Looking at designing/detailing a large structural steel weldment framing system. The design requires a series of erection drawings and fabrication drawings. I'm comfortable with weldments and assemblies, but looking for the best way to not replicate design efforts. Specifically:
Fabrication Drawings: need to show each individual part in a welded body (for example a column, its baseplate and any welded stiffeners). Dimensions/material for each item are shown on a cut list. The fabricated welded-body (e.g. sub-weldment) would be assigned a part number or mark number (e.g. Column-1A) for steps in the assembly of the larger structure.
Erection Drawings: show how each fabricated body (above) would be assembled into the larger structure. The erection drawings should show the 10+ items that need to be bolted together, not the 200+ items that were welded together.
I'm looking for the best way to complete this design/detailing effort. I've previously run a single weldment part file with a single cut list. This has been sufficient for most of my weldment efforts.
For this project I have two different ideas, and am looking for feedback:
Option 1: Design the entire structure as a single weldment part. Use the solidworks sub-weldment feature to denote fabricated bodies that are welded together in the shop:
- Work in a single part file to minimize design efforts and external references
- Would most likely require a single (huge?) drawing file to keep cut list items and cut-list numbering consistent throughout the effort
- I cannot find an easy way to quickly dump a sub-weldment to a drawing view and detail it. The only way I could show the sub weldment is using the "select-bodies" feature. I was thinking about saving to an external part, but that looks to be a manual effort to select bodies and once its saved out from the parent, the file will no longer update.
Option 2: Have a top level assembly for the entire project. Each shop-fabricated piece (sub-weldment) is a part, with its own shop drawing and cut-list. Each part is assigned a "mark number" for the erection drawing. The erection drawing is of the assembly with with a parts-only B.O.M. Parts are identified by the "mark number". If needed, an indented B.O.M. could assist the fabricator with material takeoff. Option 2 seems like more work during the modeling phase, but more advantageous during the drawing/detailing phase.
- Separate identifiers for cut list items and fabricated bodies
- Individual drawing files for each part, keeps drawing file size and load time down.
- Use assembly features such as smart fasteners (maybe)
- IMO, assembly mates are more friendly than MBD move/body/copy mates
- Cut list updates aren't crippling
- Kind of...goes against the entire idea/simplicity of the weldment process. Some parts (e.g. braces) would be composed of a single weldment body.
I'm leaning toward Option 2, but haven't done this approach before. I would really like to hear everyone's opinion on how they handle large multi-body weldments of steel structures.
(P.S. I've read responses in the forum about using www.autostruct.net, but their website is down so I don't know about that add-in)
Thanks for your insights!