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Creating Custom Shape Springs in Solid Edge

Gears Honored Contributor Gears Honored Contributor
Gears Honored Contributor

The various types of springs used in the industry are:



Cylindrical: All coils have the same diameter with a constant pitch.
Conical, Telescopic or Tapered: Coil diameter decreases from one end of the spring to the other. These are often specified where the large end is meant to work in a bore and the small end is meant to work over a rod
• Barrel or Convex: Tapered so that coil diameter at both ends are smaller than the middle coil diameter helping the spring to be centered on a smaller diameter shaft.
Hourglass or Concave: Tapered so that coil diameter at both ends are larger than the middle coil diameter to aid the spring to be centered on a larger diameter hole.
Variable Pitch: With a varying amount of space between the coils. These can be cylindrical or conical in form.

Garter: Which push or pull with radial pressure. These are wound around a circular axis.

 Tablet Spring is square/rectangle shape winded using stainless steel and mostly used in tablet or capsule blister packing machine in pharmaceutical industries.


Of these, the Helix 34.png or Helical Protrusion command in Solid Edge can be used to create the cylindrical, conical and variable pitch varieties. The workflow of this command typically begins with sketching an axis and a cross-section followed by specifying a combination of the axis length, turns and pitch.


The Taper can be specified as an angle or a pair of start and end radius. Also the pitch can be specified as a ratio or a value-pair of the start and end pitches. All these options are available under the Helix parameters dialog invoked from the Command bar's More... button.


Another variation that can be done outside the helix dialog is a non-circular cross-section for the wire which can be drawn when creating the sketch. So it is easy to create a tapered spring with a square cross section.


The Garter, Barrel and Hourglass springs are used to minimize resonant surging and vibration and require a different approach to create in Solid Edge. These springs are also not created in standard size and fit but are custom made in order to be placed as per the design.


This article constitutes three hands-on tutorials to create:

1. A Garter spring, bent spring and a telephone cord in the Ordered modeling environment.

2. An Hourglass or concave spring using Synchronous modeling technique.

3. Tablet springs - technique to create the regular and tapered varieties.


Modeling a Garter Spring


 37.pngStart with a new part 02.png by clicking on the Solid Edge Application Button > New > Part.

On the Ribbon bar, take the Tools tab and from the Model group, select Ordered.


The feature PathFinder updates to reflect this.


Switch to the Home tab. An effortless way of doing this is by hovering the mouse over the ribbon bar and scrolling the wheel up.



Start Sketch 38.png from the Sketch group and create a Circle 39.png of diameter 125 in the Top (xy) Base Reference Plane.Close the sketch 53.png


Again start sketching in one of the vertical Base Reference Planes - Right (yz) or Front (xz).


Draw a Line using the pierce point between the plane and the circle as the midpoint of the line. Apply a Smart Dimension 41.png to the line equal to the nominal diameter of the spring.


43.pngSwitch to the Surfacing tab and start Swept 08.png from the Surfaces group.


Make sure 'Select from Sketch' is selected in the Create from list on the Command bar.


Pick the circle as the Path and the rectangle as the Cross-section when the surface starts appearing.


Don't finish yet. Click the Sweep Options button on the Command bar and in the Twist area, specify Number of turns as 48. Also check Full merge and Curvature continuous options.


Click OK in the dialog and then Finish on the Command bar. A dense and twisted surface appears.


Start Derived Curve 25.png from the Curves group and select the edge of the twisted surface to create a curve for the path of the Garter spring. Hide all reference planes and also the swept surface.



Create a Plane Normal to Curve 29.png using the derived curve and place the plane at one of the highlighted keypoints on the curve.


Create a Circle 15.png on the new plane and place the center of the circle on the pierce point between the plane and the curve and not anywhere else.


Start Swept Protrusion28.png from the Solids group, Add > Sweep and use the circle along the twisted derived curve to create the Garter spring.


A free form coiled cable like a telephone cord can also be created by sweeping a temporary cross-section (a single line .i.e. an open section) along a Curve 49.png and twisting it along the path of the curve as shown besides. An edge can then be derived 25.png from the twisted surface to form the path of the cable.




The cyan piece of cord shown above is created using a single curve used for the path curve along which a tiny line is first swept and twisted to create a curled surface whose edge is used to derive a curve which finally serves as the path for the cord.


