How to Create a Basic Laptop Design in the Solidworks CAD Program

Three Parts:Creating the Basic ShapeAdding the HingesAdding the Details

Have you ever wondered how 3D models are designed and wanted to try to model yourself? This article will teach you the basic skills needed to model a basic laptop design as well as many other shapes

Part 1
Creating the Basic Shape

  1. 1
    Open the SolidWorks program.
    • Select "new part" in the new SolidWorks document menu and then press “OK.”
      Image titled Newsldworksdoc.png
  2. 2
    Set up the first sketch.
    • Click on Sketch at the top left corner of the screen.
    • Select any of the three planes shown (The top plane was chosen in this example).
      Image titled Beginsketch.png
  3. 3
    Begin the first sketch.
    • Use the line tool at the top left side of the screen to create a rectangle.
      Image titled 3linetool.png
    • This rectangle will be used as the base of the laptop.
      Image titled 4rectangle.png
  4. 4
    Begin to dimension the rectangle and place it in a convenient position.
    • Select the lower line of the rectangle and hold the “Ctrl” button on the keyboard while selecting the predefined origin of this shape.
      Image titled 4selectingparts.png
    • By simultaneously having these two objects selected, a relation is able to be made.
  5. 5
    Add the first relation. Make sure the two objects are still selected.
    • The left side of the screen’s properties menu shows which lines are selected and contains a small sub-menu that says “Add Relations.” The Midpoint button must be selected from this menu.
    • The midpoint button will center the bottom line with the origin as well as move it to the origin.
      Image titled 5midpointrelationcr.png
  6. 6
    Dimension the rectangle.
    • Select the "Smart Dimensions" button at the top left side of the screen.
      Image titled 6 1smartdimention.png
    • Then, click on two opposite corners of the rectangle to dimension the diagonal length.
      Image titled 6 2dimentionsmade.png
    • The length used in this design is 15 inches (38.1 cm).
      Image titled 6 3fifteenininput.png
  7. 7
    Dimension the top and bottom of the rectangle.
    • This dimension is done using a very similar method as the previous step.
    • Instead of selecting two opposite corners, the top and bottom lines are selected and dimensioned.
      Image titled 6 4fifteenindone.png
    • The vertical length used was 8 inches (20.3 cm).
      Image titled 7topandbottomdimention.png
  8. 8
    Extrude the rectangle.
    • Now that the rectangle is dimensioned, the Exit Sketch button at the top left of the screen is selected and the Features tab under that button is clicked.
    • In the Features menu, click Extrude Boss/Base button after selecting your sketch from left menu.
      Image titled 8 2featurestab.png
      Image titled 9 1planeselectedandextrudeselected.png
    • In this example, Sketch 2 is selected.
    • From here, the rectangle that was made can be extruded to any desired length and the green check mark can be selected to confirm.
      Image titled 9 2extrude.png
    • In this example, the rectangle was extruded by 0.3 inches (0.8 cm).
      Image titled 9 3look.png

