Converting Parts to Sheet Metal
During the sheet metal course that is part of my training, I was introduced to the “Convert to sheet metal” feature. The tool can quickly be used to convert a block part into a component that can be viewed as a flattened sheet ready for press forming and bending.
1. Select a gauge table to determine the material thickness; in this example I have used a sample table for aluminium and selected gauge 14.
2. The “Fixed Entity” is selected; this is the face that the remains stationary as others are bent from it.
3. The edges that require bending can then be selected; in this example it is 3 of the surrounding 4 edges to the fixed entity that I have highlighted with red arrows.
4. Finally the “Rip Edges” can be selected, depending on the geometry of the part and the selected “Bend Edges” SOLIDWORKS instantly recognises which edges should be selected, as was the case in this example which can be seen from the vertical purple edges.
5. Corner formats can also be selected for rip edges, in this example I have selected “Overlap”.
The part has now been converted to sheet metal and viewed as a flattened part, from which dimensions for a sheet-metal blank can be created.
Thank you for reading.
Junior Applications Engineer