SOLIDWORKS and the Salt Lake Off-Road Expo

by Chase Hook

Bringing Together Off-Road Vendors and Enthusiasts

The second annual Salt Lake Off-Road Expo was held in the Spring of 2018 at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy Utah.  This event was designed to bring together off-road vendors and enthusiasts to explore and show off the new technology that has been developed over the past year.  Off-roaders from all walks of life gathered to show off their 4x4s, SidexSides, ATVs, and Dirt Bikes.  OFF-ROADERS UNITE!

Salt Lake Off-Road Expo

Almost all of the event vendors use some sort of sheet metal and welded components in their product designs.  With this in mind, the event coordinators invited GoEngineer to give a presentation demonstrating the SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal and Weldments tools before the event kicked off.

Sheet Metal and Weldment Presentation

Cody Salyer and I gave a presentation that revolved around accessorizing a Jeep with a custom front bumper and rear spare tire rack.  Most of the attendees were vendors, but we had some local engineers that are off-road enthusiasts attend as well.  We started with a SOLIDWORKS Assembly model of a Jeep Nukiser from GrabCad (GrabCad Model Credit: Enes Hodzic).

Salt Lake Off-Road ExpoThe model was pretty cool to begin with, but it needed to add that GoEngineer touch to make it truly amazing.  Using the SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal tools we were able to quickly create the custom front and rear bumpers.  The Convert to Sheet Metal feature allows SOLIDWORKS users to create a solid body Part for mock-up at the Assembly level.  Once the solid body bumpers fit and looked just the way we wanted them to we simply converted the solid bodies to sheet metal components.

Salt Lake Off-Road ExpoNext, we used the SOLIDWORKS Weldment tool to design the rear spare tire rack for the Jeep.  The Weldments tool uses a 3D Sketch to add Structural Members.  Structural Members can be angle iron, c-channel, pipe, rectangular tube, and in our case square tubing.  The structural members were modified to include the miter and coping cuts so that the square tube could be welded properly.  Using the embedded Cut List, all of the cut lengths and angles can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet for the manufacturer to reference.

Salt Lake Off-Road ExpoFinishing Touches

The finishing touches to the front bumper and rear tire rack included adding off-road accessories.  Design Library Features and Parts were used to drag and drop the accessories into the Assembly during the presentation.  Design Library Features and Parts allow you to create built-in intelligence for the Feature/Parts. This makes creating bolt patterns and mates simple and intuitive.  The front bumper accessories included winch/guide, tow hooks, and fog lights.  The rear spare tire rack included fuel cans, storage rack, and portable jack.

With the Assemblies completed, we wanted to add some pictures to the Presentation.  We used SOLIDWORKS Visualize to create photo-realistic renderings of the front bumper and rear spare tire rack.  Visualize allows you to drag and drop real life colors, textures, lighting, and environments. You can create high-quality HD renderings of SOLIDWORKS components.  The renderings turned out awesome it really made the simple designs stand out in the presentation pictures.

A Perfect Match

Bringing together SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software and the Off-Road Expo was a perfect match!  We hope to attend the event next year and present on other topics. We enjoy helping the community stay on the cutting edge of off-road technology.

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