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Best practice for creating a "near" identical frame weldment from a different standard, "quickly"

Question asked by Chris Estelle on Oct 20, 2015
Latest reply on Oct 21, 2015 by Elmar Klammer

I am trying to come up with the best method of taking one frame weldment, for example made from Iso shapes, and make it from the same shapes, but, for example from american standard shapes. Looking to be able to do this quickly to allow the freedom of manufacturing the frame in different countries as needed due to location constraints. I'm on Solidworks 2013 so at this point configurations of weldment profiles is not an option. Even if it was I don't believe it would quite work as smooth as I'm hoping for. Looking at our existing library I have already found that I do not like the way it was created. All entities have an ID, as does every surface. For example if I made a simple I beam weldment from ansi(inch) and I edit the structural member and switch it to an iso(mm) beam, all holes I put in the beam would lose their minds, as would all mates in its parent assembly. I believe all structural members of a certain type(shape), iso, ansi, ect. as long as its the same shape, should be copied as a new profile and modified to the correct dimensions. That way if you replace an ansi angle with an iso one, it will not blow up, because all angles would have been copied over and over to the next size or standard, with only dimensional changes, no entities or faces ever deleted or added. Even the out of the box profiles, which we don't use, have this problem, which I believe is totally correctable, though requires recreating near all profiles.


That is problem one. I'm sure my other problem is one of modeling best practices. Obviously even if I rebuilt the entire library so holes and constraints and trims wouldn't blow up, there is still the issue of the difference in size of one ansi member to its closest iso member. Yes sometimes depending on the member it wont matter, other times I will still have to modify the frame to keep it from growing or shrinking in undesirable directions. The goal being two "nearly" identical frames, just from different standards of steel shapes.


Any suggestions welcomed. Maybe even a software or add-in suggestion that would handle this better. I hear we have a Tekla seat, but from my research it doesn't look like it would handle this quick transition flexibility I'm looking for even as good as solidworks might...