How to design roll cages with solidworks

Written by matthew dehaven
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How to design roll cages with solidworks
Solidworks works quite well for designing roll cages. (architects tools image by Chad McDermott from Fotolia.com)

Solidworks is a popular solid modelling program designed for three-dimensional modelling of parts and assemblies. Many companies use Solidworks for mechanical design and drafting. With basic knowledge of the major program functions, modelling a roll cage in Solidworks is not terribly difficult. Once you have created the part and assembly models, you can use them to create 2-D drawings that you can print out for reference when building the roll cage.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Computer running Solidworks

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Create a new part file in Solidworks. Select the Front plane in the FeatureManager Design Tree and start a new sketch. Draw a line defining the centerline of one of the side tubes for your roll cage. Use the Sketch Fillet command to model tubing bends.

  2. 2

    Create a second sketch at the origin perpendicular to the end of the line drawn in step 1. If necessary, create a reference plane at an angle to the Top or Right plane so that you can position the sketch properly. Sketch the cross-section of the side tube with its centre point at the end of the line from step 1.

  3. 3

    Select the Swept Boss/Base command in the Features toolbar. Select the sketch created in step 2 for Profile, and the sketch created in step 1 for Path. Click "OK" to create the part. Save the file.

  4. 4

    Repeat steps 1 through 3 for each roll cage tube that will be bent in any way.

  5. 5

    Use the Extruded Boss/Base command for straight tubes. Sketch the tube's cross section on any plane, select the Extruded Boss/Base command, then select the sketch. Enter the length of the tube under "Depth" and click "OK."

  6. 6

    Use the Extruded Cut command for the round cutouts where a pipe will be mated to another pipe. Sketch a circle at the end of the pipe perpendicular to the path of the mating pipe. Select the Extruded Cut feature and select Through All.

  7. 7

    Create a new assembly file. Open the part files created in steps 1 through 6 and place them in the assembly. For identical parts, one part file can be opened and placed multiple times. Use the Mate commands to connect the individual tubes together to form your roll cage.

Tips and warnings

  • Use the tutorials in Solidworks to learn how to use the important functions. Click the Solidworks Resources tab on the right side of the screen and select "Tutorials."

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