Chapter 29. Using the Base Flange Method for Sheet Metal Parts


  • Understanding the big picture

  • Using the Base Flange features

  • Tutorial: Using the Base Flange sheet metal method

Many releases ago, SolidWorks changed the way that the software dealt with sheet metal parts. In the old way, the sheet metal part was created through normal modeling features, mainly centered on thin feature extrudes, but also including shell features. It did not matter how you got the geometry, as long as it had a consistent thickness and the edge faces were sheared perpendicular to the material.

The new way uses a functional feature approach, which greatly simplified the feature order requirements, and at the same time added some powerful and easy-to-use feature types. This new way is what is now called the Base Flange method, and is the main tool for sheet metal creation that most sheet metal designers use today.

The Insert Bends (old) method is still viable, but it is typically relegated to being used with imported parts and special uses such as creating rolled conical sheet metal parts or building a sheet metal part from a solid model.

Understanding the Big Picture

If you are only interested in seeing how Base Flange sheet metal parts are made, skip to the tutorial at the end of this chapter. The bulk of this chapter describes first the concepts involved, and then the detailed options in each Base Flange method feature.

The basic concept with the Base Flange method is that when you insert a Base ...

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