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Concurrent Engineering

Concurrent Engineering Blog

How Creo Parametric Freestyle makes freeform surface designs easier

Posted by Emma Rudeck on 21-Dec-2012 12:12:00

Creo parametric FreeformTraditionally, when doing surface design work, you need to spend a lot of time figuring out how to best get the surfaces to flow and be as smooth as you require them to be. A lot of the time you need to have a certain level of expertise to achieve this. But, Creo Parametric introduces new capabilities for freeform surface design, which comes in the form of Creo Parametric freestyle. This is standard with all seats of Creo Parametric. 

What is does Creo Parametric Freestyle offer users?

Freestyle introduces a new concept. You no longer need to worry about the complexities of setting up the surface area, as the system is now able to take care of this for you. All you need to worry about is the specific form you are trying to build. 

How does the Freestyle tool work?

Freestyle works based on sub-divisonal modelling. In this way, you start with a primitive shape, for example a sphere or cube. This primitive shape contains a control mesh, which surrounds the shape. Use the control mesh to manipulate your geometry. If you pick any of the elements of the control mesh (a vertices, an edge, a plane), you will get a 3D dragger. With this, you can directly manipulate, to modify your geometry. As you move the control mesh, the surface will automatically build high quality, curvature continuous manufacturable surfaces for you.

If you want to add more detail to your control mesh, you simply sub-divide it. By doing that you would split an edge or split a surface and this gives you more detail on your control mesh. The more detail you have, the more control you’ve got to manipulate and achieve your desired shape. 

What about working with more complex Creo Parametric freeform shapes?

Not all freeform shapes, though, are completely smooth. If, for example, you want to add a hard edge to something, within Freestyle, you can select a number of edges and apply a crease to it and then have control over how much that crease will alter your geometry. Equally, a lot of products that you build are symmetrical. Creo Parametric Freestyle has the ability within the feature to be able to set-up a symmetry plane. Any changes that you make on one side of the control mesh will then automatically be reflected on the other side.

In addition to that what Freestyle also has is the ability to perform multi-level sub-division. This allows you to define your initial control mesh and define your initial shape. But, if you then want to put in finer detailing, you can sub-divide that mesh up at a very high level. This will not change the topology of your geometry, but will give you more control on your control mesh to push, pull and adjust the shape. Any level down you go with multi-level sub-division will split or convert each face into four faces. If you go down another level, each face converts into 16 etc. As you push and pull on those particular vertices or faces in a sub-division level, you can deform the shape with very local changes. You can then go back up to a high level of sub-division and do more of a global change, allowing you to very quickly define smooth geometry and define the overall shape that you are after with both global changes and small local changes.

Once you are happy with the form that you have, you can complete the Freestyle feature. What you are left with is a high quality quilt of surfaces, just like any other quilt that exists within Creo Parametric. You can then perform regular feature operations on it. For example, you can trim it, you can merge it, and you can add rounds to it. As Freestyle is a feature, it also allows you, at any stage, to go back into your design and redefine that particular feature.

This feature means that, as a designer, you can focus on achieving the form and shape that you are after, without having to worry about how you are actually going to achieve that shape. Freestyle lets you very quickly come up with multiple concepts on a design. 

Find out more about the capabilities of Creo Parametric:

Creo Parametric 2.0