SolidWorks Sheetmetal and Weldments

Okay I’m interested in finding out how many designers/engineers out here…use sheetmetal and weldments features in SW07 ??

The reason is that I’m teaching these courses to engineers, but the turn out doesn’t looks so big…so I was wondering…how many peeps take advantage of these tools???

And if you answer yes…then what application do you use them for?

Is is helpful?

Does anyone run into snags? or let me rephrase…what kinds of snags do you run into??

We don’t have it yet but it is one of the main reasons we are getting solidworks. I work at a company that makes inflatables for water sports products. The process for creating patterns in sheet metal is very similiar to how we create patterns for inflatables. THe biggest issues we forsee are placing the seams correctly and creating mulitple intersections at one junction. Also it didn’t seem to want to create odd intersection. For example; if we want a cone that has an eliptical bottom to intersect a cylindrical tube at a right angle, the weldments didn’t want to do it. We have some ideas to get around it but we have to expertiment with it.

We primarily use Pro/E for our sheetmetal design…that said I am in the middle of my first project with SW '07 using sheetmetal. It is pretty darn powerful. So far nothing out of the usual…basically a box, a few rivets, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

My partner is a savant when it comes to using Pro/E for PCB shielding design. He has been playing with SW '07 b/c it has gotten pretty good and there are so many companies in Vancouver that use SW that we need to have it in our skillset.

I am not providing too much insight I suppose, other than letting you know that our transition from using Pro/E as a sheetmetal too to SW so far has been pretty painless.

I do alot of work for a sheetmetal fabrication shop and use the weldment and sheetmetal unfolding feature almost exclusively. It’s super powerful as mentioned above.

I would assume engineers would benefit from this more than designers. Particularly if they are going to work for an HVAC design place. All they do is bend galvanized steel.

I do a lot of sheetmetal and weldment design in SolidWorks 2006, will convert to 2007 after SP3.0.

SolidWorks is a very useful tool, but having a good understanding of the manufacturing processes used in sheet metal fabrication is a must for cost effective design.

A couple of useful links- Specifically about Sheetmetal and SolidWorks Free K Factor bend calculator- useful “rule of thumb K-Factors”

These are great responses…thanks for tuning in guys…I will def be letting this stuff sink in…those sights are right on too…! I would’ve never of thought to looks those up. This keeps my interest going too…

Yeah a lot of places are getting SW just because of the market share. Yeah I can see how you would apply sheet metal features for inflatables…I would be very interested in seeing an example of this.

Yeah I think it I agree about the powerfulness of it…you think those basic boxes and stuff is boring…try teaching it over and over again…LOL…nah its not that bad, I come up with cool example…So Vancouver huh? Nice…see what I say about market share!

Skill-set huh? this brings up a good question…What is a good skillset to have when it comes to software? I figure I don’t have to learn Pro-E because of its similarities in Wildfire? I know I want to learn Rhino…I digress…what do you guys think?

Rendered 3d model pic below of a machine frame design, currently under construction. The frame/machine is a prototype and the design was dictated by function/weight rather than by form. No doubt the next iterations will improve both looks and functionality.

The frame makes extensive use of weldments and the sheetmetal functionality of SolidWorks.

Sorry for the censoring, showing the hidden part would breach the NDA.


Here is a link to one of our more complicated products that we created that would be much easier to create in solidworks than with our current 2-D patternmaking program. It is tough to see all of the intersections but there are quite a few. If you give me an email address I can email you some more detailed pictures of the structure tubes


Here is another example of a product that the patterns are constructed the same way sheetmetal patterns would be.[/url]

Hi Rave

I hope you won’t be disapointed, Solidworks can only flatten components that can be made using normal sheetmetal brake press operations. It can not make flat patterns of parts that have compound curvature.

There are add ins that will, but I’m not sure how they would cope with the materials you use.
BlankWorks Home | FTI Sheet Metal Forming Simulation
SurfaceWorks SurfaceWorks Checkout their “Flattener Demo” – The demo part that they flatten in SurfaceWorks can not be flattened without an add in SolidWorks.

Before you buy get the reseller to demonstrate how they would go about modelling and flattening your parts.

Hey John Lahne…! Did you render that in SolidWorks? Nice Job dude!!!

Wow Rave! I really like how you’re applying sheetmetal pattern making to something so cool !!!

Rendered in Maxwell

To get back on your first question, to what extent the sheetmetal and weldments features are used by designers. I did the tutorial in the SW 2006 a year ago and and know my way aroud with the features. I have used the features several times and the result is statisficing. In a short time you can create a sheet metal.

To get more in to detail why more and more people are using SW, I have to agree with ‘No.2’. It is becoming a standard instead of a tool. Personally I get a little bit tired of all the new versions which follow up each other quickly. The differences between the versions are minimal and the hassle of using files of different versions is really annoynig. But still it is a powerfull tool, I regurlaly use.

great post!