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T-slot Aluminum Profiles (ITEM, 80/20, Faztek) design methods

Question asked by Aron Saint-Aubin on Oct 29, 2011
Latest reply on Oct 29, 2011 by Anna Wood

Hello everyone, this might be more of a logistics question....but mainly about T-Slot extruded aluminum profiles and weldments. I currently create SEVERAL custom structures using this material and I am wondering if I am doing this the "most efficient" way possible. I use weldments and create a single part file using a 3d sketch as a wireframe and sweep the profiles (mainly 80x40 and 40x40) along the sketch and trim it. Until now, I have just been calling out what fastener I want and where on the drawing using text bubbles and leaving it up to the supplier to decide where to place the necessary holes/threads for whatever of type fastener I call out. This has been a great time saver (for me) because all I do is drop in a cutlist and leave the rest up to the supplier. But obviously the quality control (and additional lead time) in this is lacking and has been resulting in some quality issues. I asked the supplier what their method is and he explained to me that they take our drawings and make a whole new set of drawings with individual parts with the hole locations. I want to cut this double work and make drawings that are able to just hit the shop floor so they can start cutting material. This would mean creating a full set of drawings of each profile (using relative to model view for each weldment member) with all the hole/thread details and maybe even including the hardware in the BOM. They use a 20mm counterbore that is 20mm in from the end of the profile (same location every time) for a "universal" fastener and tap one end and put a 6mm clearance hole on the opposite profile for a "standard" fastener.


So I guess my questions are:


Is there something within weldments or a fast way to add a hole for a certain fastener type without having to open up hole wizard everytime? As in place a counterbore in this profile 20mm in at XX profile..or tap this end of the profile if I just click on the profile.


Also, is there a fast way to automate the drawing process for each profile? I think I can just manually count the locations for a hardware BOM...but the shop would still need a drawing per profile to show the counterbore/6mm hole/tap locations


To the folks who design a lot of T-Slot Alum there a better way of doing this? What do you recommend?


Thanks in advance for the help!