Not really a SolidWorks question, more of a design question. Im curious on how others join butted sheetmetal parts, meaing 2 flat parts welded together to make a longer part. Rectangle slots, dovetails, etc.
woodworking techniques are not appropriate for metal.
if it is thin metal, just butt them.
the welding process can penetrate, this will also depend on material type.
for slightly thicker material, a single v (bevel) on one part.
for even thicker material, a single v (bevel) on both parts.
for really thick material, a double v (bevel) on both parts.
Im referring to joining the parts before welding, self fixturing.
are you trying to self locate the edges or the faces?
align the edges with a straight edge or by hand.
for faces just clamp a flat bar behind the seam.
imho, the use of rectangles (to align edges) isn't worth the effort.
originally i thought you were talking about a sliding dovetail (time consuming and expensive, but would help to align faces).
anyway, ditto for dovetails. dovetails in the sense you are talking about are really designed for corner joints and in reality offer no advantage offer the rectangle to align edges.
do you use cleco's?
if so you could cleco a strip behind the seam (need 4 tooling holes).
Message was edited by: Kenneth Barrentine
Lots of good ideas suggested so far.
Are you doing this in house or having a supplier do the welding? I would ask your shop guys or your supplier what they prefer. You will likely get different preferences depending on their experience and tools/fixtures they have to do the work.
It seems like it was just yesterday. ahhh, I digress. In the good old days before laser cutting, and having only the rudimentary tools of the job shop, I would simply punch a 1/4 to 1/2 inch round hole dead center on the edge of both mating parts. Retrieve said punched slug, align, then hammer the slug in place. Weld and double check.
I learned this from my father who had learned it while patching shot up planes in WWII Hawaii.
Later I was more fond of fancy tab and slots we dreamed up on the lasers.
What about duct tape? It seems to work for just about anything.
What about a semi-Peirce punch(s) on one part and a aligning hole(s) on the other part?
or add tooling holes and use fixtures to align the parts
I guess my idea will not work, since they will be butted together,
All you need is a "jig" and some clamps... any welder know how to do that (I mean a professional good welder).
We do a bunch of slot & tab stuff. We had to do this because we couldn't count on our guys to read a print or that they would read the print correctly.
I created a library feature for the tab so I just drag it to the edge of the part that needs the locator. Then in the parent assembly, the slot becomes an in-context feature. Then when the tab moves, the slot moves with it. We have had pretty good success. The added design time pays for itself when you consider fewer parts being cut apart and remade.
I agree with the sentiment of the others that such measures shouldn't be necessary, but................................
Retrieving data ...