Create a Helical Spring

Springs are useful to model, but it can be hard to know where to start in order to make one on CATIA. This is one way of achieving a quick spring using a helical wire frame.


Firstly, open a new part. Generative shape design is required to create the wireframe, so go to the Start menu and select the Generative Shape Design option from the Shape tab. This should open a new workbench with new options.

spring 1

We need to create a reference point from which the helix will be generated. To do this, go to the Insert tab, and click the drop down menu Wireframe. Select the Point option and you will be asked to enter some coordinates. The reference point should be kept as origin, and a value needs to be inputted for the x-direction. This will be the radius of the spring. For this tutorial, use 5mm.

spring 2spring 3

Insert an Axis System under the Insert tab. Once this is done go to the Insert tab again, select the Wireframe menu and insert a Helix. For the starting point use the reference point created just now, and then use the z-axis as the axis. The pitch and height options are very useful as they allow us to generate different springs. The pitch controls the number of turns on the spring, with the height being self-explanatory. Enter a pitch of 5mm and a height of 100mm and click OK.

spring 4spring 5

Now, go back to part design by clicking Start, then Mechanical Design. Select Part Design to change workbench. We will be using the rib tool in order to convert our wireframe into a physical part, but first we need to create a reference circle. Enter the sketch workbench and create a small 2mm diameter circle with its origin located on the starting point of the helix frame.

spring 6spring 7

Now go to the rib tool, where you will be asked to provide a Profile and a Centre Curve. The profile will be the circle that you have just created and the helix will provide the centre curve. Click OK, and you should be left with a spring.

spring 8 spring 9