Creating Helix-spiral Objects

January 23, 2004 | Comments

Tutorial provided by Nemetschek North America
January 23, 2004


This VectorWorks tutorial creates a model of a doorstopper.

Getting Started

This tutorial uses a pre-formatted VectorWorks file. Dimensions are provided if creating a file from scratch is desired.

1. Select File > Open.

The Open dialog box opens.

2. Navigate to [VectorWorks 10.5]\VWHelp\Tutorial Files\, and then click Open.

This file is in 2D layout and contains the following:

  • two lines, one three inches long and one four inches long
  • two circles, each with a 1/4 inch diameter
  • a polygon
  • 02[1]


3. Simplify the screen view by selecting Organize > Classes to access the Classes dialog box and set the Dimension class to Invisible.

Click on image to enlarge

4. Click OK.

Setting Up the Modeling Units

This tutorial works in inches.

To set up the units for modeling distances in inches:

1. Select Page > Units.

2. In the Units dialog box, select Inches from the Unit Name list.

All distances entered for designs will now be in inches.

Creating the Doorstopper Body with
Helix-spiral Objects

1. Select the four-inch long, pink line. Select Model > Create Helix-spiral. The Helix-Spiral Creation dialog box opens. Create a helix-spiral object with the following values, and then click OK.


2. Select the three-inch long, green line and create another helix-spiral object with the following values:


Extruding the Doorstopper Body Along a Path

1. Select the red circle and the top helix-spiral object, and create an Extrude Along Path object (press the Shift key to select more than one object). Select Model > Extrude Along Path and click the >> button to select the helix-spiral as the path object; a black box displays around the selected path object. Click OK.



2. Select the yellow circle and the bottom helix-spiral object, and create another extrude-along-path object. Select Model > Extrude Along Pathand click the >> button to select the helix-spiral as the path object; a black box displays around the selected path object. Click OK.

This completes the body of the doorstopper.



Creating the Doorstopper Head with Sweeps and Filleted Edges

1. To create the doorstopper head at the top of the spring body, click the 2D Locus tool  2d_locus[1] from the 2D Tools palette. Insert the locus along the zero-inch vertical line (to the left of the polygon, centered above the spring body).


2. Select the 2D locus and the green polygon. Select Model > Sweep to create a 360-degree sweep object. The Create Sweep dialog box opens. Create a sweep with the following values, and then click OK.



3. Click the Flyover tool flyover[1]  from the 3D Tools palette and rotate the object until the center of the doorstopper head is visible.



4. Click the Fillet Edge tool  fillet_edge[3] from the 3D Tools palette. Click the top edge of the stopper. Enter a 1/4″ Radius in the Fillet Edge Preferences dialog box, and then click OK. (If necessary, select Fillet Edge Preferences from the Mode bar to display the Fillet Edge Preferences dialog box.)

5. Select the top two edges and the bottom edge of the doorstopper head. Once all edges are selected, press Enter (Windows) or Return (Macintosh) or click the check mark button on the Mode bar. The edges of the doorstopper head are filleted and the doorstopper is complete.

For clarity, the edges to select are shown blue. Click on image to enlarge.

6. To render the model, use the Light tool light[2]  from the 3D Tools palette to insert a light source, and then select View > Rendering > OpenGL.



More VectorWorks Select Tutorials



Sign up for CADdigest Weekly


Modernizing Bra Design

Modern women are larger and bra design has failed to keep up, says Trusst Lingerie

Upgrade Security with Electronic Access Systems

Controlled access increases safety and simplifies production control.

New Solvent Recycler for Precision Parts Cleaning

Solvent recycling system has high recovery within a continuous cycle.

Mastercam’s Stock Model Toolpath

Don’t waste time re-simulating good toolpaths.

New Master’s Program in Translational Surface Engineering Begins Fall 2016

NYU Tandon offers a new degree in an emerging field of chemical engineering at the molecular and nanoparticle level.

Observation of Gravitational Waves Confirms Einstein’s Prediction

Advanced LIGO detects ripples in space-time predicted by general relativity.

The Hidden High Costs of Inventory Storage

Vertical storage saves money and improves customer service.

Siemens Opens Metal AM Facility in Sweden

Siemens invests in a dedicated metal AM facility for its turbine division. What does the future hold for AM at the industrial giant?