13 Replies Latest reply on Mar 1, 2016 12:50 PM by Iain Hendry

    Plate Assembly

    TERRY SMITH

      Had an interesting problem today and was wondering if there was a way the problem could have been identified with Solidworks.

       

      We built a frame out of 2x2 steel tubing, lots of vertical and angle bracing, lots of different levels. We also made a plate that would be bolted into the frame. The entire project was designed by our customer, we were supplied with drawings and some step files. I imported the step files into Solidworks and "built" it using Structural Members. Everything came out great till we tried to insert the plate into the frame. No matter how we tilted the plate, we could not get it to fit into the frame. There was an area it would fit in, but because of interference with various tubes, we couldn't get it tilted into position.

       

      Since I had both the frame and the plate as Solidworks Models, is there a way I could have checked to see if the plate could be positioned inside the frame. I did use mates and positioned the plate properly on the frame. But I didn't know anyway that I could check to see if the plate could be manipulated in such a way that would allow it to be inserted into the frame in it's proper position.

       

      Thanks for any help,

        • Re: Plate Assembly
          J. Mather

          I don't know of an automatic way -

          but perhaps you could have turned on Collision Detection and try to Move/Rotate the part into position by eye and trial and error (pretty much what you did with the real part).

            • Re: Plate Assembly
              TERRY SMITH

              Since we already had the frame and the plate, we did confirm that it wouldn't fit by trial and error. This assembly is for a large large large company and I was astonished that who ever designed it, didn't confirm if it could be assembled the way it was designed. I asked my question out of curiousity to see if there was a way that this problem could have been avoided.

               

              I thought sure I could come up with something in Solidworks, but I failed miserably and wanted to see if anyone in this forum had any better ideas. I tried the Move/Rotate but since everything is moving around in 3D space it was tough to get an accurate representation of getting the plate to clear all the obstructions and fit into place.

               

              The customer is coming on site this morning and I had visions of showing him a simulation of his frame and his plate interfering with each other in an attempt to get the plate into position. Once I "slept on it" last night, I really couldn't justify the time required just to provide a little "dog and pony show" to the customer.

                • Re: Plate Assembly
                  J. Mather

                  TERRY SMITH wrote:

                  but since everything is moving around in 3D space.

                  Why would everything be moving around in 3D space?   Everything should be grounded except for the plate.

                  • Re: Plate Assembly
                    Mark Kaiser

                    Did you get it figured out?  Can you share a screen shot?

                        • Re: Plate Assembly
                          Iain Hendry

                          Oh shoot - yeah, any designer looking at that for 3 seconds would realize it's impossible to assemble.  Can't tilt it up along the long edge on the right side because of the angled beam on the left, and can't tilt it up along the edge on the left for the same reason with the angled beam on the right.  That's horrible!

                           

                          +1 on Move with Check Interference - Right-click the part (the plate) and use the Triad to help you only move in one dimension at a time (X, Y, or Z).  You can kind of wiggle it around with it bumping into the frame each time by checking the "Stop on Interference" option on Collision Detection.

                           

                          That designer will never make that mistake again!

                            • Re: Plate Assembly
                              TERRY SMITH

                              Thanks for the tip on checking for interference.

                               

                              Since we are strictly a job shop, I never really concerned myself with Assembly's.

                               

                              The customer stopped by this morning and took a look at the problem. We had to enlarge one clearance notch by 3/4" and it fit in.

                               

                              I hate to be argumentative, but we deal with designers who have been making the SAME mistakes for years.

                    • Re: Plate Assembly
                      Mark Kaiser

                      I do not know an automatic way either.

                       

                      I imagine you contacted the customer and asked how it was supposed to work?

                      • Re: Plate Assembly
                        Mark Greenwell

                        Hi,

                         

                        Was there not a build method to go along with the frame.

                         

                        At some point the plate would have had to be fitted before some of the tube or bracing.

                         

                        When we have complex work where you may box yourself in (so you are unable to fit a component) we produce a build method which shows what order components should be assembled.

                         

                        Thanks

                         

                        Mark

                        • Re: Plate Assembly
                          Karl Wooster

                          The only potential way to have a semi-automatic way is using SOLIDWORKS Composer. See linked YouTube video made by a colleague of mine.

                           

                          Problem is, this would require an expensive piece of software and someone competent to know how to set it up. Probably not worth it in your case. I would still check out the video, though, it's pretty cool.

                           

                          https://youtu.be/aiod4EMSVkY

                           

                          Karl