Onshape’s Frames functionality facilitates the efficient design of welded structures. Designers can specify a path to create groups of industry-standard tubes, channels, and beams with various corner treatment and trimming options.

However, building the underlying skeleton with multiple sketches and curves might take time and effort. But did you know the Frame tool also allows you to select the Edges of Parts and Surfaces? Using the edges of 3D parts and surfaces as skeleton geometry is a powerful and time-saving technique.

Use Solid Modeling to Build Skeleton Geometry

  1. Utilize traditional modeling tools such as Extrude and Fillet to represent and map out the necessary design.

  2. Use part faces to position sketches and build additional references.

  3. Split is a helpful tool for producing symmetric edges or calculating compound angles.

  4. The resultant solid models are robust and simplify visualizing the final design. 

Generate the Frame

After completing the skeleton, construct the remaining geometry using the Frames toolset. Optionally clean up the Part Studio by deleting the skeleton parts afterward.

Pro Tip: Check out the Frames Fundamentals course at the Onshape Learning Center.

This technique is a highly effective way of creating structures. Incorporating this strategy with Custom features makes complex geometry like a geodesic dome straightforward. 

Watch the video below to see how it works in real-time.

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