Modelling a Zalman Heat Sink in Solidworks, One Space Designer, and Pro-Engineer.
Zalman heatsinks have a thermal resistance of about .2 degrees C per watt, which is about the best I've found among the air-cooled Pentium 4 heat-sinks.  The device you buy from or has brackets to allow installation on recent vintage CPU's, including Pentium 4 LGA-775 processors.

To learn Solidworks and Pro-E, I like to model geometries that have some challenge.  By the time I was done modelling this copper Zalman heatsink in Solidworks 2005, I was hooked.

However, when I set out to model the Zalman after doing the cell-phone tutorial that comes bundled with Pro-E Wildfire, I slowed down considerably.  I figure, there's got to be a way to do this -- Pro-E is one of the "Big 3" or "Big 5" solid modellers, I would think an experienced Pro-E user could model this as quickly as a One Space Designer or S'Works user.


OK, that's my "big question".  What are the steps to model a Zalman heat sink in Pro-E ?

In Solidworks, I created a master sketch of ALL the fins, with 24 4.7 degree gaps between 25 fins ... then created a solid of extrusion to represent each fin ... then intersected those solids of revolution with the solid you see in the image below, in the One Space Designer screen shot.

As far as WHY model a Zalman heat sink ...
1.  It's one of the best designed heat sinks you can buy for a computer, as measured by cost ($45) and performance (.2 degrees C per watt, with the accompanying fan.)
2.  It presents some degree of challenge for solid modelling.

As far as "what they look like", both pages have a photo; the Newegg page has a pop-up with more detailed images.

and, "are they good enough to put in a workstation quality computer ?"
... the folks at Anandtech forums (and every other forum where computer afficionadoes hang out) seem to hold them in high regard.

A little background about me ... a good part of my career I have been paid to solve cooling problems - i.e., to design heat sinks and other cooling assemblies.

The first time I saw a Zalman, I was VERY impressed.  CLEVER - they bunch about 50 copper sheets together, polish the edges, jam that against a hot CPU - and it cools the device better than anything else on the market ... until you resort to water cooling etc.

Another way to describe my reaction to the Zalman heat sink ... "damn, I wish I'd designed that."

If you can help me model geometry this in Pro-E, I'd be much obliged.

My Email

Thanks !




Modelling a Zalman heat sink in Pro-E "Wildfire".  This isn't easy.  There's got to be a more straightforward way to model this geometry in Pro-E. 


Here in One Space Designer, I've imported a STEP file from Solid Works, with both the solid of revolution and some of the extruded solids.

Please note, in this view, the extruded solids are "at 90 degrees" from the solid of revolution ... in order to get the desired end-product they will have to be rotated 90 degrees relative to each other.