Chapter 35: Creating Sheet Metal Drawings
IN THIS CHAPTER
Working with flat patterns
Making special sheet metal drawing templates
After you have created your sheet metal models, you need to make drawings to get them manufactured. Fortunately, SolidWorks provides some nice tools to document, dimension, and annotate your parts in 2D.
Depending on whether your company does its own sheet metal manufacturing, you may or may not actually make flat pattern drawings. Many companies that use outside manufacturing for their sheet metal parts may just send them a drawing with views of a dimensioned part in the folded state. This is because it's the final formed dimensions that you want the shop to be responsible for, and if they use different flat dimensions to achieve that, it doesn't really matter.
Many users may think that providing a fully dimensioned flat pattern is a great value to the sheet metal shop. If your sheet metal shop is a professional outfit, they probably have their own software and their own way of doing things, in which case a flat pattern is redundant information and may cause more confusion than clarity.
On the other hand, if you are the sheet metal shop, or you specifically create drawings for the sheet metal shop, then creating the flat pattern is actually your business. This chapter gives you all the information you need to know to make sheet metal drawings, regardless of your role and without trying to tell you how to do your job. It's best to work out with the ...