Yet another application of this technique is bending a regular spring at a desired angle. This can be achieved by drawing the path of the spring as lines and arcs and using yet another small line to twist around the path to create the final path of the bent spring. A circle can then be swept along the curled path to create the bent spring as illustrated below.




The angle, the spring length, bend radius and diameter of the cross-section are fully parametric and thus the spring's shape size and form can be easily controlled.


The possibilities are endless.


The next part of this tutorial illustrates creating Hourglass or concave spring, Barrel or convex spring, Tablet and tapered tablet springs.


Continued to part 2...




as fae as I tried, there is no need for an extra surface.


You just can produce the tiwsted swept protrusion directly.


Used a larger circle for the midcurve and a second smaller one for the wire diameter in the same plane.


After selecting those two You will get a warning, go to modify and enter the wanted twists.





Gears Honored Contributor

Hi Wolfgang,


Thanks for the insight. This would be a great time saver.

However with the limited information, I could not get to twist in the same plane.

With the large and small cricles in perpendicular planes, the best I could get is this:




Your's seems to be a cleaner way though I am still away from relaizing it.



Tushar Suradkar



Hi Tushar,

here are a couple of screen pictures and my comments, hope this will help.



1. Starting with a single sketch in that example XY with the guide curve (larger circle d= 125mm) and the crosssection curve (smaller circle d=5mm)


1. sketch



2. start with the swept protrusion, change to existing sketch and choose the guide and then the cross curve. This will come up with an error wrning.





3. now it will be important to not cancel this message but to go to modify (this is something I can't understand, that I will not be able to do this before, if I knwo what I want)!

Here now You can change to twisted.




4. which finally will bring You to the wanted results:









Gears Honored Contributor

Thanks for the detailed reply Wolfgang.

Here's exactly as you described:


(view in My Videos)


I am on ST6 but no service packs - just a demo license.

This could perhaps be the reason.





Hi Tushar,

I will not believe, that the license is the reason.

More I could imagine, that the "no service pack" issue might be responsible for that.

Nevertheless this funcitonallity is used for several years from v18 or v19 I think.

So this is nothing new, where a service pack might be the reason.


If possible, try to install mp6 an see what happens.






Hi Tushar,

here is the video from what I did!


(view in My Videos)





Gears Honored Contributor

Hi Wolfgang,


  First of all, sorry for the trouble caused because the command is not working at my end.


  Also thanks for taking the efforts to make the video.

  The loft appeared in a jiffy. You have got one awesome processor.


  If twisting is an old feature, I must surely be missing something

  My cross-section circle is hesitating to jumpstart the somersalt perhaps Smiley Tongue without the aid of an extra surface/edge.



Tushar Suradkar


Gears Honored Contributor

Seems to be working in the Synchronous mode though Smiley Very Happy


(view in My Videos)


Hi Tushar,

no, I don't have an super workstation.

This is done on my 5 year old M470 with a W3580 and 12 GB RAM together with a FX1800

No SSD, no super I7 and so on.


But You will see similar the same on my old notebook or on any other older machine.

As I mentioned, this works exactly the same for quite a couple of years.




It's strange that Tushar is having trouble creating this feature. I tried on ST4 and it worked perfectly.




Gears Honored Contributor

Yes, that is strange Laurej and more importantly it becomes an obligation on my part to update the article with new images and modified text.

People who read it in future will get incorrect information, unless they also read all the comments, especially from Wolfgang.


On second thoughts, this appears to be a sort of workaround, wherein the command fails initially and then requires a smart tweak to make it work to produce the desired effect. Solid Edge needs to allow setting the twist angle even before picking the sketches but twist angle is disabled when the command is started. So I will best best leave the article AS IS since using an extra surface and a curve is less ambiguous.



Thanks Tushar for putting up this post. And to everyone else who added suggestions.

I agree you don't need the spiral surface to generate a coil. But the derived curve is handy for making extra spirals. I used it to make a double-coiled spring in ST3. see image.

thanks again and have fun. Smiley Happy

double coil spring.jpg


Hello Tushar,


I'm trying to make a helix tube (Serpentine), but I can't figure out how to do it. Please, can you help ou anyone?


I'm using the ST10.


Thank you.




Gears Honored Contributor

Hi @Bragion 

I'd suggest posting this query in the Solid Edge forum.