Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cubify Invent - Tutorial #11: Helix Boss

Talk about fun!

Helical Boss is just downright magical.

Come back to this post over the next few days from the origical posting date.  Because, I am sure that we'll have some very cool images of applications using Helical Boss.

In this initial video tutorial we explore various combinations of shapes, reference line angles and Helix properties.  Hopefully, it will whet your appetite for more.

So, let's just jump right in and take a look at the Helical Boss tool!



Sample #1: Hollow Tube

This sample was based on a complex shape with a center circle.  Like Extrusion, if the shape has a wall, the Helical shape will be hollow.

Sample #1 - Hollow Tube

Sample #2: Wrapped Ellipse

A cylinder was first extruded and then an Ellipse was wrapped around the cylinder.

Sample #2 - Wrapped Ellipse

Sample #3: Wrapped "Leaf"

Using the Spline Tool, a leaf shaped sketch was created and then wrapped around the cylinder with Helix Boss.  The result, due to the curvature of the leaf shape is a cupped helical ornament.

Sample #3 - Wrapped "Leaf"

Sample #4: Circular Pattern Feature using a Helix

Combined with Circular Pattern and Mirror, a Helix can create very complex shapes.  Here a single Helix with taper was first replicated with Circular Pattern and then Mirrored to form a top and bottom.

Sample #4 - Circular Pattern Feature using a Helix

Sample #5: Multiple Independent Shapes in a single Sketch

Sketches to be used with Helix Boss can include multiple independent objects (Not Touching).  In this sample we began with 8 circles arranged in a circle.  They could have been arranged in virtually any configuration as long as the independent are located where they would work alone.

Sample #5 - Multiple Independent Shapes

Sample #6:  Corrugated Pipe

Buy using a polygon and a pitch that results in a slight overlap, we can create an object that looks like a corrugated pipe.  A triangle, oriented the right way can also be used to create a screw.

Sample #6:  Corrugated Pipe

The variety of things we can create with the Helix Boss and Helix Cut tools is, for all practical purposes, unlimited.  But, care will have to be taken to make sure that the resulting shapes print well without requiring too many supports.  So, this could limit the practical applications.

Even so, it's great fun to see what one can do with just a few simple changes in the combination of sketch, reference line angle and Helix properties.  Have fun!


  1. Tom: nice job on the tutorials! I'm still on my trial period too but this software sure looks like SolidWorks but much simplified. It even imports SolidWorks native part files - I tried this and had no issues.

    1. Whoaa! That is a HUGE find!!!!

      How did you pull it off?

      Thanks for the encouragement... AND the great find. :)

    2. Tom: it is there in the pulldown options for importing a file. The .SLDPRT extention was listed so I tried it with a known file and it worked.

    3. How in the world did I miss that! Tutorials go BOTH ways when readers interact! LOL!

      THANKS. I mean... T-H-A-N-K-S!!! :)