There are very few projects for which I have had the lead time to actually draw in many of the ‘purchased’ parts prior to starting the SolidWorks design process.
This Fall, I have several Hydraulic Projects and decided to purchase at least one of each type of part and draw them into SolidWorks prior to starting.
Found a 22HP Gas Engine on sale that will be used as part of a Hydraulic Power Unit to Pump Hydraulic Fluid at High-Pressure to run Hydraulic Tools.
By drawing this engine into SolidWorks I will be able to use it to make sure all mounting areas fit correctly with proper clearances for other parts.
The SolidWorks 3D-Model is not an exact copy of the real-life engine; instead, it is a visual & dimensional representation of the engine ( including the correct weight of 109.4 pounds ) for use with other items to create a more accurate model of the mobile Hydraulic Power Pack Unit for use on remote job-sites.
I have found the time spent to draw in 3D-Models of project parts prior to starting fabrication prevents many expensive mistakes … It doesn’t cost anything to correct a design mistake in SolidWorks; however, a mistake during fabrication can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars if items don’t fit together correctly.
Later, I will post some of the items created in real-life with these parts …
SolidWorks does a lot more than just draw pretty pictures … I am able to represent the ‘Outside Dimensions’ and the ‘Actual Weight’ of the parts.
Thus, SolidWorks CAD Software models can provide very accurate predictions as to the size & weight of project assemblies prior to any fabrication taking place.
The more accurate the 3D-CAD model – The better chance of having fewer changes and mistakes during the fabrication process.
In addition, I put the Part Number and where an item was purchased from on each CAD representation of that part … so later I can order new parts without having to be on the job site if something needs replacement.
I only have to draw a part once into SolidWorks; however, that single part can be used thousands of times in many different designs & projects …
Parts can be drawn with the ability for Gauges to show different measurements.
If you look closely at the flow gauge’s ‘Max Pressure’ in the rendering below, you can see I made a mistake and listed the Max Pressure as 600PSI instead of 6000PSI … That has since been corrected as show in the Rendering above.
With a little creative design, many SolidWorks ‘single part files’ can be made adjustable so that the dials or numbers can be changed to indicate a specific amount for later use in User Manuals, etc.
While many of the SolidWorks ‘Photo-Realistic’ Renderings don’t look exactly like the actual product, they do provide the correct shape, and size, and weight of the object in the SolidWorks model allowing for quicker design input of the other items that need to be attached or fabricated.
Photo-Realistic CAD renderings also help others involved with the project a better understanding of how the final product & assembly will look when finished … This allows for visual changes to be made prior to starting the fabrication process … Thus saving time & money.
If I need someone else to pick up a part, not only can I give them the Part Number but also a photo-realistic representation of the part …
Sometimes it’s nice to test a temporary idea until a better one comes along …
I doubt the final design of this Control Valve and Protection Cage will look exactly like this CAD model, but SolidWorks gives me the opportunity (Cost Free) to brainstorm ideas and colors prior to fabrication.
Different views allow better understanding of the mechanics of the object …
Hopefully this very obnoxious Blue & Yellow paint color scheme will be better seen by the Skid-Steer drivers so they will not run over our Control Valve Test Unit on the job-site. *grin*
Purchased DIXON style AG Quick-Connects that are a bit shorter than the original ones allowing the Control Valve Unit fit better in the protection cage.
We’ll have to see how this design process works … and later after some of the items have been fabricated … I will update with photos of fabricated items.
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