It's time to reveal our sixth favorite feature in SOLIDWORKS 2019: the structure system tool. Weldments are a key feature of many designs and SOLIDWORKS has long been an innovator in providing tools to create weldments. The structure system tool is a brand-new way to create weldments. To see it in action be sure to check out the video below where it’s used to create a large support structure for a massive telescope.
How Structure Systems Works
The telescope is huge, but with the new structure system feature in 2019 creating the weldment frame is a breeze. The first thing you’ll notice when using this tool is that the definition for it does not contain a single 3D sketch. That’s because it uses much simpler and more familiar entities like surfaces, sketches and planes.
Think of the new structure system as an advanced weldment environment that lets you create and modify structural members of different profiles in a single feature. Primary members are defined using 2D and 3D sketch segments, points, edges, reference planes and surfaces. Look how easy it is to use window select to choose the edges of the surfaces which define 36 members, without regard for member groups. Familiar weldment profiles are used to specify the weldment cross section and for this selection a 10 x 10 square tube will be chosen. Just like that, 36 members have been created.
In the structure system environment, members can have different profiles. In this case, the vertical members will be changed to 10-inch diameter round tubing. The web members will be defined using sketch segments and they will be 7-inch diameter round tubings.
Secondary members run between primary members and are defined by selecting member pairs. In this case, the location of the new members will be defined by two support planes, and the chain option will be used to select the member pairs. As selections are made, new members are added between the pairs located at the support planes. As easy as that, another 12 members are added.
When you finish adding the structural members, the corner management tool is presented so you can fine-tune the corner treatments. Trimming a corner treatment is exactly the same whether it’s a standard weldment or a structure system. It’s a familiar workflow, just a lot more powerful than traditional welded structures.
The new structure system feature provides an advanced weldment environment that lets you create and modify structural members of different profiles in a single feature with flexible corner management and trimming. This workflow makes it easier to create complex structure systems without the need to create intricate 3D sketches.
Do you want to learn more about the SOLIDWORKS 2019 enhancements and updates? Download our infographic highlighting TriMech’s Top 11 Favorite Features in SOLIDWORKS 2019.