Efficient Sandwich Panel Modeling in Catia V5

By R. Mccolister


  • Top down, parametric modeling builds core and extracts the cavity simultaneously
  • Exact modeled cores linked to parent sandwich model, ready for NC machining
  • Single part bodies with accurate IML’s
  • All feature based modeling
  • Organized and named geometrical sets

Create Blank Sandwich Assembly with Core and Laminate Indentured Parts


Create Simple “Base” Laminate

With -11 part active, first create the panel solid sketching the full panel shape and then pad up using just the basic laminate thickness, normally the edge band thickness.


Create Core Pad Ups

Use one sketch if possible and pad up core. Curved skins may require 2 or more sketches projected to OML. Might be helpful to separate this geometric set used for core sketch. Pad thickness should be edge laminate + core thickness + additional IML plies+ film adhesive if used.


Chamfer all cores as required


Develop Core Cavities and Extract from Sandwich

Create a -13 core “cavity” using extracted and offset IML surfaces and join them to form one complete enclosed core surface as shown below then use “close surface” function to form the part body. Might be useful to separate out this surface data into separate “corecut” geometric set

Remove core part body from basic -11 body using Boolean operation. This creates a hollowed out sandwich structure in the -11 and maintains one main part body with an imbedded, hidden part body in tree. (For later use)

Repeat for all core removals, -15 and up as required.

-11 laminate is now complete including voids in all the core areas that will show up on assembly drawing sections.


Copy and Paste Part Body to Create Exact Core Model

Right click and Copy previously “extracted “core body as shown above in orange.

Activate blank -13 core part in assembly session.

Paste(with link) the -13 core “part body” in blank -13 Catia part and core is now fully modeled and linked to any future changes in the -11. This part is an exact core model and can be NC machined from here and also dimensioned on separate drawing if required.


Save all and Done

Complete! The sandwich panel assembly is now totally complete with separate -11 skin and -13 core as they were already assembled in the sandwich assembly product. Save all and done.

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