How to create custom weldment profiles in solidworks.
SolidWORKS weldment is a powerful tool for structural design. combined with other features, it provides flexibility and ease of use to the designer. Its simplicity makes it easy to customize and understand. The core idea is that cross sections will extrude along a wire frame to create a 3d model of the structure. Designers create multi-body parts by using library profiles. Solidworks has a set of libraries for standard structural sections. But designers can add their own sets to the library as well. In this SolidWORKS tutorial we will lean how to use SolidWORKS weldment profiles.
Why would you go through such length to use the weldments command when you can use
extrude instead? Well, like most of the other features in Solidworks the
weldment command is aiming to serve specific scenarios, hence the name.
Weldment creates a multi-body part that is useful in drawing documents. But, the benefits don’t stop there.
The first step in creating weldments in SolidWORKS is accessing the weldment tab. To add the weldment tab to your SolidWORKS graphics area follow these steps.
Ctrl + Nand in the window that appears select
Right-clickon the part name on top of the window and then press
Weldments(make sure weldments is checked)
At this stage all the commands in Weldment tab are grayed out. This is because you need to create a wire-frame. But first things first, let’s see how we can define and import a cross-section.
As I mentioned, to work with weldments in solidworks you need a skeleton and a profile to extrude along that skeleton. In this section I will explain how to use solidworks standard libraries and how to introduce new profiles to the software.
Cross section profiles are sketches saved as
.SLDLFP files through a specific procedure. Solidworks uses the points in these sketches to place them on a line or curve and then extrudes them along that path. The process is verys similar to
sweep command. However these profiles should be saved in the folder that solidworks knows about and more importantly with the folder structure that solidworks can work with.
Weldment profiles in SolidWORKS should have these features:
SolidWORKS weldment profile folder \---standard name <-- sub-folder +---type of profile <-- sub-folder | cross section file name.SLDLFP <-- file | cross section file name.SLDLFP | cross section file name.SLDLFP
Solidworks will use this folder structure to display profiles in the weldment environment.
To find the folder to save weldment profiles follow these steps:
This is the folder you should copy the weldment profiles into. Folder structure is important. The default libraries that we will downloaded later are structured properly and should work out of the box. Once downloaded, extract the content into the folder that you found in the steps above. For example I have downloaded the Unistrut library and extracted the
.rar file into the
WELDMENT PROFILES and this is the folder structure:
C:\PROGRAM FILES\SOLIDWORKS CORP\SOLIDWORKS\LANG\ENGLISH\WELDMENT PROFILES \---Unistrut <-- Name of the Standard +---Aluminum <-- Member Family (Type) | 40x40.SLDLFP | A1000.SLDLFP | A4000.SLDLFP | A4001.SLDLFP | P1000.SLDLFP | P1001.SLDLFP | P4000.SLDLFP | P4001.SLDLFP | P5500.SLDLFP | P6000.SLDLFP | P6001.SLDLFP | P7000.SLDLFP | P7001.SLDLFP <--Cross section files (Size) | +---Fiberglass | F1000.SLDLFP | F1001.SLDLFP | F3300.SLDLFP | F3301.SLDLFP | +---Steel 114 | A1000.SLDLFP | A1001.SLDLFP | +---Steel 1316 | P6000.SLDLFP | P6001.SLDLFP | \---Steel 158 P1000.SLDLFP P1001 3.SLDLFP
Solidworks will use this folder structure to fill in the properties in the weldment command as shown below.
Solidworks has a library of standard structural sections. But this library does not ship with the software itself. Users should download this library using the steps below.
After downloading the library you should extract it to the Weldment Profile folder.
Although SolidWORKS has a library of standard profiles you might need to create a separate library for your company
.SLDLFPin the weldment profile folder. You need to follow the folder structure pattern we discuss in the next section.
As discussed earlier, weldments profiles are closed sketches that get extruded along another sketch. The latter is a skeleton or wire frame. You need to create the skeleton using 2d or 3d sketches. In this tutorial we will use 3d sketch as it offers better control over the final design result.
Ctrl + Nand in the window that appears select a part document
There are some commands in the property manager that you can use to further edit your design. Below are some of these commands.
This command allows you to cut the ends of each beam. “Miter” cuts the beams in 45 degrees whilst the other types cut by 90. The trim order defines which group of profiles are the dominant ones. The group with the higher order cuts through the ones with lesser orders. if two groups have the same order numbers then the cut a miter.
This command mirrors the profile either horizontally or vertically.
Allows you to rotate the profile along the line in that specific group.
We discussed how you can create a weldment profile and how you should use it in SolidWORKS. We cover all the important features and tips and tricks related to weldmnets in solidwroks. However, there is always more to learn. You can use links below to learn more about SolidWORKS weldment profiles and how to use them.
How to make a sheet for each unique body in a weldment drawing