Leon sent over this writeup of a building project he designed using SolidWorks. I'm not sure how many decks have been designed using SolidWorks but the number has to be pretty high.
Did you ever have a weekend project that you needed to design and get your material lists?
I just had a friend ask me to build her a storage area in her condo. I immediately thought it’s on a 4th floor, so I need to get everything cut accurately ahead of time and it’s also not going to be easy to carry materials in so size will matter. I decided to use SolidWorks to get the design laid out to make sure she liked the idea and the price of materials met her budget. I was able to send her an eDrawing to review the design.
I started with a simple layout sketch to capture the room size. This makes it easy to make adjustments to the design size. Adding relations to this sketch makes all the additional features update with the change of one sketch.
The Weldment feature in SolidWorks came in very handy to keep the bodies separate automatically and make cut lists easy. I started by creating the frame layout and then patterned repetitive joists or studs to speed up the process.
When there was a need for an existing piece not consistent with a pattern, I just used the Move/Copy bodies command. This made it faster and helped keep accurate material counts.
When all was done I had all my materials pre-cut and just brought them in for the final assembly.
Notice the stairs. It was critical that I could fit them in without going into the living space, but also get enough head height at the top with the angled ceiling. Having SolidWorks saved me so much time vs hand calculations. If you'd like to download the SolidWorks file and see how I approached this modeling task you can use this link.