Introduction: How To:Design and Draw in 3D!

About: mechanical engeneering student

Hi everyone,

In this instuctable I will be going to show and learn you the basics and some advanced things in the process of 3d designing.

on instructables I see alot people 3d print things, but not much how they have made the models the print themselves, so i will be trying to fill in this gap.

To demonstrate the different tools you will use the most i will be rebuilding a teapot, this because it requires some simple steps, but also some more advanced ones. after you have made this teapot I think you will understand the basics and will be able to start modeling your own things.

please, if this instructable helped you vote for it in the dremel 3d design contest, this will help me print the models I made and will do me a great pleasure ;) thanks in advance!

To follow all the steps i suggest you view this instructable on a pc since i will be using alot of annotations.

Step 1: Introduction to the Program

For 3D designing I use solidworks, I learned to work with this during a course in the first year of my college education (mechanical engineering).

solidworks has a couple of parts in the screen, on top is the bar with tools, benaeth that you can switch between the different tabs.

to the left of the screen is the tree in which you can select several things such as: a plane on which you are going to draw, sketches you have made, and revolves cuts etc.. you have made.

using these 2 panels you can do most things you need to do (99% off the time).

Step 2: New Project

To demonstrate all the tools you have in solidworks and to show that you can make or replicate almost everything (good thing if you broke something ;) ) I will be remaing my teapot. To make the teapot I`m going to use alot of different tools, I think that if you understand these you will be able to almost make everything.

But do not forget, you learn best by doing it.

Step 3:

I began by measuring myteapot, I did this using my caliper. measure all the demensions you think you are going to need, on the picture above you can see which I took (I also ended up doing some free drawing, but this is a choice you can make yourself).

A guideline is to have as many measurments ass possible, this way your drawing is much more accurate and you can be sure you didn`t forget something.

Step 4: A New Project............

to start the project you have to start a new file, you do this like in most other programs by clinking the file button in the upper right corner. in the screen that will show up chose for "part" and this screen will show:

From here you can begin drawing your sketch, in the next steps I will be explaining some of the tools. but the basic idea of is that you draw a shape which you can later pull up to get a block or triangle for example, you can also revolve a shape around an axis. with the shape you create in the beginning you can work your way further, you can cut pieces out of it, make holes or ad material. by doing this you will get to a final form.

Step 5: Wow, All Those Tools?!

On this page i will show which tools do what, I will do this one picture at a time.

picture 1: these are your sketch tools, with these you can draw the shapes of the things you would like to add or extract from your model, hover over the annotations to see which tool is which....

line: this will gave you a straight line

----when you have the mouse over the origin of a line you can make the line tangent.

rectangle: this will draw a rectangle

circle: this will make a circle

ellipse: will make an ellipse


the only tool that is very useful but not very self explaining is the spline tool, this will draw a line which you can edit later, make it tangent, into an "s" etc.. very useful tool.

after you have drawn your lines you can give them the right dimensions using the smart dimensions tool, click on the tool, than click a line and drag your mouse out, this way you can edit the dimension. when you have to edit the distance between 2 lines, hold Ctrl and then click on both and drag out, same goes for angles.

Picture 2:

These are the tools you can use to make your sketch 3d:

extrude: this will drag your sketch up, giving it height.

revolve: revolve your sketch around an axis.

swept-lofted: make a shape using other shapes, demonstrated later in this tutorial....

extruded cut: make a hole in your part.

Picture 3:

this is your part tree, here you can select a sketch from the past or a plane.

picture 4+5:

using these button you can navigate around your part.

Step 6: Lets Get Started!

It is time to finally get started on our teapot!

The first step is to select a plane on which we are going to be drawing, since I will be using a revolve to make the main body of the pot we will chose the front plane.

on this plane we will be drawing a quarter of the teapot by making a corner using the line tool and closing these 2 lines off with a tangent one made with the spline tool.

after you have drawn the quarter you can give it the right dimensions using the smart dimensions tool, see picture 3

Step 7: Making It 3D!

we are going to make the quarter you have drawn in the previous step 3d by using the revolve tool.

