Building a Deck with SOLIDWORKS Weldment Tools, Part One

As an intern in the DASSAULT SYSTEMES 3DEXPERIENCE Lab, I get many opportunities to test my design skills. For example, a friend was interested in adding a deck to the back of their house.  After studying the local building codes and reviewing plans for similar decks we went into SOLIDWORKS to start designing.

Having recently taken the SOLIDWORKS Weldments CSWP Subject Exam, I saw the opportunity to apply the SOLIDWORKS Weldments Tools to the design of the framing portion of a deck.

The first step when designing a part in Weldment Tools is creating sketches of the paths your weldment profiles will be extruded along.  The first parts of the deck I sketched were the 2×10 floor joists and all of the blocking that goes between them to make the deck more rigid.

The next step was to create a weldment profile for the 2×10 floor joists.  The same profile is shared by the blocking because it is made from the same 2×10 boards as the floor joists.  To create a new weldment profile, I made a new folder in the Weldment Profiles folder called Lumber Profiles.  Then, inside of the Lumber Profiles folder I saved a Library Feature Part that contained a sketch of a cross section of the actual dimensions of a 2×10

Once the sketch of the paths and the weldment profile were complete, I went into the SOLIDWORKS Weldment tools and created a new Structural Member and applied the 2×10 weldment profile I had created to the sketch of the floor joists and blocking.

The same process was then used to create sketches, weldment profiles and the structural members for the rails, balusters and posts.  These sketches, weldment profiles and structural members can be seen in the feature tree on the left of the image below.




One of the biggest advantages of designing this deck in SOLIDWORKS Weldment Tools was the Cut List feature of the SOLIDWORKS Drawing Tools Package.  This allowed me to quickly create a table that contained the quantity and length of every part I needed to cut.  This was helpful when figuring out how much lumber we needed to order and will be even more helpful when we start building the deck.

Overall, SOLIDWORKS Weldments was a great tool for this lumber framing design problem and I will use it in the future.  SOLIDWORKS Weldment Tools is included with the SOLIDWORKS Student Edition and I encourage every student to explore its features.  In my next post, I’ll show how I added the stairs, deck ledger attachments in SOLIDWORKS and the progress that was made building the deck.

Brian Craven

Brian Craven is a Solidworks Education Intern working in the Dassault Sytemes 3DExperience Lab in Waltham. He is a Mechanical Engineering student at UMASS Lowell. Brian is excited about using this blog to showcase interesting and creative utilizations of Solidworks products. In his free time Brian enjoys building Jeeps for offroad-use and hiking.