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Frustration with cutom weldment profiles

Question asked by Rob Edwards on Oct 23, 2016
Latest reply on Mar 9, 2020 by Arthur McRae


I experimented with weldments when I first started using SW, they look like they'd be perfect for what I do - joinery.  But I gave up on them quite soon, anyway I've been using SW a couple of years now and thought I'd give them another try but once again I'm just bashing my head against a wall.


I understand that they are meant to be used for standard stock sizes, the main problem with using them for bespoke woodworking is that our timber sizes vary not just from job to job but within the same job itself and sometimes things need to change part way through production.  Never the less one of my coworkers has a commission to build a summer house so I thought I'd give them one more try.


I created a custom profile and configured it with a DT creating a custom property description from the config name combined with the width and thickness


So far so good I have hardcoded the width and thickness into a property.  I presume this is the way it is meant to work and no surprise it works great.



If I was just knocking up studding then this would be fine but I need to build parametric models where the dimensions can change, for example if this was going to be a small toolshed the corner posts may be 2" square but for a larger structure they may be 10"


When you insert a Structural member it doesn't link to the original sketch, a new plane, and sketch is inserted along with new dimensions, so I can't just go back to my custom weldment profile and change it there.  This is probably a good thing because otherwise I would be changing any other models that use this stock.  Even if I created a new set of profiles for each project, I would still have to manually go through all the Structural member features and switch the profile.

TBH I quite like how this works, I can alter the width and thickness directly in my model or via equations or I can even make the profile sketch be driven by sketch relations instead of dims, but then again I have to manually change everyone, the sketches don't act like blocks or derived sketches.


So I presume what I'm meant to do in this situation is use a 3D Bounding Box.  I have problems with these because I have to manually insert them but mostly because they always seem to presume that the longest dimension is the length and the thinnest dimension is the thickness - that is not always the case in woodwork as the length is measured along the grain.  Even when using a structural member (a profile extruded a-long a path), it gets it wrong!


It's a contrived example from just squashing this example part but a 3d bounding box error of this kind happened in our workshop on a job.  I have stopped giving the lads cutting lists and tell them to work it out themselves.  Creating cutting lists manually the old fashioned way is actually a great way to 'get your head round' a new job but for efficiency on big jobs I really need to get this sorted.



I don't see anyway to do it except by manually adding all the dims myself directly into the cutlist properties

but that's tedious work for dozens let alone hundreds of parts,, and its prone to error, it's a bit like the 'tail wagging the dog'  I've got a super CAD program and it takes longer to get a cutlist out of it than by just working it owt meself.

Please tell me am I missing a trick here or is that just the way it is?  I know I'm stuck with using a weldment to get a cutlist but custom profiles? -  think I'll stick to derived sketches :/  shame really. IMHO it would be nice if SW recognised a dim called width or thickness in a sketch used for an extrusion and automatically pulled it through.  I know it's not that simple really because other factors (cuts and extrudes) might come into play but in a custom weldment profile? surely that'd work