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Pressure Vessel Design - Streamlining Design by use of SW

Question asked by James Spellman on Mar 15, 2012


I have started a new job in the design of pressure vessels products within the Oil and Gas Industry.

One of my main projects is to try and look at how SolidWorks is currently under utilised (design intent, parts modeled as solids and the then all parts mated in a big flat assembly to make a full design , not good structure as everyone does different things, using AutoCAD LT to get some stuff out the door as a lot of old designs are in AutoCAD) and refine the whole design intent and automate as much as possible. The product can always be split down into 3 main categories

- Frame (I intend to try and use this whole section to its fullest)

- Vessel (using a company library folder of parts) Build in custom properties, etc.

- Fittings, Tubing lines, Pipe routes  (Use maybe a combination of routing and tubing, depending on fixed or flexible)


Create templates for dwg, part and assembly and try to use custom properties to populate the as much detail as possible in the dwgs and BOM's. Look at all the other functionality SW has to offer in scheduling tasks, API's, Rendering, DriveWorks Xpress (looked into it but more inclined to stay away and possibly use design tables) etc. I have 12 years using SW but I find there is always things I can learn or that people have gone through a similar path and found out the best ways of maximising productivity and functionality of SW.


I have read back through the posts to 2007 and things have moved on a lot in SolidWorks. I would be really interested to see if there are other people who would have any thoughts on how to best approach such a big project from your own experience. I have attached an image of a typical tank (many products to apply the whole project to)


Look forward to the replies