Sheet Metal Help

Although I have been using Solidworks for many years, I haven't done
anything with the sheet metal functions. I'm hoping someone could give
a few pointers for getting started here.
I want to draw up a formed & a flat pattern of a .005 thk sheet of
metal that would be formed around a mandrel with a slight overlap which
would then be spot welded together.
Normally I would just draw up two seperate parts and be done with it.
However, I'm trying to learn more and do things the correct way.
Could someone help me get started here? Do I create the formed
pattern, then flatten it? If so how? If not... How do I bend the flat
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Although there are multiple approaches possible, I would suggest starting with creating the formed pattern and then flattening it. This seems to be the more common approach to sheet metal. Once you define the part as a sheet metal part, you will be able to flatten it with the "flatten" button on the sheet metal toolbar. I strongly suggest going through the sheet metal tutorials to get started and then looking at some sample sheet metal parts. You can find some nice examples on the following web site:
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Good luck in learning about sheet metal. It can be alot of fun.
Reply to
John Eric Voltin
Thanks for the website, quite a few examples there.
The problem I was having was how to tell SWX that my part was a sheet metal part... I found a post from last year here from "Alex" that explained it step by step.
I created a cross-sectional sketch, extruded it as a thin feature. Then once I inserted a bend magically I had a sheet metal part which I can play with until I get it right.
Thanks John, Thanks Alex ;-)
Reply to
Or, sometimes you want to tell it right up front that it's a sheetmetal part. To do that, start a sketch and then hit the Base-flange button. This inserts the sheetmetal feature at the beginning.
Other times you will want to do more modeling and then tell it to make it sheetmetal - just depends on the situation.
Reply to
Wayne Tiffany
In general If most of the bends are 90 degrees I use the method Wayne pointed out. If there are more bends that are not 90 I would probably go with the method John mentioned.
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for help with overlap, search for "sheetmetal overlap" @
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Reply to
button. This
If I could add my two cents here too . . .
Both work nicely. If the insert-bends method is used, it's good to insert-bends immediately after the first feature and roll back to add more features as needed. When doing this, two major advantages are achieved:
1 - Link to thickness is immediately active once bends are inserted.
2 - Unfoldability can be validated directly after each feature is added.
Personally, I do about 90% of all my "real(production)" sheet metal parts using Insert-Bends because the modleing methods for Base-Flange are a bit weak for what I like to do.
Both work and get a good result, but if using insert-bends, do it early and life will be better.
Reply to
Sean-Michael Adams

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