Tips & Tricks: Boundary Blends and More Surfacing Tips

In a recent award-winning presentation, Hugo van Andel (of VanBerlo) and Patrick Brulo (of Brulot Solutions) offered several tips for creating better surfaces using PTC Creo.


Image: The VanBerlo portfolio of consumer designs includes everything from plastic bottles to 3D printers.

In the demo, they perform demos of free form modeling, creating a label for a bottle, and more. If you want to see seasoned industrial designers at work, watch the entire presentation here: Tips and Tricks for Surface Modeling and Real Industrial Design Cases.

In this post I’ll pass on just one small part of their presentation.

Smoothing out “edgy” surfaces with boundary blends

If you’ve got an older model with a rough boundary blend, van Andel and Brulo suggest you recreate the boundary blend in PTC Creo 3.0.That’s because in the most recent release, we improved Boundary Blend functionality to create and optimize surface geometry and boundary connections.

In their presentation, Van Andel and Brulo show us how they take advantage of the updated feature to smooth out a rough surface created on an older model.

To check surfaces for problems:

1. Select the surface, and then select Analysis > Inspect Geometry > Reflection to use the reflection feature, as shown below.


Image: In the demo, the reflection shows little roughness through the curve.

2. Take a closer look by selecting Analysis > Shaded Curvature. This produces a color scale that shows tension, as shown below.


The presenters found the surface “a bit edgy” once they viewed the shaded curvature.

To create a new boundary blend, follow these steps:

The demo team simply suppressed the old surface from the model tree, and created a new boundary blend. The general procedure for creating a new blend follows:

  1. Click Model> Boundary Blend. The Boundary Blend tab opens.
  2. To select the curves in the first direction of the surface, click the Collector button, and select curves.

Image: Collector button

Note: To open the Chain dialog box to help you select curves, click the Curves tab, and click Details.


Image: Selecting the surface’s endpoints in the first direction. The Van Berlo team takes a few shortcuts, like using right click menu to quickly get from first direction curves to second.

3. To select curves in the second direction of the surface, click the collector again, and select curves.


Image: Selecting the surface’s endpoints in second direction.

Now just click Okay, and the new surface appears. Watch the presentation to see the result.

Learn more

If you want to explore boundary blends further, there are many resources online. Start with this video from PTC University’s Learning Exchange: Creating Boundary Surfaces. And visit the PTC Creo Help Center page About the Boundary Blend Tool.

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