SOLIDWORKS, Top 11 Features in SOLIDWORKS 2020

Top 11 Features in SOLIDWORKS 2020: Better Structure System

By Stephen Petrock on January 24, 2020

SOLIDWORKS Structure system 2020

The structure system tool was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2019. It was one of our favorite enhancements last year, because it enabled users to create weldments by using easy geometry like planes and axes, without the hassle of a 3D sketch. Now in SOLIDWORKS 2020, it got some added features that make it an extremely useful tool for anyone designing weldment structures.

>> Download our Complete Guide to Getting Users Ready for SOLIDWORKS 2020

What is Structure System?

Structure system works by creating primary members and secondary members. It’s a much more intuitive approach to creating welded systems. Now in SOLIDWORKS 2020, you have more options when creating these features as well as support for more time-saving tools like patterning and mirror. Let’s look at all the powerful features of Structure System in SOLIDWORKS 2020. 

Structure Systems in SOLIDWORKS 2020

How to Use Structure Systems

When creating a primary member, you have added options to design these features easier than ever, and all while using easy-to-create geometry - like planes and 2D sketches. The point option has added capabilities. Members can be now be created between pairs of sketch points or chained together to create a series of members along a chain of points. The new Up to Point option allows you to create members that converge at a single reference point, and the new Up to Plane option, creates members that terminate at a selected plane. The member extrudes in the direction of the reference plane, or you can choose a sketch segment as a direction to define the members. 

Sketch segment direction in SOLIDWORKS 2020
Up to plane selection in SOLIDWORKS 2020
Up to plane with direction selection in SOLIDWORKS 2020

Creating the members is incredibly easy and streamlined in SOLIDWORKS 2020. Some other improvements are with splitting members. In SOLIDWORKS 2020, primary and secondary members can now be split during creation. Splitting can be done using dimensions, instance count or by selecting a reference such as a face, plane or structural member. When you’re creating these members, you’ll notice the corner management tool automatically kicks in whenever you need to modify corner treatments.

The biggest enhancement to structure systems in SOLIDWORKS 2020 is the support for patterning and mirrors. Previously, bodies could be used to get the job done, but intelligence between the features was lost, meaning changes weren’t automatically updated. Now with SOLIDWORKS 2020, you can use the structure system feature directly in the pattern and mirror tools.

Pattern support in SOLIDWORKS_2020

Check out the video below to see how useful this tool really is.


Do you want to learn more about the SOLIDWORKS 2020 enhancements and updates? See our entire blog series for complete details and videos.