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Different ways to Bend a Part in SolidWorks

While you might be so used to a particular technique, it is far better to know your way around a different type of bending in SolidWorks design. Although they are applicable to different situations, the knowledge of the different ways to bend a part in SolidWorks will really come in handy in many situations in your design. 

The Basic Bend Types in SolidWorks

Knowing the basic bend types will assist you in understanding the different ways to bend a part in SolidWorks. Sharp bends, round bends, and flat bends are the three types of bends that may be applied when converting a solid body to a sheet metal part using the Insert Bends or Convert to Sheet Metal tools.

Sharp Bends

This is the type of bend that is created by the addition of bends to a SolidWorks model that has sharp corners and a uniform thickness across its sections.

Round Bends

A model with filleted or rounded edges and a consistent thickness can be made circular by adding bends to it. Conical and cylindrical faces can also be used to generate rounded bends.

Flat Bends

A bending line drawn on the flattened sheet metal portion is used to make a flat bend. These lines are drawn in Flat-Sketch1 in the FeatureManager design tree under Process-Bends1. Sketched bend lines may be seen running across the SolidWorks model.

Using the Bends PropertyManager

The use of the Bends PropertyManager is inevitable in the proper knowledge of the different ways to bend a part in SolidWorks.

A shelled part may be changed into a sheet metal part using the Bends PropertyManager.

To convert a component to sheet metal using the Bends PropertyManager:

1. Click the Insert Bends from the Sheet Metal toolbar, or alternatively, click Insert, then select Sheet Metal, then select Bends.

2. To utilize the sheet metal parameters associated with the chosen material, choose Use material sheet metal parameters under Sheet Metal Parameters.

3. Under Bend Parameters option:

    • To alter the bend radius or thickness from the original sheet metal feature, choose Override default settings.
    • Choose an Edge or Fixed Face.
    • You can choose a linear edge if the part doesn’t have a planar face.

    • Decide on the Bend Radius.
    • To prevent chamfers from becoming sheet metal bends, choose Ignore beveled faces.

4. Under Bend Allowance option, choose from the following options: Bend Table, K-Factor, Bend Allowance, Bend Deduction, or Bend Calculation.

5. Enter a value if you choose K-Factor, Bend Allowance, or Bend Deduction.

6. Choose the Auto Relief checkbox, then select the type of relief cut if you want relief cuts to be added automatically. You must provide a Relief Ratio if you choose Rectangular or Obround.

7. If you wish to change the direction of the rip, choose the desired edge under Rip Parameters and click Change Direction. If you want to specify a gap distance, enter a value in the Rip Gap box next.

8. Then, Click OK.

Sketched Bends

A sketched bend feature can be used to add bend lines to a sheet metal part’s flat face. This enables you to relate the bend line’s geometry to other shapes.

Sketch on sheet metal face and Sketched bend applied.

A sketched bend feature should have the following details:

  • There can only be lines in the sketch. Each drawing can have several lines added to it.
  • It is not necessary for the bend line to exactly match the length of the faces you are bending.
  • Use bends that have been sketched and flat faces that are not flat.

To bend the tab, a sketched bend feature is frequently used with a tab feature.

The No Bend Option

In order to add extensions, such as a wall, you can roll back any bends from a sheet metal portion where bends have been put. Only sheet metal parts with the Flatten-Bends1 and Process-Bends1 features are accessible with this. This will enable you to use sheet metal tools more effectively.

Rolling Back All Bends

To remove every bent from a sheet metal component: Roll back the bends up to Sheet-Metal1 by clicking No Bends on the Sheet Metal toolbar. The bend allowance and radius are rolled back. The component isn’t flattened.

Restoring All Bends

To restore all bends to the part, click the No Bends (Sheet Metal toolbar) again.

How to Change the Bend Direction of a Sheet Metal Part

Based on the model’s declared fixed face, the indicated bend direction in a SolidWorks sheet metal design is determined.

In the original drawing of the bend, the presently specified “Fixed face” will be displayed when the Flat Pattern feature is edited in the Flat-Pattern folder.

Edit Flat-Pattern Feature is required. Choose a face on the opposing side of the material to modify the bend direction.

Next, choose a different fixed face.

The indicated bend direction in the sketch will vary after it is finished.

The Bend Direction in the Drawing will be updated.

Unfold/Fold

You can flatten and bend one, a few, or all of the bends in a sheet metal object with the Unfold and Fold tools.

Only unfold and fold the bends that are necessary for the work at hand for the system to operate more quickly.

When introducing a cut over a bend, this combination is advantageous. In order to flatten the bent, add an Unfold feature first. Add your cut next. Finally, provide a Fold option to bring the bend back to its folded position.

To add a fold feature:

1. Click Fold on the Sheet Metal toolbar in a sheet metal part, or alternatively, click Insert, then you can select Sheet Metal, then select Fold.

2. Choose a face in the graphics area that the Fixed face feature does not cause to move. A planar face or a linear edge might be the fixed face.

3. Choose one or more bends to fold, or click Collect All Bends to choose all of the part’s suitable bends.

4. Then, click OK. The selected bends will fold.

Conclusion

We have gone through the different ways to bend a part in SolidWorks. The right knowledge of the type of bend to use in different situations and how to go about them goes a long way in SolidWorks design skills.