Making the cut (list): Weldments and sheet metal parts

Posted on Feb 10, 2023.

There are two things that really get us going here at Bommer: simple improvements that make a big impact, and puns. Lucky for you, dear reader, we're pretty good at both. It's part of our makeup; how we're assembled; welded to our core being; stamped and folded up like...well, you get the idea. The point is, we love to make our users days easier, and we have fun while we do it.

It is for these reasons that I am excited to report that we've released a modest and yet highly-requested improvement to Bommer for SOLIDWORKS: Bommer now includes cut list items and properties for weldments and sheet metal parts in your Bommer bill of materials. This has been on our roadmap for a little while, and I'm happy to say it finally the cut (list).

Chop saw cutting

Wait. Does this mean...

If you know, you know what this means.

If you don't, no worries! Here's a brief explainer: SOLIDWORKS has features that make it easy to design sheet metal parts and welded assemblies, and it stores these models as multi-body parts (in other words, .sldprt files, even for assemblies).

In other words, SOLIDWORKS lets you use weldments to design this frame as a "part":

Screenshot of Solidworks weldments

Each piece of square tube, rectangular tube, or I beam is a different piece of metal that must be cut to length.

These features really simplify the design process for these parts, and allow the use of templates and stored information to make sure bends, holes, structural profiles, etc are standardized across your product and organization. Unfortunately, these parts are kind of different than the parts Bommer typically deals with: the bodies for these parts are grouped into cut list items, and stored in the part's cut list. Bommer did not previously read a part's cut list when building the bill of materials, and so we were missing some key information for designs that incorporate weldments or sheet metal parts.

Which means, Bommer would display the bill of materials as:

Old screenshot of Bommer with one line for the entire part

The good news is, we've fixed it. Here's how this part now looks in Bommer:

New screenshot of Bommer with one line for each cut

Bommer treats these cut list items like "real" parts, so all of the features you know and love within Bommer (e.g. editing your properties from your top level assemblies, flattening your BOM, exporting in 3 button clicks, etc) work exactly the same way. Even sub-weldments, which SOLIDWORKS omits from its cut lists, are visible in your Bommer bill of materials. It all works exactly the same way as all your other parts. It really is that simple.

But that's not all.

In true Bommer fashion, we wanted this improvement to be a "cut above the rest", so we've added some new built-in properties to pull out weldment length, angle1, and angle2; and sheet metal thickness, bend radius, bend allowance, and bend allowance type. And because this is Bommer, these new built-in properties are all scaled to the unit system of your top level assembly, so you never have to worry about a measurement mistake in your welded frames or sheet metal parts.

For more information on this new feature check out the feature video at the top of this post or read our guide here.

If you already have Bommer for SOLIDWORKS, the update should be there and waiting for you! If you do not have Bommer for SOLIDWORKS yet, what are you waiting for? Click here to get started on your Bommer journey.

And above all else, have an awesome day!

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