AAA Drafting Blog

A SolidWorks designer talks about stuff related to CAD and mechanical design

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Structural steel supports using Solidworks 2005

I often have to create structural steel supports for dust collectors or baghouses and at first I spent a lot of time making repetitive structural steel details of the supports.

The shape of the gussets and bracing would basically remain the same, but the sizes of the support columns, the height, width and depth of the support would vary.

Over time I developed a structural steel support model which was driven by a design table. This allowed me to vary the height and depth and column size and other variables, and have solidworks create a complete set of structural steel details for the support. It is certainly a big timesaver. It also reduces the possibility of error.

There are limitations. As the support gets larger, the geometry of the bracing and gussets may need to change and so for that you really need a seperate model. Of course, If you have one working model, you just need to add to it and save as a new model for the larger style of structural support.

If anyone else is attempting to automate repetitive structural steel detailing with CAD software, I'd be glad to share my experiences. See my webpage below to keep updated on my work with steel detailing automation.

Structural Steel Information Page


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