I have been struggling for 2 weeks now to come up with a feasible way of designing a large biomass hopper structure parametrically, I'm staring to loose the will to live so I’m hoping someone can give me some advice.
The hopper structure consists of universal beams and columns, RSA sections, platework and various bolted & welded plate connections. (Typical structural engineering)
This is design to order & will be prone to change over the duration of the project but will ultimately be used to produce fabrication drawings; therefore it needs to be controlled from the top level; this seems to be the only realistic way of design something of this calibre from scratch!
With producing detailed drawings of structural members and end plates in mind I have applied the philosophy of separating parts based on how they will be fabricated e.g. a beam with 2 welded end plates would be 1 part and another part could be multiple members welded together for example a welded angle flange.
I have considered using the cut list feature in the drawing view to produce drawings however, unless I have missed something this wouldn’t account for end plates & holes in members, so this approach has been benched for now.
Attached below is a picture of the hopper which I have modelled top down using a layout sketch. This is only the outline design which now needs detailing up, my main concerns are how to approach: standard beam notches and cuts, end plates and holes with relations between parts and platework with bolt holes with relations between parts.
I am seriously thinking about cutting my losses and drawing it up on auto-cad so if anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated.