SOLIDWORKS Weldments is undoubtedly one of the most powerful areas of the software for quickly, efficiently and accurately getting what you want done, done in a matter of moments and extracting all of the design detail and information that you need. From that simple initial sketch that you made, structural members can be applied effortlessly with the structural member feature. Here’s a 10 step start-up guide to what you can do with the structural member feature in SOLIDWORKS!
The Structural member feature can be used to apply, group, manipulate and trim weldment members in whichever way you desire and in this simple example we are going to look at how to do just that.
1. First things first, make sure you have some sketch geometry to apply the structural members to. A single sketch with various segments can be used or multiple different sketches can be selected for use in the structural member feature.
2. You’ll want to choose from a standard, select the type of member you want to apply and then opt for a size from the type category you selected.
3. Thirdly, consider how you would like to group your structural members. Remember that members of the same group will share the same settings such as corner treatments, profile position and profile orientation. In order for sketch segments to belong to the same group, they must either meet end-to-end, if corner treatments are required, or can be disconnected but parallel to each other.
4. Once you have made your group selections, you can highlight each group and change the various settings for it. For example, the path segments that belong to it and the corner treatment to be applied between all members belonging to the group. You can also change the gap between connected segments in the same group and gaps between different group segments.
5. Don’t forget that you can independently control corner treatments by selecting the pink dots in the graphics area that highlight on the points of intersection between sketch segments / weldment members.
6. Make sure that your structural member profile is orientated correctly and if required you can manipulate it using the profile orientation controls. The alignment selection box can be used to align your profile vertically or horizontally with a sketch or model edge selection.
7. Be sure as always, to select the configuration that you would like to apply this feature to. Remember that by default we have two configurations automatically generated in weldments, the and configurations.
8. The end results of using the structural member feature are always stunning and it’s amazing how much control this tool gives you. Don’t forget that each structural member is an independent body and as such can be patterned using the “bodies to pattern” option, in this case I have simply mirrored the results twice and easily multiplied the quantities of each member in my part.
9. Take a look in the feature tree at the cutlist that has automatically been generated by the weldments power of SOLIDWORKS! Effortless is definitely a word that springs to mind. You can modify the cut-list properties by right-clicking a cut list item folder.
10. Finally, in the drawing environment select the tables drop-down menu in the annotations tab and bring through your cutlist for clearer viewing. Slick and Super informative, all with minimal effort on our part.
I hope that this 10 step start-up guide gets you interested in using the weldments functionality in SOLIDWORKS, especially the structural member feature. Have a play about with it and you’ll be hooked in no time.