Making a Paper Clip using 'Fit Spline' in SolidWorks

This tutorial aims towards creating a simple & smooth CAD Model of 'Paper Clip' (with bend) as used in stationary using help of SolidWorks.

Main learning point in this tutorial will be use of "Fit Splines" in achieving smooth sweep, this I discovered when I was learning for SolidWorks certification.

Thank you! Hope you find this helpful. :)

  1. Step 1: Open a New Part file

    Start by launching SolidWorks, of-course, if not already launched and open a New Part document from Menu on Top-Left or using keyboard shortcut : Ctrl + N

    Here's the video of the process:

  2. Step 2: Select the primary plane

    After the new part document opens up in SolidWorks Graphics window. Choose a primary plane on which you will be creating a basic sketch (say: Top Plane).

  3. Step 3: Create the base-sketch on primary plane

    • Start the sketch in the selected primary-plane (can be done by pressing Sketch-Icon in breadcrumbs)
    • The required geometry can be obtained using combination of commands or techniques.
    • In accompanying video, various sketch tools like: lines, arcs, trim tools were used. Now, I know one of the smartest way is by activating line tool and using it to complete the basic sketch.

    NOTE: Line tool can actually adapt to different types of arcs without even going over the ribbon to select Arc tool. This is achieved by taking the mouse-cursor back to the starting-point of the line (this is not applicable on the very first line that is created). Try it for yourself, if you don;t know already!

  4. Step 4: Add relations & then dimensions to Fully Define the sketch

    The order is important guys. I learned that after quite sometime. It is actually helpful and saves us creating a mess out of a neat sketch, which is last thing you want to deal with.

    • Add relations first. This will ensure that, sketch retains it's shape and behaves well later on.
    • Now add the dimensions (this tutorial just uses some random dimensions). If things run here & there, just drag them to appropriate places.
    • This will make sketch Fully Defined. (if you are new to CAD, note that defining the sketch fully is always a good practice for an engineer.)

    After this, one can simply use Sweep command to create a basic paper clip. But we will move on to add the bend in one of the loops.

    Bend actually, helps Paper Clip to clip on-to pages easily, without mutilating them.

  5. Step 5: Preparing for the 'Bend' part

    Now, in the same sketch (or you can go for a new sketch), we will create a construction line as shown and define it, as needed. (shown in blue)