Monday, February 15, 2010

SolidWorks Sheet Metal Part Models From Solid Body

SolidWorks 2009 introduced more than 250 time-saving enhancements. Here, we spotlight one of our favorite new features: the ability to transform a solid body into a sheet metal part. Follow the step-by-step directions below to get started.
Step 1: Creating the solid body shape
Model the sheet metal part you wish to create as a solid body shape. Think of this as a frame for your part to wrap around. Start thinking about where the bends and rips need to be positioned.
Step 2: Converting the solid body shape into a sheet metal part
On the Command Manager bar, select the "Sheet Metal" tab.
Click on the "Convert to Sheet Metal" button.
Step 3: Adjusting conversion settings
Within the sidebar section you will see several options:
Under "Sheet Metal Parameters," select the face to fix, and then adjust thickness and radius settings for the metal.
Under "Bend Edges," choose edges where it will bend, starting with edges adjacent to the fixed face you chose.
Under "Rip Edges found," SolidWorks displays automatically selected edges to rip.
Under "Rip Sketches," you can manually add rips by sketching on any face.
Under "Auto Relief," specify the type and ratio for relief.
Step 4: Changing rip or bend values
Within the main window, you will see each rip and bend has a box linked to it. These boxes designate the gap for rips, or the radius for bends. This matches the default value that you set initially, but you can change any of them as needed.
Step 5: View your creation
Un-suppress the Flat Pattern feature to view the part in flattened state. Check for errors and congratulate yourself on a job well done.
This new functionality makes creating a sheet metal part easier than ever. Try it today and discover how much time and effort you can save.
Want to learn more about SolidWorks sheet metal capabilities?
Ask the experts at EngATech, your source for SolidWorks 3D CAD software, CAD training, support, and product design services.

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