Chapter 34: Using SolidWorks Sheet Metal Tools


Learning how to use the Base Flange controls

Using generic models to make sheet metal parts

Working with imported geometry

Making rolled conical parts

SolidWorks contains two completely separate methods for working in sheet metal. In one method, you can use dedicated sheet metal features from the start, and in the other method, you build a part using thin features and other generic modeling tools, and then tell SolidWorks it is sheet metal so you can flatten it.

The reason for two methods is that the generic modeling method came first, and then SolidWorks introduced a more powerful set of dedicated sheet metal features. You can use these tools together or separately, and either way you get an accurately flattened part at the end. Situations where you might want to use one or the other are covered in this chapter.

Sheet metal tools don't always represent real-world sheet metal manufacturing processes 100 percent accurately because some shapes that result from bending processes are too complex to easily represent in a CAD model. So sometimes you still have to use your imagination, particularly where bends intersect or overlap.

Using the Base Flange Features

The features used in the Base Flange method are easy to grasp conceptually, and they have many individual controls. These are the tools that represent the newer method of building sheet metal parts from dedicated sheet metal features. You can edit many of the features ...

Get Solidworks 2013 Bible now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.