Tuesday July 30, 2013 at 12:24pm
The weldment features inside of SOLIDWORKS are very popular amongst our customer base, making the creation of fabrications far more efficient. For those who haven't tried them, weldments enable a profile sketch to be swept along a path, automatically trimming and mitering structures to ensure the correct corner details. On top of this you can add supporting gussets and end caps to add those finer details to your designs.
The question we sometimes get asked is "How can I add more sketch profiles to the library?" By default SOLIDWORKS only comes with a handful of ISO and ANSI profiles. You can do one of two things to add more:
1- Download extra content, or 2- Create your own.
Download From SOLIDWORKS Content
In the right hand task pane under the "Design Library" tab, there is a link to SOLIDWORKS Content. In here there are extra "Weldments" downloads you can obtain. Simply CTRL select the standard you want, and extract the content of the Zip file. You can then either add the new profiles to the default directory (found under Tools > Options > File Locations > Weldment Profiles) or place them in a new directory (i.e. a shared network location) and add the new file location through the options. We advise the latter to ensure your new profiles don't get deleted when you upgrade SOLIDWORKS.
Create Your Own
To create your own, you need to generate a new sketch on a new part- ideally on the Front Sketch Plane. Create the shape of the profile you want and add the necessary dimensions. Also add as many reference points as you can (i.e. to the midpoints of lines) as these can be used to locate the profile on the path sketch when you eventually use them in your part models.
To save the sketch- and this is the important bit, select the sketch first (so it is highlighted blue in the feature tree) and then File > Save As. Change the file type to "Lib Feat Part *.sldlfp" and then save to the existing weldment profile folder, or a new path- again ensuring this path is mapped through the File Locations. If successful the Sketch should show a green letter "L" on top of the sketch icon in the tree, and this will then be available to use in subsequent weldment parts.
If you want to see a video on how this is setup, including further details on setting up file locations, see the following video
on our Solid Solutions TV website.