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Sheet metal & Weldments - How much is needed??

Question asked by Scott Baugh on Jun 10, 2015
Latest reply on Dec 9, 2016 by Shawn Casebolt

So I have been tasked with trying to figure out how many sheets of metal and how many feet of Structure we need to build our next machine. Of course I recalled that in 2015 we can get the total length... As I found out this new feature is pointless. For one it doesn't work right and the solution I was given was to redo all my weldments in the part. That's not going to happen because my entire assembly is based off that structure and i would lose more time than have already. Even if the total length was working properly, we still cannot use that information.


The reason I cannot use it is because if I have 4 pieces of 1.5x1.5x.125 at 120" long and I get 240" long pieces, I would still need 4 pieces to make those 4 structures. How much does that leave... a little less than 120". Now I have to try and figure out what pieces can be taken out of the leftover sections. Not to mention the cut widths needed for each cut. Its a huge time suck. Sheet metal is the same way but worse, because there is easy method of nesting our parts within a stock sheet size within Solidworks. This should have been something added long ago.We have all the flat pattern data, how hard would it be to take this data and place it in a native program within SW and get the information we need, giving us the layout pattern of the flat pattern data within a stock sheet size? Solidworks almost has the whole package when you include costing into this, but its still falling short on giving us a true all-in-one package which I have hard all to often from someone at SW. We need these tools!!!... because if you don't there are other competitors that will.


After all question is what is everyone else using to figure out the total amount of structural steel and Sheet metal sheets that are required when you order steel? We are a small start up company so we don't have that endless pocket of money like some companies have for software, but I will take any suggestions...


Thanks for any replies,