DESIGN YOUR FIRST PROP SWORD
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