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Best CAD practices for frame design

Best CAD practices for frame design

Best CAD practices for frame design

Hello all,
I am a contract mechanical engineer doing some cad work for a client who farms out some small run bike frames.
most of the companies products are designed in SolidWorks.

One of my tasks at the moment is to refine the CAD process and create some fixtures and drawings for the frame builder. I've already met with him and discussed his needs. Now I'm in the process of deciding what the best modeling/design process will be.

I'm tempted to use the Weldments feature of solidowrks. as it easily lets me create the miters/cutlists/drawings. I'm also tempted to stay in SW for the ease of simple Finite Element Analysis.

This is not a request for a tutorial, I'm very comfortable doing it this way in SW, but more a call for advice on the best tools best practices within the frame builders/designers community.

Does anyone out there have significant experience using these design tools, or are there other tools that I should consider?

Thanks in Advance

RE: Best CAD practices for frame design

I think it was Gordon Jennings who wrote that he got better frames (for motorcycles) when he dealt with fabricators who didn't consider themselves frame experts, and didn't even put anything on the drawing that revealed the actual end use of the product.  

Thus kept ignorant, fabricators would just build to the print, whereas "frame builders" would always make unauthorized 'adjustments' in accordance with their own mis-knowledge, and Gordon would be racing something other than what he designed, which left him unable to honestly evaluate and refine his designs.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Best CAD practices for frame design

Metal frames, or carbon?
If carbon, make use of the mold tools.
If metal, weldments are good.
Use configurations and/or equations for the various frame size geometries.

SolidWorks 10 SP4.0
ctopher's home
SolidWorks Legion

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