has recently welcomed another 11 Technical Interns to the team, they are
currently being put through a 12 week induction and as part of this they’ll be
sharing some of what they’ve learned via this blog. Having recently sat on the
SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Training Course we asked our Sheffield Trio – Will, Alex
& Jordan – to explain how to turn imported files into fully functional SOLIDWORKS
start with Alex’s explanation of the Convert to Sheet Metal tool.
Convert to sheet metal
“Convert to Sheet Metal” tool allows the user to quickly convert block parts
into a sheet metal model which can be views as a flat model part ready for
bending. This is a useful tool if the initial part has been imported or if it has been created using part
modelling features such as extrudes and lofts.
1) By selecting a gauge table, the thickness
of the material can be defined. The bend radius can also be chosen. In this
example, I have used a sample table for steel and selected 14 gauge with a
2.54mm bend radius.
2) The bottom face as been selected as
the fixed entity. This decides which face the remaining faces are bent from.
3) Selecting “Bend Edges” defines the
bends in the sheet metal part. SOLIDWORKS automatically selects “Rip Edges”
which creates a cut in the sheet metal body.
4) Due to the structure of this
component it is impossible to bend the fourth edge to complete the shape. Therefore,
a “Rip Sketches” is used. This allows the user to add a “Rip Edge” at a chosen
location based on the geometry of the sketch.
5) Where two edges meet the gap and
type of corner; Open Butt, Overlap, Underlap, can be selected for all or
individually. For this example, I have selected an Open Butt corner type with a
6) The part is now converted to sheet
metal and can be viewed as a folded or flattened part.