What if there is a possiblity of using the toolbox at part level for Weldments with a possiblity of generating BOM/Cutlist .
It'll be really awesome and will give an added functionality specially for fabricated parts.
Sounds interesting..... I think that would be very good functionality to have.
Also why not improve the Weldment functions so you can add bolted conections on the fly, something along the line of how AMV Steelworks or BuiltWorks (SolidAce) does these types of conections.
Yes, I need this functionality in weldment environment and I want the ability to use smart fasteners to add bolt automatically in my steel structure.
That sounds like something I could use.
For sure... Great addition.
Smart fastening on weldments would be neat. Steel fabrication would benefit greatly since Smart Fasteners work erratically on multibody parts.
Are you planning to put that functionality in 2012?
No, this is not for 2012 but for in future it may be considered.
Really I think that weldments should not be a multi-body part, they should be assemblies. I am not saying to get rid of the weldment functionallity (infact I use it for 90% of my parts), but I am meaning that you should be able to create a weldment the same way but in the assembly environment. The assembly could create real or vitual parts which could have the cutlist info attached to them. This would also get rid of some of the glitchy things from weldments (for example you wouldn't have to use relative views to show individual parts). These individual parts would just get modified in the assembly (the same as a weldment part) and then that information could be carried into the part file.
After all weldments are really just assemblies that use weld instead of fasteners.
Just a thought
"After all weldments are really just assemblies that use weld instead of fasteners."
I happen to disagree with this.
Once welded the assembly becomes a single part.
There's no un-welding that would enable disassembly.
That's a huge difference compared to using fasteners.
A lot of companies that design and engineer products do not manufacture them.
These companies needs (CAD tools) will differ slightly than those of a manufacturer.
I prefer not to have ten's or even hundred's of part files to create a single weldment (assembly).
I see your point but to me as an OEM a part is something that I will inventory and put on the shelf for sale or later use. Some of the parts that we inventory get bolted together and some get welded together. This way we can have part comminality at a sub-weldment level.
You may not be able to unweld something but I can use the same leg on many different assemblies and weld it on every time. This is why I consider weldments as welded assemblies. I used to work at an OEM that would stock individual cut lengths of tube as parts because it was way more cost effective. Then when we built the machine we would call these up as a part.
Also your comment on hundreds of part files is valid which is why I was thinking of vitual parts, but even if that didn't work what I am suggesting is not to make the part files and then assemble them but to do the weldment sketch in the assembly environment, and edit it the same as you would in the part environment, I don't really see how that is different other than more files on your harddrive. You could even do one multi-sheet drawing and show the individual part details in one drawing. Also I was not suggesting to make each member into a part that would require a part number (although you could if needed),
Terry's example of a weld nut is a perfect example as well. A weld nut is a part that you can go and buy, when you weld it to the structure it does become part of that structure, but does that mean that it that nut strips I have to build a new frame because I "can't unweld it"?
hopefully you can grind it (stripped weld nut) off and weld another one on.
I insert OEM parts into my weldments all the time. I drag them out of my own library*. I also make use of sub-weldments.
i do understand that your needs as an OEM manufacturer will differ.
if you stock tubes that would imply they have a unique number.
they can't be stocked without a number correct?
when I detail a weldment I don't detail individual tubes. I detail as a single unit (part).
I let the manufacturer make their own decisions on how best to fabricate.
some hole patterns span across several tubes, sometimes these are best done post weld using a drill fixture or even in a mill.
some weldments i.e. vacuum chambers, are a classic case of a weldment that requires post machining, in some cases massive post machining.
imho, there will always be pros and cons based on the companies use of the tool.
* I think the one thing needed in multi-body parts (i.e. weldments) today is the ability to make use of mate references. enhancement please.
inserting parts into parts and adding mates were two big steps. they just need to be polished up.
Yes I agree, that there are pros and cons based on how the tool is used. I also make weldment parts that require post machining you can still do this in an assembly.
I also agree that you can detail the weldment as a whole and not worry about the individual part (especially in the case of post machining). You can still do this in an assembly you just detail the assembly as if it were a weldment and now with the ability to have cutlist information in the BOM you can create a cutlist in your assembly.
I actually think that we are talking about the same thing. I along with alot of others have in the past made enhancment requests to add funcionality to multibody parts to make them operate like assemblies. This thread was once again started with that same request (using toolbox hardware in a weldment). What I am wondering is why don't we just use assemblies and make them work like weldments, the only difference is how solidworks handles it in the background.
The reason that I feel assemblies are better is that solidworks handles them better in many ways. I still have issues with inserted parts being glitchy (they are much better though), and the cutlist information needs to be filled out manually. The mates are not as extensive as an assembly. etc. Also I have created some very large weldments based on the "if it is welded together it is a single part" criterial. Some of these reached 500mb + for one part. Because weldments are one part solidworks is not able to utilize your multicore processor efficiently. Assemblies are able to be processed much quicker because your processor can use more than one thread. I have litterally spent 45min to an hour waiting for one part to rebuild (then sometimes it would crash before I could save it) this is a very in-efficient way to work.
If it was possible to have weldment functionality in an assembly I think it would be worth a look.
I've been looking at weldment issues almost as long as you.
I was going to write a document to your reply but instead I'll just agree with you.
In the past I've also been told to design something as a welded structure then to be told we want it bolted (changes in lifting plans). If it had been an assembly the change would have been easier, especially if the functionality of AMV (currenlty unavailable) of Builtworks is available.
Both AMV and Builtworks offer weldment procedures at the assemby level. They still need development but it's early years for them.
