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Frames and Weldments in Solid Edge

Siemens Experimenter Siemens Experimenter
Siemens Experimenter

Solid Edge includes process-specific applications designed specifically to speed the creation of rigid frame structures and weldments. In this article, we'll describe fast frame creation and manipulation, various welding methods, and automated manufacturing output, such as Cut Lists.


Building framework is a common engineering task for many industries, and Solid Edge gives users access to tools that greatly ease the design process when designing and editing frames.  

The two methods of frame creation are using sketches and using edges of solid bodies. Creating frames from a 3D solid means you can use any tools in Solid Edge’s synchronous technology arsenal to create the exact geometry needed for your base shape. In this example, we'll use a Pressure Booster Pump Station.


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With the base shape done, you can finish up by sketching the remainder of the frame layout. Whether sketching or using 3D commands, Solid Edge gives full access to background geometry, ensuring that component creation and placement is precise. 


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With your frame layout in place, you can now create the actual frame members. First, you can create some frame components using sketches.


Solid Edge allows users to create their own custom frames and cross sections, or select from a library of standards based frames. In this example, we use DIN standard frames; since we use these frame sizes often, Solid Edge remembers and adds them to the quick access drop down menu.


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Once the pump supports are in place, you can adjust how the member cross sections align to the larger beams. Solid Edge provides full control of cross section location; whether aligning to the controlling sketch from the outside edges, middle or any keypoint desired, proper placement is a breeze. You can edit multiple cross sections simultaneously, eliminating the hassle of editing each individually. Additionally, as you create new frame members, Solid Edge increases efficiency by automatically trimming the members based on inputs.


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With the internal frame work is done, you can then creating frames on body edges.


For the tank supports, we can simply fence select all of the edges of the protrusions. If there are edges you don’t need in the select set, simply deselect them by holding the control key, just like in Microsoft Office.


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With the tank frames are created, let’s look at how Solid Edge handles corner treatments and how the frames come together. The options dialog provides options to fully control orientation, custom corner treatments, and cross section types - not to mention providing a preview of exactly what the end result will be, no matter the settings.


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But what about this interference between the tanks and the frames? This can be fixed easily with a quick edit of the cross sections. The associated downward facing frames automatically trim to the proper length from the change. Just another example of Solid Edge’s ease of use and intelligence in frame design.


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The final portion of the pump station framing that needs to be completed is the cross section where the electrical panels connect. Notice that as the frames are created, Solid Edge automatically recognizes that one frame needs to be a solid beam, while the other sections need to butt up to it. As always, if you need to change how this intersection appears, full control is offered through solid edge options.


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Now that all of our framework is done, let’s look at weldments in Solid Edge.


Welds can either be created inside of an individual part or in the context of an assembly. In this example, we’ll create our desired welds at the assembly for ease of use. No matter what types of weldments you wish to create, Solid Edge provides a full set of industry options to ensure that the proper weld definitions are passed on when manufacturing the frame work. Whether users desire to model custom weld cross sections, place a generic weld bead, or even simply represent a weld with a  label, Solid Edge provides all the tools needed for weldments. For common welds, saved settings are a great way to place welds efficiently.


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The final portion of this example is creating drawings of our frames for manufacturing. When creating parts lists in drawings, Solid Edge provides access to anything you could need to properly define your framework. First, we need to know the exact cut lengths of each individual frame component. Once created, all parts list cells can be adjusted, formatted, or edited just like in Microsoft excel. Additionally, Solid Edge automatically associates balloons to parts list items, allowing for full control of their location and alignment, ensuring you get exactly what you want the first time around.


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Next, we need a list of our total frame lengths for all three frame types. This is important when purchasing stock for a job, and with Solid Edge’s option to automatically include a rough cut end clearance to accommodate for cutting blade thickness, Solid Edge ensures that you get precise measurements every time.


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Our final step is to identify the welds and our drawing will be complete. Using weld callouts, we can easily define weld definitions directly in the drawing, or, as in this case, pull the information directly from the model, once again, ensuring accuracy.


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With frame creation tools such as cross section placement, end condition control, and trim automation; to full control of weld definitions and placement, and finally producing accurate drawings for manufacturing Solid Edge shows how simple and intuitive creating frames and weldments can be.


To see frames and weldments in Solid Edge in action, check out the video below: