November 17, 2015

Whats new in SolidWorks 2016? - Weldments

SolidWorks Weldment has been a valuable addition to any structural shape.  Structural sections come in stock sizes and weldments make assembling them into functional parts easier and faster.  SolidWorks has been steadily adding functionality to weldments throughout the years to help designers be more efficient.  Let’s find out what’s new for SolidWorks 2016.

Consider the following bus shelter modeled in weldments:

weldments 2016

The three top members are still missing therefore we can use the Structural Members feature in weldments to add the parts.  

solidworks weldments 2016

With Structural Members feature selected you may navigate your library to find the correct structural member to apply to the top of the bus shelter.  New to SolidWorks 2016 is an improved sorting algorithm that will display the sections listed in descending order.  This will avoid time wasted simply searching for the right tube size.  Furthermore, two of the most recently used sections will appear at the top acting as a dynamic favorites menu, therefore there will be no need to keep searching for the same tube is it is a common size for your part.

new to solidworks weldments 2016

Once you create your sections, you will also notice that SolidWorks now provides a more descriptive text for the structural member created.  In previous versions we were left with a generic text but now we have an idea of what size the member will be at a glance.  In 2015 SolidWorks introduced the endcap feature for weldments.  This new release builds upon that endcap functionality.

endcap in weldments

When end caps are created they may have a designated thickness direction such as external or internal.  New to SolidWorks 2016 is the ability to further customize the end caps by specifying an offset distance.

solidworks weldments 2016

solidworks 2016 weldments\

In addition, SolidWorks has added a few shortcut hot keys to increase user speed.  By pressing and HOLDING the TAB key, any structural member highlighted by the mouse cursor will automatically be set to hide.  This allows users to hide structural bodies very quickly.

solidworks weldments

To undo the hide, users may press and HOLD:  TAB + SHIFT.  Hovering the mouse over where the structural member used to be will make it reappear.  

The new functionalities added to SolidWorks 2016 Weldment was designed to make modeling and designing more streamline, consistent and efficient.

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