Solidworks competes with AutoCad-Advance Steel? So why is Solidworks lagging so far behind in steelwork design? I use SW for many different projects and can't afford to run SW and Tekla for the return. A few enhancements and bug fixes would put things on track.
Thanks for the heads up regarding Steelworks and Builtworks, just checked out their websites. Have you evaluated both products?
Which would you consider the best in class?
I've looked at both for over a year.
They still need work on IMHO.
(Everything below is based on my experience and unless stated my own views).
However AMV Steelworks is no longer available .
It was really good and had great potential. Although installation was more involved using the SQL database.
Great at connections etc. even put bolts in correctly and reported on them.
Reports were by far better than the cutlist of Solidworks (if you need that for material ordering etc).
It did have a major directory structure and transferring from one machine to another lost numbering ??
It is supposed to be coming back but I've seen or heard nothing about it their website has changed but you can still find the old website with the steelworks details.
Builtworks is still on the market and is more of an extension to Solidworks functionality.
They are keen to develop the product and have shown in their literature where the product is pitched against it's rivals, dividing the market itno 4 they have pitched Builworks at level 3. They have future plans to move the product up to level 2. competing with tthe likes of Advance Steel but not all the way against products like Tekla (specialised steel programmes).
It does make light work of alot of the steelwork functionality and has potential. Bolts are in the literature but not funcioning at the moment. There is also the export/import from other steel packages. Another development talked about in the lit. is NC data files
Like all new products you can't have everything in one go. As more people put in request the product devlopes and expands.
Both products have (had) the potential to make small/medium structural design a real possibility on SolidWorks. Methodology may not be exactly the same as everyone works but that's something that would develope.
Drawings on both are a bit strange, e.g. views are not constrained to each other. You can set up sheets so that e.g. assemblies go to one size (A1) and single parts go to another (A4), user choice.
Both do not deal with bent items very well say for handrails, although in fairness I did not pursue it but it does look like something that needed attention. You can create bent parts using std SolidWorks functionality but seem to lose the Programmes functionality for dealing with them as 'structural' elements.
Numbering and reports: AMV Steelworks would go through and number parts based on simple criteria when the user decides to run the numbering sequence. The user can also tell the system which parts are to be welded to gether. e.g. plates that are not obvious if they should be. Stiffeners etc are already part of the weldment. This is where AMV is strange. What you have at top level to the user is not necessarily what is detailed - hence you can not use Std Solidworks tables for identifying the parts. AMV builds the parts and saves them using the Join command and saves each part as an idividual file. This I found not so good as the directories became large. All this happens in the background. Also the numbering can take a long time even for a moderate sized platform structure.
Builtworks created each member and 'numbers' them on the fly based on user defined criteria. It creates the drawings and saves them based on this numbering sequence. I think this needs working on.
Both offer the ability to re-use connections in other projects. Each project would essentially be a standalone due to the referencing to the main assembly. (As talked about in this thread already). Both can re-use company standard parts.
The two add-ins approach the Steelwork side from a different approach but to the same end. AMV's product was probably more advanced in some respects. Builtworks made alot of things easier and quicker. It would be wrong of me to say which is the better product as the different approaches may appeal to different people.
I've badgered both companies extensively and found both to be professional and generally quick with resposes.
This has somewhat hijacked this thread. If you want to know more I'm willing to give it a shot on a new thread. Apart from that you can get a 30day trial from SolidAce but AMV's trial is no longer available (I checked yesterday).
did i miss anything?
as long as virtual parts are allowed i would be interested in seeing an assembly version of weldments. i don't want umpteen dozen parts that i have to manage in PDM.
i edited my previous post to highlight the "mate reference" enhancement.
For us we need to detail individual parts, even though it may be a fraction of an inch difference, if it's different, new part number, this an be a configuration of a base part, like -A etc... I understand that you do it differently and you let the other guy make the manufacturing decisions,that's ok, here we tell them. Maybe we have a case of Robotic people .
I have messed around with weldments and one thing I couldn't work with is; "You can't explode the weldment like an assembly" (Correct me if I am wrong) and explode is one of the tools that I use with every assembly that I create.
I would definitely use weldments if:
1. The Weldment was treated as an assembly, where you can explode the assembly
2. Be able to "Re-use" individual components, like a part
However, my actions or decisions don't mean they are the general concensus. Where; because I do it this way everyone else should think the same. So I guess I am neutral, and that is what is great with SW.
John Stoltzfus wrote: I have messed around with weldments and one thing I couldn't work with is; "You can't explode the weldment like an assembly"
John Stoltzfus wrote:
I have messed around with weldments and one thing I couldn't work with is; "You can't explode the weldment like an assembly"
These might be helpful posts:
Exploding a Multi-body part -1
Exploding a Multi-body part -2
Detailing a Multibody Part-1
Detailing a Multibody Part-2
Assembly from Part – No mates required
Thank you for listing the posts,
Like I said I haven't messed with the weldments a lot, but I intend to. I was trying to use the normal explode feature.
I agree with you Kenneth. What scares me about weldments as assemblies are all of the external references that are needed for all of the trimming needed for weldments. Back before SolidWorks developed the Weldment environment, I was working on an add-in for building weldments in assembly environment. A medium size weldment would take forever to rebuild. Reusing parts with external references can be very dangerous.
I agree it would be great to have the weldment functionality in assemblies.
Refer similar post re BOM's in EPDM
Wow that sounds scary!
Weldments and toolbox are currently both riddled with bugs... so I'm jaded against this.
But I guess in 2016 it would be nice to be able to put a weldnut into a weldment.
Retrieving data ...