware’s rigid­ity cre­ates lim­i­ta­tions that re­quire you to have a chess-player mind­set to their work­flow – know­ing the endgame be­fore the game be­gins, and mak­ing choices that will rip­ple into later parts of the build.

You will be­gin with a 2D sketch that you will add re­la­tion­ships and di­men­sions to, lock­ing in your shapes and sizes for the piece. next, you will use fea­tures and ex­trude, cut, re­volve and so on to make the 2D sketch a true 3D form. From there, you can build more on your base and add de­tails like fil­lets and cham­fers.

if this sounds like a lot, don’t fret – a pow­er­ful piece of as­sis­tance you’ll get from solidworks is that it will alert you or even pro­hibit you from per­form­ing ac­tions that are not math­e­mat­i­cally sound. For be­gin­ners, this helps pro­vide added struc­ture and con­text dur­ing the over­whelm­ing ini­tial learn­ing process.

in this tu­to­rial, we will con­struct a to-scale, 3D-print­able ca­dian sword from the Warham­mer se­ries. The blade and han­dle will be mod­elled in sep­a­rate part files that will then be joined in an as­sem­bly. We will place an em­pha­sis on work­flow dur­ing this process and walk you through why we made cer­tain de­ci­sions to build this piece the way we did. There are sev­eral ways one could go about mod­el­ling this piece, and each way would look a bit dif­fer­ent. We wanted to not only per­form an ef­fi­cient build, but also have a bal­ance of tools used with­out, so you can play with all kinds of el­e­ments in the soft­ware.

Draw your ref­er­ence sketch Open a new part file, se­lect a plane and be­gin us­ing the Line tool to draw out your sketch. This sketch sets the rel­a­tive size and scale of each com­po­nent that will come af­ter it. As per that chess-player mind­set, this is the time to set your units of mea­sure­ment – which can be tog­gled in the lower-right cor­ner and we will be us­ing ips for this – as well as cre­ate and di­men­sion any help­ful con­struc­tion lines or guides, and es­tab­lish base­line re­la­tion­ships between your sketch lines. Do not make this sketch too de­tailed; you just need to cap­ture the over­all shapes.

Ex­trude the blade With the 2D sketch com­plete, we can then use fea­tures to con­vert the sketches to 3D through ex­trud­ing, cutting, re­volv­ing and so forth. each fea­ture has its own menu to tog­gle dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of the

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