Extrude a Battery?


This is a lesson on how to use a CAD program to produce an extrusion and other features to create a 3D model of a 6-volt battery, the kind you would use in a large heavy-duty flashlight. The students will use a CAD program to do this (SolidWorks), but other CAD programs can be used.
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Students will create a 3D model of an actual 6-volt battery like the type used in a heavy duty flashlight. This is ONE part of an 8-part flashlight unit. The Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) software will be used by the students to create a prescribed 2D sketch and extrude it into a prescribed 3D shape, complete with features including extruded boss/base features, extruded cuts and rounds (fillets).

Solid Modeling CAD systems, such as Solidworks or Inventor, can be used to "EXTRUDE" a 2D sketch into 3D on the computer. This lesson and project will concentrate on Solidworks but other CAD programs can be substituted if they are truly 3D modeling software.

Here is the students' first assignment in making an actual flashlight part. They will extrude a battery. They have already learned how to create 2D sketches. Now they will learn how to extrude in CAD. That is, they will push "solid" material through a "die". The "die" is the 2D sketch of the shape, the outline of the "footprint" of the battery. They will extrude a 2" by 2" square-shaped battery into a height of 4".


Notes on the software:

  1. Academic versions of Solidworks can be purchased by schools and given freely to students but only used for academic purposes. The full-priced commercial version is $5,000 for one seat but there is a significant savings to schools and students. The information on that is constantly changing so check it out at http://www.solidworks.com
  2. Inventor from Autodesk can be substituted in place of Solidworks. Information on that software, free trials, and contact information for vendors can be found at: http://www.autodesk.com
  3. Presently there isn't a satisfactory free program that will perform as a truly solid modeling program in 3D.


Prerequisite Information and Skills:
Students must already be able to start their 3D modeling program and know how to draw fully-defined 2D sketches. This information and set of skills can be gained in many ways. Here are some sample videos and other references for this background info:

  1. Exercise 1 - Introduction to SolidWorks 2016. Basic Sketching, Extrusions, Fillet, Chamfer, Shell, Photoview, and Interface are covered.
  2. Training Guides from Vertanux. http://www.vertanux1.com/instructional-manuals.html
  3. Many videos and training documents of professional quality can be found for free at this channel at YouTube. Free Subscription is highly suggested so that you can find these tutorials easily. https://www.youtube.com/user/vertanux1

Lesson Times

Computer room lecture/lab
2 Class Periods

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Engineering & Architecture Engineering & Architecture
K-12 Subjects
  • Technology Education
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • Adult

Standards and Objectives


California's 2013 CTE Standards (3)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Define EXTRUSION as it is applied in 3D solid modelling CAD software.
  • Create an extrusion to create a solid part.
  • Create an extruded cut (removal of material from a solid).
  • Create fillets (rounded off features) in solid modeling CAD software

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