Posted by Kashyap Vyas on May 23rd, 2016
SolidWorks sheet metal design capability makes manufacturers within the sheet metal product industry to easily derive flat patterns with required gauge and bend allowances quickly. It is because of these friendly features that makes SolidWorks as one of the leading choices for engineers across the globe.
Making a sheet metal part is although quick, there may be instances when the 3D CAD modeling might be started as a solid and then the requirement would be of converting the solid to a sheet metal part. The major difference between a sheet metal and solid part is that for sheet metal, the part is formed from a flat sheet as compared to solid where the part is formed by removing material from a solid piece of metal. CAD specialists also prefer to develop a part through solid or surface models for difficult sheet metal designs and then convert it into a sheet metal flat pattern.
SolidWorks offers a great feature called ‘Convert to Sheet Metal’ to help convert the solid part to a sheet metal component which can then be flattened and utilized for shop floor requirements. With this feature, a solid object can be easily converted to a sheet metal part with required gauge, k-factor and bend allowances. After the conversion, one can easily extract flat pattern drawings and fabrication for part manufacturing requirements.
SolidWorks sheet metal modeling is quick and easy. However, for complex components that require specifying details to accurately create a sheet metal model, utilizing this trick to first develop a solid model and then convert to a sheet metal model is extremely useful. Apart from increasing the productivity, the chances of errors and design changes reduces considerably. The designer does not have to worry about allowances and angles during the initial design process.
About Author: Kashyap Vyas is an Engineer at Hi-Tech and holds a Master’s degree in Thermal Engineering with several research papers to his credit. He covers CAD and CAE topics for the engineering industry. His contributions are primarily focused on encouraging manufacturers and suppliers to adopt virtual product development tools to build efficient products with reduced time-to-market.
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