SOLIDWORKS 2023: Sheet metal & structures updates & enhancements

22 May 2023

In this video, Applications Engineer, Mark Alexander, shows you what’s new for Sheet metal & structures in SOLIDWORKS 2023.


SOLIDWORKS Structure Systems and Sheet Metal have new enhancements in 2023 that enable smoother design-to-manufacturing workflows and speed up tedious tasks.

This track setting machine has a hydraulic guard that needs to be extended to further protect these couplings from heavy equipment and falling debris during operation. Opening this sheet metal part, we can easily extend the front of the part 2 inches to cover the coupling, but notice when making this change, a warning popped up in the tree. New for SOLIDWORKS Sheet metal 2023, Sheet Metal specific sensors can be created to dynamically warn you if the flat pattern of the sheet metal part exceeds width, length, area or bounding box area blank values. This new feature saves redesign time and catches costly mistakes so your sheet metal parts will sail through manufacturing. By reducing the outer dimension of this part the warning goes away.

When this part was originally created, a sketch was used to create the initial base flange where all bends were dimensioned equal. But when accounting for material thickness it results in different radii for the inside and outside corners, and that’s a problem for manufacturing, since this requires additional machine setup. Now in SOIDWORKS 2023, we can choose the new symmetrical option which will ensure an identical inside and outside resultant bend radius.

We used a gauge table for this sheet metal part, and now in the drawing, the gauge value can be added directly to the Cut List Properties – preventing the need to create any global variables or equations.

As we’re preparing to ship the machine, we’ll need to build a sturdy, reusable shipping crate to prevent damage while transporting from job site to job site. SOLIDWORKS Structure systems was used to build this steel crate from a combination of 3D sketches for primary members, and reference planes for secondary members. By default, all of these corners are mitered, which is great for some applications, but for this crate, we’ll need to change the corner treatments to make it easier to build.

New in SOLIDWORKS 2023 Structure Systems, we can now automatically group similar corners to apply the same corner treatment. These purple arrows identify which corners will belong to the group. Using the new Zoom to selection command, we can verify that the trim order is exactly what we want. To strengthen the corners, we’ll add a connection element like this gusset. New in 2023, these can be patterned to similar corners. Again, the purple arrows identify where the patterned gussets will go, automating the structural design process and saving time.

We may want to build a more durable crate with larger square tube stock. New in Structure Systems 2023, we can now change the weldment profile for a select set of members and save that to a unique configuration.

SOLIDWORKS Sheet metal and Structure Systems in 2023 accelerates your design to manufacturing workflow, and adds new features that every shop floor operator will enjoy.

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