Designing a tile for ball hockey

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Joined: Wed May 12, 2021 10:57 pm

Designing a tile for ball hockey

Postby mhallet » Wed May 12, 2021 11:16 pm

Hey folks, this is my first ever post here, and I am a brand new user of FreeCAD (and all CAD design programs in general). This is my very first project and after 50+ hours of watching FreeCAD tutorials and trying different things, I wanted to share my progress so far and see what some of you more seasoned folks think.

I've been wanting to design my own sport tile for ball hockey programs I run in Canada, and it's been a lot of fun learning how to do this. Basically, ball hockey tiles can be used for indoor and/or outdoor play, and they can be placed on asphalt and concrete so that your hockey stick doesn't get wrecked from the abrasive ground. The tiles lock together and can form the floor of an arena basically anywhere you can find a solid surface to play on.

I don't have the full design complete yet, as I am just trying to practice my skills using the modeling of an existing tile that I have, and then I want to make some tweaks to it. But it's definitely starting to look good! At least in my own opinion haha.

Basically, everything I have done so far has been through the Sketcher, but I have been having difficulty reducing the number of constraints in the sketch, so I haven't been able to move away from the construction lines and start adding the actual sketch that can be padded.

I started out just trying to make individual equilateral triangles, but that caused the constraints to SKYROCKET haha, so I discovered how to create angles lines, constrain them to the outer edges of the tile, and have them spaced out far enough to build the supporting triangular walls that will fill the underside of the tile.

The next goal is perhaps to break down this bigger sketch into smaller sketches and then using some sort of mirror effect to continue the pattern of triangles down to the end of the tile. I think that should help reduce the massive number of constraints I've been plagued with so far (around 750 constraints the last time I checked :shock: )

Once this is all complete, I will definitely need to find a way to have the tiles 'snap' in together, but that's a project for once I have the supporting triangles padded out the way I want.

There's definitely better ways to accomplish what I'm trying to do, but since this is my first attempt I'm honestly really happy with the progress that I've made so far :D :D

OS: Windows 10
Word size of OS: 64-bit
Word size of FreeCAD: 64-bit
Version: 0.18.4 (GitTag)
Build type: Release
Branch: releases/FreeCAD-0-18
Hash: 980bf9060e28555fecd9e3462f68ca74007b70f8
Python version: 3.6.6
Qt version: 5.6.2
Coin version: 4.0.0a
OCC version: 7.3.0
Locale: English/Canada (en_CA)
Sport Court Tile Rev 3.FCStd
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FreeCAD tile ver 2.png
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Posts: 2
Joined: Wed May 12, 2021 10:57 pm

Re: Designing a tile for ball hockey

Postby mhallet » Thu May 13, 2021 4:08 am

Update for the tile.

I tried creating just one horizontal row of the tile, and then copying the sketch multiple times. This seems to have worked really well, but definitely still slows the program down to a halt now that I'm working on the 20th row!

I think I read somewhere that you can simply copy "parts" once they are made. This is the next task I will undertake to see if I can reduce the "load time" of the program.

I've also started on the very first "clip" to snap the tiles into place. The progress made today feels so rewarding! Will update with future results as well.
FreeCAD tile ver 3 pic 2.png
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FreeCAD tile ver 3.png
FreeCAD tile ver 3.png (265.67 KiB) Viewed 1025 times
Posts: 35156
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:14 am

Re: Designing a tile for ball hockey

Postby chrisb » Thu May 13, 2021 9:35 am

Congratulations, you have done an amazing job, and I very much appreciate your enthusiasm. We have heard lately quite some voices from people knowing other systems who where rather unhappy with FreeCAD, so it is good to see, that newbies can find their way into the difficult world of CAD modeling.

If you want to hear some recommendations:
- Don't make sketches too complicated. 100-150 constraints are far enough. Better split a sketch in two or more.
- We usually recommend to prefer geometric constraints over dimensions (I have discussed this in the documents linked in my signature)
- In your case - and this is the most important - you have a regular pattern. And then you should model only one part of them, and then replicate it with a linear - or in other cases polar - or multi pattern.
A Sketcher Lecture with in-depth information is available in English, auf Deutsch, en français, en español.
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Re: Designing a tile for ball hockey

Postby bernd » Sun May 16, 2021 5:01 am

mhallet wrote: Wed May 12, 2021 11:16 pm Version: 0.18.4 (GitTag)
BTW: Your FreeCAD version to really outdated ...