I'll begin by saying that I'm not a structural engineer. I'm designing a stand using square and rectangular steel tubing to hold up a significant amount of weight. The stand has parallel & perpendicular components w/ 3x3 square steel, and is stiffened by angled components using 2x3 steel tubing. I'd like to know if I can get away with using plate steel gussets, as our shop has no good way to make the long, angled cuts required by the 2x3 steel gussets.
Every simulation tutorial I've found recommends that I first suppress any plate gussets before running a simulation, which completely negates the purpose of running the simulation IMHO. When I tried to run a simulation using plate gussets, I wasn't able to get past the errors associated with "connections," which appear to be handled automatically.
Is it possible to conduct a static simulation using weldments and plate gussets (or solid bodies of any kind) or must I convert the weldments into solid bodies to do this?