Join Gabriel Corbett for an in-depth discussion in this video Sketching in 3D, part of Weldments with SOLIDWORKS.
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3D sketching inside of SolidWords gives us the ability to create some pretty complicated shapes all in 3D using just one sketch. To do that sometimes it can get a little complicated though because when you're drawing in 3D you're not necessarily sure which direction you're actually drawing in. Let's take a look. Under the Weldments tab I have a 3D sketch tool or under regular sketch you have the drop down click on the drop down here and I can choose 3D sketch. So I can choose the same tool from either location. Now while I'm in the 3D sketch mode I could choose any of my standard drawing tools.
So I'm going to start with just a regular line. And notice my cursor now has this little XY directly below that and what that means is I'm drawing the XY plane and if I come down here I can see this little triad here showing me there's the XY plane and that's what I'm drawing so that's going to be something parallel to plane 1 or plane 2 or I believe the right plane here. So I can just start drawing out in space but that's kind of dangerous because I'm not really sure where I'm starting so it's generally a good idea to concentrate at the origin or from an existing point.
So in this case here I'm going to start from this corner of my existing 2D drawing and start drawing. So you can see here I'm drawing a line directly out and as I do so I also get this XY plane showing where I'm at and also showing that I'm parallel to an existing line. So that's pretty handy. Click. I get these little helper lines showing I can draw up and over and all that's going to be in that XY plane. If I spin this around you can see that I'm drawing directly on that plane. Now if I hit the tab key I can see that I'm going to cycle through XY hang on, let's click there first So check out my cursor if I hit tab you can see I'm cycling through the various planes that I can draw and it shows me sample representation of a plane.
ZX here XY and YZ. So in YZ let's go this direction snap and I'm using these little helper lines to kind of lay things out for me. It makes it really easy. When I start drawing at an angle you don't really get that benefit but you can still kind of see what's going on. So sometimes things can get a little bit complicated when you start drawing in 3D like this because you forget which plane you're at. So just good idea to kind of rotate it around in 3D so you're making sure you've got the right plane for what you're trying to draw. Hit tab again and this time I'm going to go back out this direction and there it is.
So I've got a bunch of different lines. As soon as you're done hit escape. I'm still in that sketch now so I can go in to find the length of lines. In this case I'll say 44 I'll change this one over here to 24. You can define these lines however you want. Go around there get it all fully defined and then exit out of the sketch. Now I can use all these lines to create Weldment shapes or the better way that I generally prefer to use the 3D sketch tool is to connect the dots between lines. So if I had a structure here similar to this and I wanted to create some more lines I've got these 2D sketches here predefined in this table top and I want to use some 3D sketching just to connect the dots.
And that makes it really easy. So go over here to sketch click in the drop down choose 3D sketching choose line command and just choose a point and I can just connect that point to that point real quickly. I can connect that point to that point, that point to that point, this point to this point, I can even go up here on the angles, right so I can choose from that corner up here and make sure I'm snapping to this corner here, right.
So I've got a line going across the way so I've already got a 3D sketch defined. I've got these 2D sketches that I'm using the endpoints from and I can create a diagonal I can create all kinds of shapes here which would be pretty hard to do if I was just doing it in 2D especially creating diagonals like this. I have to create a plane on an angle and create their shapes 3D sketching is really the way to go for building these intermediate members. So if you're working on something maybe like sand rail or structural frame or railing or something like that if you're doing things that are in 3D I would recommend using some 2D sketches to start off with to define the basic shape or kind of at least the floor plan or a footprint of what you're working with create a couple other planes there maybe add some points or lines and then jump into the 3D sketching tool and really start connecting all the dots together every place you'd like to put a structural member is going to be laying on that line and a lot of times you can get a lot of work done using a 3D sketch tool.
See how to build assemblies from weldments and add gussets, weld beads, and end caps. Then find out how to automatically generate documentation such as weldment cut lists and weld tables to add to your drawings. To wrap up the course, Gabriel offers tips and tricks for fabricating your finished design, such as using standard-sized materials for quick and easy production.
- What are weldments, and why use them?
- Creating construction planes and sketching in 2D and 3D
- Adding structural members
- Flipping and mirroring
- Working with joints, braces, and brackets
- Creating custom profiles
- Making an assembly from a weldment
- Adding in weld beads
- Creating a basic weldment drawing
- Including a weld table
- Preparing for fabrication