SOLIDWORKS 2016 What’s New – Weldments – #SW2016

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Good morning and welcome to article 28 of 40 articles that the Computer Aided Technology Technical Team is going to be publishing on the new features in SOLIDWORKS 2016. Today we are going to take a look at the changes to Weldments in SOLIDWORKS 2016.

The WhatsNew2016 lists out 5 new features and I am sure there are a few more hidden in there that I just have not found yet. Looking at the five we know about there are:

  • Modifying End Cap Positions Using Reference Dimensions
  • Structural Member Feature Names
  • Structural Member Size Lists
  • Total Length for Derived Parts
  • Transferring Material Properties from Library Profiles

Transferring Material Properties from Library Profiles

The first enhancement we will look at is the one that is in the Top Enhancements section at the beginning of the What's New and that is Transferring Material Properties from Library Profiles.

I see why this is a top enhancement if you build weldments every day you can now have your library populated with all your different profiles and the materials that are used in your shop.

This will surely save some time in having to go back set the material properties after the fact.

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The two things I did notice about this is that you need to make sure your system options are pointed to all the 2016 folders in File Locations for Weldment Profiles, Weldment Cut List Templates, and Weldment Property File. The second thing is that none of the installed profiles have a material assigned to them so you will need to open each profile and assign it a material.

Structural Member Feature Names

The next one I think is a great enhancement is Structural Member Feature Names. I like this because how many times do you open a weldment and want a quick what size is that structural member. How this works is when you create structural member features, the software automatically now names them based on the type and size of the structural members you insert.

The naming convention is Type Size(n), where n is the suffix that indicates the number of identical instances of the feature.

You can access the name by hovering over a structural member feature in the graphics area, the tooltip uses the same naming convention:

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With this feature you do need to create the Weldment in SOLIDWORKS 2016 to see the proper name when you hover over it.

Modifying End Cap Positions Using Reference Dimensions

The next new feature is when you create weldment end caps, the software adds reference dimensions to mark the inset distance in linear and curved structural members. You can modify these dimensions for parts, assemblies, and drawings without opening the end cap feature.

The inset dimensions are added automatically for the first end cap of the end cap feature. If you place the end cap on a straight member, the software assigns a linear dimension. If you place it on a curved member, the dimension assigned is an arc length.

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Structural Member Size Lists

Another new feature to Weldments for 2016 is when selecting the size of your profile the structural member size list is sorted alphanumerically from the smallest size to the largest to make it easier to work with a library that contains a large number of standard size components.

In addition, the two sizes you have most recently used appear at the top of the menu so you can locate them easily.

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Total Length for Derived Parts

The last new documented item for Weldments is when you view cut list properties for derived parts, the total length of the derived parts is included.

Total length is available when you create a derived part by:

  • Inserting selected structural members of a weldment part into a new part.
  • Copying cut list properties to new parts using Split or Save Bodies.
  • Selecting Cut list properties when mirroring a weldment part.

After you create a derived part to access the Total Length property, right-click a cut list folder in that new derived part and click Properties.

The software also calculates the total length of derived parts in assemblies when you add derived parts using:

  • File > Derived component part
  • Insert > Mirror Components

This first message you will get if your cut list in the parent file is not up to date.

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We hope this part of the What's New series gives you a better understanding of the new features and functions of Weldments in SOLIDWORKS 2016. Please check back to the CATI Blog as the CATI Support Team will continue to break down many of the new items in SOLIDWORKS 2016. All of these articles will be stored in the category of "SOLIDWORKS What's New." You can also learn more about SOLIDWORKS 2016 by clicking on the image below to register for one of CATI's Design Summit's.

Josh Altergott

CATI Support Manager

Computer Aided Technology

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