When going through some material before our SOLIDWORKS classes, I stumbled across something most people probably aren't familiar with—gussets. This blog outlines what gussets are, what they're used for and how the Gusset Feature in SOLIDWORKS Weldments can help you improve your supports.
What are gussets?
Gussets, particularly gusset plates, are thick steel sheets used in metal work to connect structural members together. They are generally used to reinforce bridges or structures that can no longer safely support the loads applied to them. While gussets are most popular in metal work, they can be used in a range of industries and applications including in clothing, buildings and bridges. Depending on the structure being built, they can also vary in size. For example, the greater the force, the larger the gussets will be.
You're probably thinking, “How does someone see gussets in SOLIDWORKS?” Well, I am glad you asked. The gussets that I came across are from welding, which we just so happen to have a gusset feature in SOLIDWORKS Weldments.
How do you use the SOLIDWORKS Gusset Feature?
Adding gussets to your SOLIDWORKS design is actually quite easy. Here's how to enable weldments and create gussets.
How to Enable Weldments in SOLIDWORKS
First, start by adding the "Weldment" tool to your Command Manager. To turn this feature on, simply right click on the Command Manager and choose "Weldments" from the extended dropdown menu that appears on the left side of your screen. This will allow you to start putting structural members in your design.
How to Create Gussets in SOLIDWORKS
After you prep your structural members, you are now ready to create gussets. You can locate this button toward the top left of your screen, click "Gusset".
The property manager will open up where the feature will be executed.This is where you can determine options such as supporting faces, profile and location.
Start by indicating what your supporting faces will be; this will determine where your Gusset will go. SOLIDWORKS will provide a preview on the screen between the two selections that were picked.
After choosing the faces, you will be prompted to choose three other factors in the profile: Profile Type, Chamfer and Thickness.
- Selecting Profile Types consist of 1) A Triangular Profile or 2) A Polygonal Profile. While the polygonal gusset has multiple dimensions, the triangular gusset only has two.
- Adding a Chamfer is another driving factor. A gusset without the chamfer will fit up to the sides that are selected, and a gusset with a chamfer will have a set gap in the corner.
- Determining Thickness is another variable that determines whether you want to add material to one or both sides of the gusset.
Lastly, select the location of the gusset. This is where you select whether you want the gusset to be located at the top, middle or bottom of the support.