SOLIDWORKS – Using SOLIDWORKS Tab and Slot for Hobbies
SOLIDWORKS is not just for the professional user, but can make some of our home projects, hobbies, or “honey-do-Lists” easier. For me, or us, this was a combined project that required a small box for a windowsill. I do dabble in the wood working space a little and figured this would be easy with some 1×2 for the insides to tack against with some left over flat panel to form the bottom and sides would do the trick. This however turned out to be tricky to hold and tack, never mind trying to keep everything square (This might sound familiar for you fabricators out there). I abandoned that idea and went into SOLIDWORKS to help solve the problem.
My goal was to be able to build a sturdy box, no 1×2 and no fasteners. I did not want to use a fastener because they always seem to need another person to help holding pieces while another wildly swings a hammer at your finger, or another jig, or clamps or something; I wanted to avoid that if possible. From here I knew I needed to build it like some sort of puzzle piece where the sides get locked into place and from there, I could use glue to hold it together. SOLIDWORKS offers this tool in the form of Tabs and Slots, like a puzzle piece, my box would go together.
Here is what I came up with:
The sides were the interesting challenge, but I was able to use long slots that locked them together. The biggest problem was that Everything needed to be carefully measured. Everything was cut with a table saw, router and drill. If you have a CNC, this would have made the project WAY easier as I could have exported this from SOLIDWORKS CAM (This also might sound familiar for all your fabricators out there).
I was able to make a quick drawing of the parts for quick reference while in the shop for my offsets and cut lengths.
After my other half put some plastic in the bottom and painted it to her liking, this is how it turned out.
This might just be a home project for me, but if you scale it up, it might be metal instead of wood, welding instead of glue. One person putting together a well-executed plan with CNC parts that fit together JUST RIGHT vs 2+ people holding, measuring, tacking, re-measuring, hammering parts into place or grinding and/or starting over. Profit vs Loss. Tabs and Slots is a great way to increase productivity and take out a lot of guess work for those in fabrication.
Hope you all enjoyed another one of my Projects using SOLIDWORKS!
Computer Aided Technology, Inc.