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Better way to make a whiffle ball?

josh_smith_josh_smith_ Member Posts: 2
Hi, I'm relatively new to Onshape and I wanted to practice by making a whiffle ball. 
I know how to make the holes manually by making individual planes and extrudes that way, but I was told there was a faster way to do this. 
Does anyone have advice for me here?


  • larry_haweslarry_hawes Member Posts: 478 PRO
  • matthew_stacymatthew_stacy Member Posts: 294 PRO
    @josh_smith_, very nice work on this model!

    I've got a couple thoughts that you might consider.  In Sketch 1 it appears that your design intent is to specify the diameter of this ball, whereas Onshape dimensions arcs radially.  There are ways to bend Onshape to your will.  Anytime you create a center-line (dashed construction line), even temporarily, you can dimension the full-section width (in this case diameter).  That detail is included in the B1 branch of a copy of your model:  https://cad.onshape.com/documents/a312b778ba60017c09b410ce/w/81bea7f7f3dc41e49d067e24/e/817ee6927fb472d322e04801

    Another factor to consider is utilizing symmetry.  Strive to model only the smallest repeating module of the part.  In your case, we really only have to model 1/16th of the whiffle ball (with the slot in it).  I added a variable (#n = 8) that is utilized in Revolve 1 and later in the circular pattern so that you can easily edit the number of slots.  I chose to shell that rather than sketching the wall thickness, but that is really just personal preference.

    You can create an implicit mate connector for Sketch 1, rather than explicitly adding one to the feature tree.  That is not a huge time saver, but might be cleaner if you ever find yourself revising the history sequence.  The mate connector will be intimately bundled within the sketch.

    Also consider that patterning and mirroring PARTS can be more efficient than patterning FEATURES, both computationally and in terms of user inputs.  You had to select two features (Extrude 1 and Fillet 1).  By patterning1/16th of the ball, with a slot in it, as a PART there is only one item to select.  The benefits compound when you mirror about the top plane to put slots on the southern hemisphere of the ball.  Select one part, or three features.

    You can use the Regen-Time monitor to evaluate the computational footprint of various modeling strategies.  On this whiffle ball you can reduce regeneration time by 24% by patterning and mirroring the part rather than features.  Granted, saving a few tens of milliseconds hardly matters but the concept scales to larger more complex models  equally well.

    That's my two cents worth ... perhaps a good bit less in this COVID-ravaged economy.
  • steve_shubinsteve_shubin Member Posts: 560 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2020

    I would imagine Josh is scratching his head right now

    Don’t blame Josh for this model. I was the one that did it — LOL

    I like the idea of using the construction line for the diameter, but I don’t always draw my construction lines with clean ends. Sometimes I run the construction lines long purposely. It’s sometimes easier to select the long or ragged end of a construction line when a model starts to get a little bit busy at the core

    You can always click on the outer most points of a 180° arc and come up with a diameter too. And you can do what I did shown in the picture below — just divide the diameter by two for the radius, when doing the input. Simple enough even for someone like me

    But if you had no drawing made up and you were gonna show somebody the Part Studio, it might make better sense to dimension the diameter and not the radius. So you do have a point with regards to this

    Good point about implicit mates. Unfortunately, we don’t have those on the iPhone where I modeled this

    The modeling approach is a matter of keeping it simple for someone obviously new to the program

    1) Make a sphere

    2) Make a hole

    3) Pattern it

    Basic straightforward stuff that’s easy to modify

    The original wiffleball only has eight holes

    So If a person held one with all the holes on top — the bottom part is not going to be symmetric. There are no holes on the bottom. That’s why the pitchers in the video at the URL below are able to make the ball bend like Beckham. Actually better than Beckham

    As to efficient patterning — the iPhone doesn’t have the clock that shows how long a part studio takes to regenerate

    I thought I heard that FACES is the fastest at patterning. Maybe you could run a test and let me know

    Frankly, I wasn’t worried about any kind of patterning issue on something like this. I rarely run into any problem with what I do regarding regeneration times, because I never do anything that involved. But that certainly is a good point for @josh_smith_ to know about when he gets into more involved projects

    I chose feature patterning because it was easiest to do in my case, and I felt it would be easiest to observe as to what was being done

    But the real purpose of this long winded response, is an excuse to post the URL to a very very cool demonstration on what a wiffleball can do


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