Join Gabriel Corbett for an in-depth discussion in this video What are weldments, and why should we use them?, part of SOLIDWORKS: Weldments.
- The Weldment package within SolidWorks allows you to create some amazing fabricated structures, with just a few either 2D or 3D sketches and some pre-loaded shapes. The sketch lines define where and how the structural pieces are laid out. We can then choose a standard shape material like either round or rectangle tubing, I-beams, channel, or we can even design our own shape. And weldments aren't just for structural metal shapes either. They work great with wood, extruded aluminum, or just about any other standard building material.
To get started, let's go ahead and fire up SolidWorks. I'm using SolidWorks 2014. Okay, come up here to the top and start a brand new document. I'm gonna be starting a document called LyndaPart, but any standard template will work just fine for that. Go ahead and click OK. Okay, once we're in the SolidWorks environment, we want to make sure that we have the Weldments tab turned on. So, go up here to the top. I have Features, I have Sketch and I have Weldments and you can always add new tabs by right clicking on any one of them and listing all the other available toolbars.
So, make so Weldments is turned on. And, if you want, you can turn all the other ones off so it doesn't confusing at all. But, make sure you have Weldments, Sketches, and Features all turned on and let's get ready to go here. So, jump over to the Sketch toolbar, just like anything in SolidWorks, we're pretty much always going to be starting a sketch on either a face or a plane. To get started, let's go ahead and choose a Sketch and go ahead and choose the Top Plane. Now, I'm gonna use a Rectangle tool, so I'm gonna choose the Center Point Rectangle.
Start right at the origin and just drag something out. Let's add a couple dimensions. I'm gonna make this 48 inches long, and gonna make it 40 inches across. Okay, exit out of that Sketch. So you can see if I spin it around in 3D here, exactly, just a real simple rectangle. Now what I want to do is create some Weldments. So, jump over to the Weldments tab, and I can either start with a 3D sketch, but, in this case, I'm using that 2D sketch as my weldment. Then, I want to turn or activate the Weldment command, so that, clicking on that, adds the Weldment to my Feature Manager here showing that I've started my Weldment and now I have a multi-body part.
And, then choose Structural Member. Now, I've got a bunch of options inside of this toolbar here and I don't need to go through every single option, I just want to pick out the basics here. So, I'm gonna to be choosing an inch system versus ISO, and these are the pre-loaded shapes. And I can choose from angle iron, c channel, pipe, rectangle tubing, s sections, which is actual I-beams, some square tubing. So, I'm gonna use the square tubing in this case here, but you've got a bunch of different options here and it's not every size that's available, it's really just some standard sizes to get you started.
And then as far as the size, let's go ahead and choose three by three by quarter wall. And, now it's as simple as literally just choosing the lines inside the Sketch window. So, go over here and click on this line here. As soon as I do that, look what happens. It makes a sketch at the end and it extrudes it along that entire line. If I zoom in, I can see there's the sketch of my structural member and it's being extruded along that entire length of that line. Now the other side here, you can see it ends right where that line ends.
Now, watch what happens here as soon as I choose that next line. It adds another piece, but it also it actually added a miter to both of those pieces the same time. I can do the same thing by continuing around this rectangle. Makes another miter corner. And my final piece here, and it miters both sides there. And now, I'm gonna come back here on the follow-on movies and go through all these different options we have inside of the Structural Member dialogue box here. But, for right now, let's just click on the green check mark and create our very first Weldment.
So, just that quickly we were able to draw a simple 2D sketch, define a structural member, and define where we want to place those members in this design, and, boom, we've got a completed structural member here. It's not a very complicated part but at least we have something set up and we're using the Weldment package just that quickly.
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