Introduction: Solidworks Tutorial: CO2 Racer

We will be making a CO2 racer in Solidworks 2015. The body of this racer can be printed in a 3D printer, though the main purpose of this Instructable is to teach the basic functions of Solidworks.

Step 1: Create New

Once Solidworks is running, start by clicking the "Create New" button in the upper left corner. This should be familiar from many other programs.

Step 2: New Part

The body is a single piece, so choose "Part".

Step 3: Extrude Boss

Click Extrude boss to add a shape.

Step 4: Plane Selection

You'll need to select a plane to draw on. Select the center plane. you are now in a 2D sketch on the center plane.

Step 5: Making Shapes

Start simple. Select the rectangle command and click and drag to draw a rectangle from the origin.

Step 6: Dimensions

This rectangle needs a size. Use the "Smart Dimension" command to add dimensions. Just click on the line, place the dimension, type in a size, and hit enter. Do this for both the length and height of the racer body.

Step 7: Spline Tool for Profile

To create the body's profile, select the spline tool. This lets you make a curved line. Each point along the line is a mouse click. They form axes which can be moved and edited.

Step 8: Exit the Sketch

To start extruding from the sketch, click the "Extrude Boss" tool in the feature tree. Since we started the sketch through this tool in the first place, we could also simple "complete" the sketch with the button in the upper right corner of the workspace.

Step 9: Contours to Extrude

This is the Extrude Boss dialog. Select the "contours" box and click on the area of the sketch you want to extrude.

Step 10: Set Mid Plane and Width

In the dialog, set the direction to "mid plane". This will make future features easier, as the part is symmetrical. Next, set the distance of the extrude. I used 2.5 inches for the width of the racer body. Finally, click the green check mark to complete the feature.

Step 11: Extrude Cut Tool

Now we need to cut the shape. Select the "Extrude Cut" tool and and then select a plane or surface to sketch on. the top works just fine.

Step 12: Orientation

To make sketching easier, select the top orientation. Your view will move to directly above the part.

Step 13: Center Line

Center lines make symmetrical parts easier. Select the center line tool from the line tool drop down and draw one in. The cursor snaps to center points, so this should be easy.

Step 14: Sketch and Mirror

Use the line and spline tools you learned earlier to draw one side of the racer body, then select the mirror tool and use the dialog on the left to select which lines to mirror and which line to use as the center line. Once you are satisfied, "complete" the sketch with the button in the upper right corner.

Step 15: Extrude Cut Dialogs

you will have to flip the side to cut, as the cut tool cuts inside contours by default and we wish to cut outside these contours. Arrows show the direction being cut.

Step 16: Mistakes

Looks like we didn't cut deeply enough. If you make a mistake, you can always go back and fix it. Just click on the feature you wish to edit in the feature tree and click "Edit Feature".

Step 17: Back to the Cut

This fix is easy. Just change the direction to "through all" to cut through the whole feature.

Step 18: Moving On

Next we will create the rounded top. So start another cut on the rear face and orient your view there.

Step 19: Circle Tool

The "Circle Tool" makes this easy. Select it and click the "three point circle" option. Then just select the three sides of the rear and you have a circle tangent to those edges.

Step 20: Trim

Complete the outline you want, then use the "Trim Tool" to clean up. Just select the tool and drag a line through the line segments you want to trim away. It trims to its next intersection.

Step 21: Complete the Cut

Complete the sketch and go through the "Extrude Cut" dialog once more. Cut through everything. Adjust your sketch if you don't like how the cut lines up.

Step 22: Using a Plane

For out next cut, we'll sketch on the center plane. Instead of selecting a surface to sketch on, open the feature tree and click the front plane.

Step 23: Wheel and Canister Wells

Draw the wheel wells and make sure to choose "through all both directions" in the direction drop down menu. Use your new skills to add a well for the CO2 canister, also.

Step 24: Spoilers

Use the "Extrude Boss" tool and the center plane to add spoilers to your design.

Step 25: Round the Corners

The "Fillet" tool rounds corners. Click it and set a radius for the fillet. Then select edges to round off. You will need to use this tool twice with different radii.

Step 26: Adding Other Parts

In order to add more parts, you'll need to put this one in an assembly. Go to the file menu and select "Make Assembly from Part". Click the green arrow in the dialog that follows. You will also need to save your part before adding it to an assembly.

Step 27: Inserting Components

I pre-made the other parts, so inserting them is easy. Use the "Insert Component" tool and browse for the other part files.

Step 28: Mates

The "Mate" tool is easy to use. It is very intuitive. For example, when selecting two round surfaces, the tool knows to make the mate concentric.

Step 29: Fixing More Mistakes

You can edit parts from within the assembly, too. Simply expand it on the feature tree and edit it as before. the original part file will be edited. We will make the canister well match the canister here.

Step 30: Finishing the Canister

Mate the canister to the back of the well. The "Mate" tool will know to make it a coincident mate.

Step 31: Finishing Up

Here is another place where center planes make life easier. Mate the center plane of the body with that of the wheels to line them up. another concentric mate will also be needed. Do the same for the back wheels and the racer is complete.

Step 32:

Great job! Experiment or look up more tutorials to see all that Solidworks can do. We've only scratched the surface.

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