Using Bodies as Design Tools in CAD

Written by: Tiffany Bailey

Read Time: 3 min.

For anyone who’s unfamiliar with multibody modeling, it allows you to create a part with several independent bodies. Because you’re not merging these solid bodies with the rest of the part, you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to managing, visualizing, and designing separate geometric volumes. This gives you a great deal of control in the areas of generative design, additive manufacturing, simulation, and also in your daily design workflows. For example, you could …

  • Apply appearances to bodies
  • Show or hide selected bodies
  • Include or exclude bodies from calculations

Creo Parametric 7.0 supports creation and use of bodies that can act as modification tools used to change geometry in other design bodies.

What does that mean? Let’s say Body 1 is a plastic part and Body 2 is an extruded bar. You use the Geometry Pattern operation to create multiple instances of the extrusion. Then, you can use Body 2 to modify the geometry of Body 1 with the Boolean operation. This results in some of the volume of Body 1 being removed.

Let’s break this down further. Here’s what you’d do:

  1. Open a part containing your plastic part design.
  2. Sketch/design an additional body (for example, an extrusion) that you want to use as a modification tool against the existing geometry.
  3. Replicate the extruded body using the Geometry Pattern operation.
  4. Perform the Boolean Subtract operation, thus creating grooves in another body.

Here’s a look at the steps in action:


Besides the Boolean and Geometry Pattern operations, here are examples of some more operations you can perform related to bodies:

  • Split Body: Divide a body into two by splitting or by volumes.
  • Copy: Create a copy of a body.
  • Move Geometry: Translate or rotate the body.
  • Mirror: Create copies of bodies mirrored about a planar reference.

These operations increase productivity, making design workflows faster and easier since you won’t need to switch to surface or quilt-based workflows and tools.

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Tags: CAD

About the Author

Tiffany Bailey

Tiffany Bailey is a content writer and editor for PTC. She has more than a decade of experience as a technical writer/editor. And over 5 years of experience writing about mechanical engineering, 3D CAD, and PDM. Her work spans topics like data migration and management, IoT and big data, IT security, additive manufacturing, simulation, and SaaS. She especially enjoys interviewing customers, product managers, and thought leaders to uncover new ideas and innovations.