Tips and Trick working with Sheet Metal

SOLIDWORKS has a specific sheet metal features that allow the creation of sheet metal quickly. It also allow user to convert the model into flatten state so that user can get the blank size for production planning and material ordering.

Today, I am going to share some useful tips and trick when creating sheet metal in SOLIDWORKS.

Cut-extrude with Normal Cut option

It is recommended that always use the “Normal Cut” option whenever a cut/hole is created in sheet metal unless with specific reason that cannot be compromised. Since hole wizard and hole feature do not have “Normal Cut” option, hence hole shall be create using cut-extruded feature (if possible).

For instance, we look at the below example, apparently a Normal Cut would not be needed to create the cut.  Inside the cut, edge-flange has been created for both ends of the cut.








However, if we zoom in to examine the edge-flange, we can notice that one of the edge flange do not create proper relief.








However if the ‘normal cut” is used, the relief is now in correct manner.


Bounding Box and Grain Direction

The bounding box feature is to find the minimum area in which a flatten pattern can fits into. Sometime, the direction of bounding box given might not be the most effective. In this case, we can specify the grain direction using a sketch/edge in the Flatten Pattern Feature Manager.

Lofted bend ‘Bent manufacturing method’

Lofted bend ‘Bent manufacturing method’was first introduced at SOLIDWORKS 2014. This method generates “True” bends and bend line. Unlike ‘Form manufacturing method’, it does not required sketch filleted corners.

The option “Refer to endpoint” can be check, if possible, system will find a solution by rounding the corner area.

Sheet Metal Cut list in Flat Pattern View

A common misconception is that the sheet metal cut list can only be displayed within a table.

In fact we can show it in the flat pattern drawing view.

To do that, right click on the view > Annotation > Cut List Properties
















That’s all for today’s sharing. Hope you find this info useful. Cheer~~