Woodworking With SolidWorks:
This podcast covers the tools in SolidWorks that can help automate many aspects of the woodworking industry from trim and molding to complex joining techniques. Topics covered:
- Using Weldments for trim (base, crown, casing, shoe, etc.)
- Building Library Features for joints (lap, tongue & groove, mortise & tenon, pockets, rabbets, etc.)
- Creating Smart Components for inserts, biscuits, dowels, hardware, etc..
- Common pitfalls
- Using DriveWorks for design variation
Back in the Midwest, my family's business is carpentry and I grew up building homes and doing finish work for many summers. I also have used SolidWorks for years to do all types of building and woodworking projects of my own and found it to be very powerful. SolidWorks has some great tools for building the woodworker's library to assist in complex joint operations, standard millwork libraries, and find assembly problems.
For years I have built tools using the Library Features (even in the old days of the Feature Palette) that would add a dado or cut a biscuit joint but there was still much to be done. In the past 5 years, SolidWorks has added Weldments and Smart Components which can automate cultists and the insertion of hardware with fasteners and drilled holes in adjacent components.
Even though much of this is not "out of the box" and requires users to build that library up from scratch, the payoff is huge for those that want the power of CAD behind their designs. Once a baseline is set, I have found design automation (DriveWorks) to be a more reliable way of varying a design to avoid in-context references and multiple rebuilds to get changes to propagate. ~Lou