How to Add a Welded Nut to Your Sheet Metal Part in SolidWorks using Move-Copy Bodies [VIDEO]

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated June 9, 2014


If you’ve ever tried to tap an M6 thread into a 1.5mm sheet metal part in real life, you will find that the threads strip very easily due to the fact that you will not even get 2 full threads in the material. Clinch nuts are the ideal answer, but another commonly used practise is to simply weld a standard nut onto the sheet metal part. This will give you plenty of threads, and doing this in SolidWorks is easier than you may think! You can do this using a standard Toolbox Part as I show you in the video below, or you can use the same process with any part you create.

It went pretty quick, but to insert the nut into my sheet metal part, I just did a drag & drop from the Design Library tab of the Task Pane (tabs on the right side of the screen in SolidWorks). Once placed, it asked me whether or not I was trying to make a Derived Part. I was, so I clicked yes. After I picked where I wanted the nut, my Property Manager (which had a checklist of features I wanted brought in) was swapped out for the Move/Copy Bodies command. I dismissed this since I wanted to show how to launch the command after the fact.

To launch the Move/Copy command after the fact, go to Insert > Features, then Move/Copy… (the command for Move-Copy Bodies) You can then either specify distances and angles relative to the current position, or apply part-level mates (they work the same way as mates in an assembly). The trick with part-level mates is to click the Add button so the command doesn’t quit after one mate.

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Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim has been using SolidWorks since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).