Click on revolve and select the vertical line as axis, this will automatically make the shape seen in picture 1.

Now we have half of the main body, to make it whole we are going to use the mirror function, click on "mirror" (picture 3), than click on the flat bottom surface, this will make the shape seen on picture 4. if this doesn`t work select the flat surface for the mirror face and "revolve" in the feature tree for "features to mirror (picture 5).

Step 8: Adding the Handle.

To add the handle we are going to use the sweep function. this function can sweep a shape over an line which is drawn perpendicular on it, for the handle I drew a circle on the right plane, perpendicular on this circle I drew the shape of the handle (on the front plane).

using the sweep function, which stand by the 3D tools tab, i made the handle, I selected the shape of the handle as the path and the circle as the profile, hit enter and you have a handle!

(make sure your path is a closed sketch, the last line tuoches the origen of the sketch, otherwise it won`t work.)

Step 9: The Water Pour Part....

This part, which is called the "tuit" in my language is probably the most difficult part to make, but, if you have made this i`m sure you understand how it works!

to make this part we are going to use extra planes. we can make these using the reference geometry button (picture 2), and then the option plane. click on the right plane as the reference point and then set it off a few centimeters so it is on the edge of the body. Do this twice, but at the second one add to the 70 mm you already had another couple centimeters, this will determine the length of your "tuit". when you are finished it should look like picture 4.

Step 10: "Tuit" Part 2

in the previous step you have made the 2 additional planes, in this part we are going to draw the "tuit" itself.

we start by drawing 2 circles, a big one on the plane next to the body, and a small one on the other plane, make sure the origins of the circles lay on the front plane!

then, draw on the front plane the edges of the "tuit" , make sure these touch the border of the circles you have drawn (look on the pictures, these make this step more clear). I drew these edges using the spline tool to give them their "S" shape.

Step 11: "Tuit" Part 3

In this step we give the tuit its 3D shape, for this we use the lofted boss/base tool which is in the 3d tools tab.

Click on this tool and select the circles as the profiles, then select the edges as guide curves, when you do this a popup screen shows up, click on the check mark to confirm. under the thin feature tab check the check mark and make the part 3mm thick, this will make sure the tuit is hollow, this so that tea can actually flow out of the pot. hit enter and the part is finished!

Step 12: Make the Body Hollow.

The teapot now looks good, but it is not usable, beause the main body is still a solid block, in this step we are goint to make it hollow.

Start by selecting the front plane and draw the same shape on it as we drew in the beginning, only a little bit smaller (see pictures). make the distance between the sketch and the edge of the teapot around 4-5mm.

we are going to do exactly the same as in the beginning except inverted this time, we are going to use a revolve cut instead of the revolve tool, you can find this tool in the same tab only a little bit to the right of it. make the vertical line the axis and hit enter. mirror this action over the top plane and we are finished.

Step 13: The (almost) Last Step.

the last thing we have to do is make the round hole in the top of the teapot.

click the upper flat part of the main body and draw a circle on it, click on the cut extrude button and make a hole in the top.

Step 14: Final Step

To make whole part somewhat prettier we can round off the sharp edges, you can do this using the fillet tool, click on the edges you want to round off and hit enter, in the box on the left you can also change the size of the fillet.

Step 15: End...

This was the instructable, I hope I helped you learn the basics of 3d modeling or entertained you for a while ;)

if you have any questions feel free to ask them below, I will do my best to answer them all!

Please, if you liked my instructable consider voting for me in the dremel 3D design contest, this would do me a great pleasure!

(and also ! would love to be able to print all the things I design and make for myself and for school (I`m currently studieng engeneering :) ))

Thanks for reading!

you can download my model on:

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