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The 23rd SOLIDWORKS Power-User and Programming Challenge - Normalize Ends of Structural Members

Question asked by Alin Vargatu on Jan 4, 2019
Latest reply on May 24, 2019 by Alin Vargatu

Hello SOLIDWORKS Power Users and welcome to the 23nd SWPUC!


Many thanks to Jamie Hill for suggesting this challenge.


The Sheet Metal - Normal Cut Functionality is very useful to allow designing in the formed shape for getting accurate cut-outs, punched in the flat in real life.


The same functionality is not available for Weldments Structural Members. You cannot cut a set of existing structural members and have the ends trimmed automatically in such a way that they remain normal to the axis at minimum (or maximum) material condition.



1. Imagine a grid of rods welded together:

2. Cut them with a shape (anything inside a sketch). Example - Circular cut:



If you check the ends, the end-faces of each rod are no longer normal to the axis of the rod:


What if the manufacturing process goes as follows:?

1. The rods are pre-cut to size before being welded. All faces are planar and normal to each rod's axis.

2. The length of each rod is based on the minimum material condition after the cut:

3. When the rods are welded in the desired pattern, they are touching the trimming sketch in at least one point.

It will look like this:





1. Download the attached part (SW 2016 or newer)

2. Find the easiest solution to normalize the ends of all rods. You can change the original features if needed.

3. You get extra consideration if the end result is still made of structural members. The end-user should be able to redefine the structural members as needed (different sizes, different shapes). Also, when the cutting sketch is modified, the result should update in a parametric manner.





1. For eternal glory and 10,000 points, be the first to post the most elegant solution using only SOLIDWORKS functionality


2. For eternal glory and 10,000 points, upload the best macro or application that would solve the problem.




Deadline: Noon ET on January 14th, 2019.


Good luck!