Envelope Volumes

Extract an envelope by sweeping a volume.

During the design space creation process, it is often necessary to generate volumes of bodies - they could comprise either parts or subsystems - for the purposes of representing a movement or a manufacturing assembly process. For example, the representation of a wheel would mean the suspension path and the extreme turning bounds of the wheel need to be considered and an envelope volume generated. An example of an assembly process may be the direction in which the transmission and powertrain are installed. In both these examples it is not permitted to allow a load path to pass through the enveloped volume. The envelope is used as part of the design space process and would be considered as an “exclude” volume such that the voxel mesh is not generated where the envelope(s) is/are present.

The image below shows the design space process; the top-most model shows the envelopes as orange transparent volumes. These enveloped volumes are then excluded when the voxel design space is generated - see the middle image.

Figure 1.

It is possible to create an envelope by using a simple linear drag but there are many other use cases where you need the envelope to follow a specific path. In this case there are options to follow the path via the sweep function. Spin is also available which allows you to spin the source from a start angle/position to an end angle/position.

In addition to the sweep and spin functions, there is an option to control the alignment. Depending on the application, it may be necessary to use a combination of spin and sweep with and without alignment.

Figure 2.
  1. From the Design Space ribbon, click the Envelope tool.

    Figure 3.
  2. Select source entities for envelope creation.
    An envelope is the outer boundary of a volume described by a moving object.
  3. Select either a sweep or spin motion to define the trajectory.
    Option Description
    1. Select Axis on the guide bar then left-click to place the initial location.
    2. Define the axis directions and the start/end angle.

      Click the pencil icon to adjust each with further control.

    1. Define a vector along which to drag the source.


    2. Activate Guide selector then pick guide lines.
  4. On the guide bar, click one of the following:
    • - Apply and stay in the tool
    • - Apply and close the tool
    • - Exit the tool without applying