Structure System was introduced in SOLIDWORKS 2019. It’s an advanced weldment environment that lets you create & modify structural members of different profiles in single feature.
Let’s review some of the capabilities of Structure System & enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2020. In conventional weldment approach we were using 2D & 3D sketches containing entities like lines & arcs. In Structure System in addition to above entities you can make use of points, axes, planes & surfaces.
Let’s create one weldment using couple of sketches, an axis & planes which will look like as an image attached below.
Structure System is all about defining primary members, secondary members & corner management. Primary members can be defined in a variety of ways including Path Segment, Reference Plane, Point Length & Face Plane Intersection methods. New in SOLIDWORKS 2020 Point Length method has additional options. Members can now be created using pair of sketch points. The new up to point option allows you to create members that all converge at a single reference point, Up to Plane option creates members that terminate at a selected plane. You can also use sketch segment to define direction of the members.
Secondary Member add members between two primary members. There are two methods to define secondary member which are Support Plane & Between Points. When you are finished defining the structure system, the corner management tool automatically opens and allows you to define corner trims.
To create the circular structure that was shown in the beginning of this blog, we need to pattern the Structure System. Previously, bodies could be patterned to achieve this, but now in SOLIDWORKS 2020 you can create Linear & Circular patterns or mirror the entire structure system. By patterning the structure system, you are maintaining the intelligence of each of the members and additional structure systems can be added, referencing the patterned members.
Let’s create new structure system to define perimeter members. These are added using the Support Plane method between the original structural system and the patterned members.
This perimeter structure system can also be patterned to complete the design.