I'm trying to start modeling the wire mesh that we wrap our cages with. Is there an effective way to create this part file? I've tried cutting out the squares, pattern them, but it becomes a very SLOW model. I "think" I can place bends in it to match up to the the bends of the tubing of the cages, but first I need to make sure I can actually make a visual mesh wire.
I've read some posts about creating texture files, but I didn't have any luck making it work to make a wire mesh material. Maybe I didn't understand what this tuxture approach was really doing.
typically with wire mesh "we" would not model the physical wire cloth. "We" would mosle a solid that represents the thickness and overall area. Then apply a texture to the solid so it looks like wire cloth.
In your case... I think you may actually want to model your fan guard.
I'd suggest swept profiles.
see image here: http://screencast.com/t/NQBiZuOrh
i just made a quick frame... then all the wire is a single part with sweeps.
I could see doing it that way, not a bad idea. Seems a little time consuming, but might be the most effective path. I'll give it a shot when time allows.
I wonder if I can create a part file that follows the necessary bends, convert to sheet metal, flatten, add cutuout pattern, and bend back. I know how patterned cuts like this get real consuming with computing time for the model, but maybe it's a last minute view for rendering and drafts only.
I'm just tossing ideas out there that come to mind, and open to any others. I know it's not "normal" design work for most, but that's what makes it FUN! I'm running into a lot of things I've never done before with these projects, but it's been a great way to learn new ways to model something more than squares and rectangles.
I've gotten fairly "fancy" doing all the engine stand, fan cage, and seating done with the frame environment, and just moving to ST7 looks like it has some nice improvements that will make it even easier.
I'll keep playing around, wish me luck!
I went through the same cycle with expanded metal. The modeled part is too heavy. Once you find a bitmap you want to use, then the problem become making the end part look right.
When you apply a texture, use global. then you can at least get it to wrap around corners better.
In my case, I'm trying to turn regular sheet metal into expanded metal. Using a bitmap on one surface then painting the other surfaces to clear was the path of least resistance. Then I would do some math and determine the right weight for the approximation of thicknesses.
I have so many ER's going, This one was not worth it to add to my ER list. but what I was considering asking for was that a bit map can be applied through a thickness rather than just it's surface. This would make things like expanded metal or perf plate easy.
If do you decide to model, I would suggest the frame tool using a cross section of the wire as the frame members.
First thing You must model surface with shape of a cage.
In next step draw in a sketch all of wires, then project them on a surface.
Witch frame module build a cage.
I believe this is something that can in fact be done - like you said - go ahead and convert to sheet metal, enter the correct gauge thickness, and you should be able to get to where you want to be as far as the qualities that this material will have.