Funny thing about this project is that it's something I have wanted to build for a long
time. Actually purchased a rolled 4Runner back in 2004
and started designing a roll cage
for it, but the owner ditched the project before it ever really got started. So I was pretty excited when this FJ80 rolled into the shop. After a few conversations with the owner and the other guys at pacfab, we had a pretty clear idea of what we wanted to build, so I started layering 2D and 3D sketches on top of the chassis dimensions. Really just a simple game of connect-the-dots.
Currently doing all of my design work in SolidWorks, and use Weldments to lay-out chassis tubes. Using Weldments is a lot better than sweeping tubes along sketch-paths, but when it comes time to actually start bending and notching tubes I have to spend a bunch of time taking measurements. Also have a copy of BendtechPRO, and it's much better in that regard; just spits out all the dimensions that I have to take manually in SolidWorks. But the SolidWorks interface is a lot
better, and it's obviously a lot more powerful program. Best thing to do would probably be to pony-up for Bendtech's SolidWorks plug-in, then I'd have the best of both worlds.
Spent a little more time revising the CAD models and tightening-up the dimensions after meeting with the customer to have him sign-off on the basic design. The engine-cage tube work is still just conceptual. Won't know exactly how that's going to go until we get into it.