Does anyone know of an easy way to take the outline of a model to use as a sketch so I can calculate the area of an entire face of a model? I am trying to compute wind loads and I need the total area of a façade, not just a section? I am trying to go from the first picture to the second one in a much quicker fashion! Thank you.
If you mean complete outline of the surface at given plane by "Outline of Model"
you can try using Intersect command, by selecting all the surfaces and an intersecting datum plane on which outline sketch will be generated,
Hope this helps.
Curve from cross section (datum tab: curve...)
You have options here. You can do this in part and assembly mode. Assembly mode will have multiple closed boundaries bordering each other.
If this is a single solid part already, you're golden.
If this is an assembly; to get that area calculation, you can do one of two things:
1) merge all the parts into a single part and section this "reference" part.
2) Curve from cross section and create a sketch (ultimately a fill feature to measure) by Projecting sections of the x-section curve to create your enclosed boundary.
I like method 1, where you create the reference part model because this should be easier to maintain a parametric relation through design iterations without too much fuss. The assembly section may well break each time an edge is added or deleted.
Edit: Sorry, I misread. Yes, Antonius's method 2 would work for filling in empty space. See comment below. You should be able to easily obtain the area of an assembly or part from the cross section properties. Analysis tab->mass properties dropdown->X-sec Mass Properties. Select the name of the cross section from the dropdown.
Antionius, wouldn't merging the parts still leave the empty areas needing to be filled? I would suggest simply using fill to define a closed sketch using projected edges and then measure the area.
Actually, Jeremy, your method is probably valid for assemblies if it sums the separate sectioned surfaces (I suspect it would).
I forgot about that analysis feature.
As for merge, the analysis of the x-section "should" create one or multiple closed loops. I just separated the sketch from the fill operation for clarity.
No matter what method, there are enough issues with the generic X-Section subroutines that any little niggle can cause this to fail.
It all depends on how critical it is to remain parametric over time; and how much pain your willing to bare each time you update the design.
Most times, the more basic the routing, the more reliable it will be.
If I needed to, I could make this work on a fairly reliable basis.