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Welding in SolidWorks is a basic element in the design of mechanized and industrial models. Designing a welding frame of one tube at a time in SolidWorks could take hours, just so that the design can change for anything. Fortunately, SolidWorks offers a simpler method. Welding tools allowing you to quickly build and trim welding structures using a simple sketch.
All welding tools can be found in the welding tab while creating a part. Sometimes the tab will not be present in the toolbar. All that needs to be done to make it available is to right-click on any other tab and select the welds option. Once the weld option is selected, a weld tab will appear on the toolbar. In addition, welding tools can be found in the insert drop-down menu.
To enter any weldment, a sketch is needed. Weldments can be placed in regular and 3D sketches. However, it is much easier to do this using 3D sketches. A 3D sketch can be started simply by clicking on the 3D Sketch button located on the weldments tab. Once the button is selected, click on the line command and choose a starting point in the drawing area. No plan is needed. You can see the letters XY, YZ or XZ next to the cursor. These letters represent the 3D direction in which the line will be placed. The direction of the line can be changed by pressing the tab button. The change of direction will also be shown by the red origin arrows that appear when creating a 3D sketch. For weldments to be placed in a sketch, they must be made of straight lines, without arcs or circles.
Once you have created the desired structure shape with a 3D sketch, make sure all lines are fully defined and out of the sketch. Next, click on the Structural Member command on the weldments tab. Once the tool is selected, there will be three drop-down menus within the property manager to select the correct type of weldment for the job. In the standard selection menu, you can choose between metric inches or ANSI. Depending on which standard is chosen, some different types of welding tubes will be shown.
In the type drop-down menu, the different tubes can be selected. And finally, in the size drop-down menu, all sizes for the selected types of weldments will be displayed.
Once the type of weldment is selected, it is time to start assembling groups. Weldments can only be placed in a drawing in groups, these groups must be lines that are in the same plane. For example, a weldment group may be on lines that are all in the XY linear direction, but not in the XY and YZ direction. To enter weldments in a new line address, you can press the “New group” button in the property manager and you can select the new group of lines.
There are three corner options to choose from when entering weldments. There is a miter corner, inner end and outer end. Selecting the corner option in the property manager will change all corners of the selected group. To change an individual corner, select a group and then expand the desired corner to change it. There will be a small purple spot on the corner joint where the two welds meet. If you double click on the purple dot, you can change that individual corner.
Cutting and Extensions of Weldings
After the weldments have been placed in groups in the line sketch, there is a way to clean some of the pipes if they do not come directly at the joints and intersections. Sometimes, the end of a tube may not be flush with a corner or perhaps the desired result is that the tube is wrapped around parts of the intersecting tube. These types of options can be controlled through the trim and extend command in the weldments tab.
Once the trim or extend command is selected, the first option in the property manager is the type of corner. After selecting the type of corner you want to trim, there are two selection boxes for bodies and / or faces. The top selection box is to choose which bodies to trim, the other is the face and planes or bodies that will be the cutout limits. At the bottom of the property manager is the option to make a simple cut or a shortened cut. The cut with cover will make a kind of wrap of the tube at the end wrap around the tube with which it crosses.
When placing the tubes for the first time in the sketch, it should be done as if they were a puzzle so that they come out in the desired way. Be sure to think about how the pieces would really fit and place them in the sketch in that order. When entering some tubes in the sketch, they may appear crooked and not centered in your intersection tubes. This can be corrected by entering an angle value in the angle entry box below the alignment section within the property manager.
In general, the weldment tools available in SolidWorks can be used to quickly create and assemble basic and complex weldment structures, saving time. The use of the powerful tools available in SolidWorks can also help to edit the structure made earlier, which allows a quick update of the modified designs. With the fast pace of today’s work, knowledge of how to use these tools effectively is essential and will have a clear impact once a job is completed.
SolidWorks, 2016 [Online] Link: https://blogs.solidworks.com/tech/2016/01/using-weldments-features.html
SolidWorks, 2016 [Online] Link: https://blogs.solidworks.com/ tech / 2016/09/10-step-solidworks-weldments.html