This month we are going to take a deep dive into SolidWorks Weldments. We are going to discuss the profiles, feature manager options, modification tools such as Trim/Extend, and drawings including views, Cut Lists, and Custom Properties.
Let's start by defining a Weldment, a Weldment can be defined as a unit formed by welding an assembly of parts together.
Inside of SOLIDWORKS we handle this in a multibody part file. This way we manage one single file instead of tens or hundreds of part files in an assembly. So by default you will see that the Merge Bodies checkbox is automatically turned off when a Weldment is created.
The first thing that you need to do is access the Weldment commands. Like all functions in SOLIDWORKS this can be done is many ways: You can turn on the Weldments toolbar by going to View, Toolbars, Weldments; You can right click on the Command Manager tabs and select Weldments; or you can go to Insert, Weldments when inside a part file.
When you create the first Structural Member in apart, a Weldment feature is created and added to the FeatureManager design tree. The software also creates two default configurations in the ConfigurationManager: a parent configuration Default[As Machined] and a derived configuration Default[As Welded].
In SOLIDWORKS 2014 we now have 2 different ways to manager our library of Weldment profiles. We have the traditional method of creating a single sketch for each profile size, or the new method of using a Design Table to control configurations of various sizes in a single part file.
SOLIDWORKS provides us with a small sample of profiles in our standard installation. Since everyone does not use Weldments we do not install the large databases by default, but SOLIDWORKS does make theses available for download in your Design Library.
Here are the default profiles that are available to you out of the box.
Additional profile libraries can be downloaded from the Design Library, under SOLIDWORKS Content, Weldments. To begin the download, hold down your control key and click on the standard you want to download.
A dialog box will appear prompting you to select a location to save the zip file.
Here is a list of all the additional profiles that can be downloaded.
Creating Custom Weldment Profiles
To create a custom Weldment profile:
- Open a new part file
- Start a sketch, and draw your profile. The origin becomes the default insertion point and you can select any vertex or sketch point as an alternate pierce point.
- Close the sketch
- Select your sketch in the FeatureManager and go to File, Save As
- Choose the location you want to use to save the file.
- Set the Save As file type to Lib Feat Part (*.sldlfp)
- Click Save.
Setting the Weldment profile folder location.
To set the Weldment profiles location.
- Open the SOLIDWORKS System Options (Tools, Options)
- Select File Locations in the left column
- Select Weldment profiles from the pull down menu
- Click Add to browse to your folder location.
The default file location is:
C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SolidWorks\lang\english\weldment profiles.
Files can be stored in any location. I suggest that you create a folder called Weldment Profiles. When you map to your folder location in the system options, point to this folder. When you extract your downloaded zip file, you should end up with the standards folders inside of this folder.
Inside of the standards folder should be the Profile Types folder.
Inside of all the Types folders you should have the individual library feature files.
Configurable Weldment Profiles:
New in 2014 you can now add different configurations of a structural member and save them in a single library feature. For example, instead of having 50 separate library features for square tube sizes you can have one library feature with 50 configurations controlled by a design table. This allows us to manage and change these profiles much easier than before.
We hope this has given you an insight to how to access the Weldment tools. Please check back for part 2 of this series as we discuss how to apply these profiles to your parts.
Please check back to the CATI Blog as the Dedicated Support Team will continue posting our series of articles that goes further into the details of SOLIDWORKS Weldments. All of these articles will be stored in the category of Daily Dose…..of SOLIDWORKS Supportand links to each article with their release date are listed below:
- SOLIDWORKS Weldments from Profiles to Cut Lists – Part1 (Bryan Pawlak 2/26/14)
- SOLIDWORKS Weldments from Profiles to Cut Lists – Part2 (John Van Engen 2/27/14)
- SOLIDWORKS Weldments from Profiles to Cut Lists – Part3 (Blake Cokinis 3/3/14)
- SOLIDWORKS Weldments from Profiles to Cut Lists – Part4 (Neil Bucalo 3/4/14)