Part 2
Adding the Hinges

  1. 1
    Set up the Sketch for the hinges of the laptop.
    • The next step is to create the hinges for the laptop screen.
    • First, select the side face of the laptop.
      Image titled 9 1s.png
    • Then click the sketch tab at the top left of the screen. In the Sketch menu, select the "Sketch Button".
      Image titled 9 3 1.png
    • When the sketch is selected to be on the plane specified, click on the "Space Bar" on the keyboard to open up another menu.
    • The orientation menu box will appear in which you are able to change the views of the shape. Click on the picture of an arrow sticking out of a flat plane (the normal button). The normal button is used to change the orientation to a view that is normal to the plane selected.
      Image titled 9 4 1.png
    • When the normal plane is being viewed, the sketch for the hinges can begin.
      Image titled 9 5 1.png
  2. 2
    Begin the sketch for the hinges of the laptop.
    • In this sketch, create a rectangle (in a similar fashion to the first sketch) on the left side of the plane as shown.
      Image titled 10 1dimentions.png
  3. 3
    Dimension and add relations to the rectangle created for the hinges.
    • Like before, this rectangle needs to be dimensioned and certain parts of it need to be given relations.
      Image titled 11 1dim.png
    • Below, the edge of the previous rectangle and the left side of the new rectangle are both selected. The relation added to them is co-linear (similarly to the last sketch). The same is done to the bottom of the rectangle and the top of the previous rectangle.
      Image titled 11 2dim.png
    • When that is done, the width and height of this rectangle is decided by using the smart dimension button as done before.
      Image titled 11 3dim.png
    • The dimension result should look something like shown below.
      Image titled 11 4dim.png
      Image titled 11 5dim.png
    • When they are completed, you can select Exit Sketch.
      Image titled 11 6 dim.png
  4. 4
    Extrude the hinge sketch.
    • The hinge sketch can now be extruded in the same way as was done in the previous sketch.
      Image titled 12 1ex.png
    • The direction of the extrusion can be changed with the button shown below.
      Image titled 12 2ex.png
      Image titled 12 3ex.png
    • “Through all” should also be selected from the left side menu in order to have the hinge extruded up to the other end of the laptop base.
      Image titled 12 4ex.png
    • When everything is confirmed, select the green check box.
      Image titled 12 5ex.png
      Image titled 12 6ex.png
  5. 5
    Setup the sketch used to cut away parts of the extruded hinge.
    • Select the inside face of the hinge and create a sketch.
      Image titled 13 1cu.png
    • When the sketch is created, change the orientation to the normal face of the sketch.
      Image titled 13 2cu.png
    • In this sketch, the cuts are going to be created to turn the long rectangle into two normal sized hinges.
      Image titled 13 3cu.png
    • The rectangles that will make the cut should look like the picture shown below.
      Image titled 13 4cu.png
      Image titled 13 5cu.png
      Image titled 13 6cu.png
  6. 6
    Edit sketch used to cut away parts of the extruded hinge.
    • A horizontal line should be created at the center of the object.
      Image titled 14 1di.png
      Image titled 14 3di.png
    • When this line is created, the “Trim Entities” (also around the top and left of the screen) button should be selected. This button allows you to trim away certain parts of the sketch.
      Image titled 14 2di.png
      Image titled 14 4di.png
    • In this example, the entire bottom of the sketch was trimmed away as well as the lines in between the rectangles.
      Image titled 14 5di.png
    • When this is complete, the sketch is finished and the Exit Sketch button can be selected.
      Image titled 14 6di.png
  7. 7
    Use the Extrude Cut command with the sketch that was just created.
    • The features tab should be selected and the “Extruded Cut” button should be pressed.
      Image titled 15 1cu.png
    • This will cut through the piece and create the two desired hinges.
      Image titled 15 2cu.png
    • The picture below shows the complete hinges.
      Image titled 15 3cu.png

Part 3
Adding the Details

  1. 1
    Create the screen part of the laptop. A very similar method to creating the hinges is used when creating this piece.
    • The side plane is selected for the sketch and the orientation is changed to a view normal to the plane.
      Image titled 16 1sr.png
    • A rectangle is then created and dimensioned to the shown specifications.
      Image titled 16 2sr.png
      Image titled 16 3sr.png
    • The "Exit Sketch" button can be selected after this is done.
      Image titled 16 4sr.png
    • The screen piece is then extruded exactly as the hinges were.
    • This model now somewhat looks like a laptop as shown below.
      Image titled 16 5sr.png
  2. 2
    Create a cutout of the touch pad. This cutout will be made using the same commands as shown before.
    • The top plane of the first rectangle is selected for the sketch and a rectangle is drawn as shown.
      Image titled 17 1tp.png
      Image titled 17 2tp.png
      Image titled 17 3tp.png
    • In this example, the touch pad was extrude cut 0.1 inches (0.3 cm) into the material after the Exit Sketch button was selected.
      Image titled 17 4tp.png
      Image titled 17 5tp.png
      Image titled 17 6tp.png
  3. 3
    Create the cutout of the keyboard.
    • The cut-out for the keyboard is also made in a very similar way with the shown dimensions.
      Image titled 18 1kb.png
      Image titled 18 2kb.png
  4. 4
    Create the cutout for the screen.
    • The screen is made similarly too (on the inside plane of the screen extrude) with the shown dimensions below.
      Image titled 19 1sr.png
      Image titled 19 2sr.png
      Image titled 19 3sr.png
      Image titled 19 4sr.png
  5. 5
    • Now you are capable of completing more complex designs and can apply what you learned in this tutorial on other projects!
      Image titled 19 4sr.png

Article Info

Categories: CAD Software