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How to convert to Sheetmetal in SolidWorks?

Why Sheetmetal part designing is necessary

 

Sheetmetal designing is a part of design engineering. In the Engineering sector, many parts are manufactured using Sheetmetal design. As parts created using sheet metal are light in weight and have enough strength. The manufacturing of sheet metal parts is faster.

If want to design a box open from the top we have to cut 5 sheets of metal. These sheets or plates are joined together by welding. However, in the sheet metal process, all the five sides are laser cut into a single sheet and after that bend to make a box. Sheetmetal manufacturing prefers where the metal wall thickness is less as it will be difficult to weld the sheets.

Some complex designs are generally been manufacturing using sheet metal processes only. If you have seen your CPU cabinet its frame is made using sheet metal process only. The vents cannot be manufactured properly if this frame was manufactured using a normal process.

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The parts or components manufactured by sheet metal design are

  • Lighter
  • Have structural strength
  • Faster to manufacture
  • Best for complex design which thin wall thickness.
  • Durable.

Moreover, Sheet metal parts can fold, bend, punch, and cut out without losing the strength of the material. The sheets are punched or pressed using hydraulic machines to mold the sheet into the desired shape. You may not be able to do all of that with just your hands.

Creating Sheetmetal Part

Before creating the Sheet metal part from the 3d solid part you have to keep a few points in mind. First, The design is not 100 percent accurate. The circular or round faces will not create in Sheet metal. You can create these shapes in sheet metals after converting them into sheet metal. The edges are not sharp and you need to make changes to generate parts according to our needs.

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Import the 3d model in Solidworks. By clicking on File > Open. Browse the file and click on Import.

Now in Command manager go to Sheet Metal and select it. In sheet metal, you will see one feature command Create Sheet Metal select it. If the sheet metal is not available right-click in the command manager area, go to Tabs select Sheet Metal.

The first thing you have to do is to select Sheet Metal Parameter. In this, we have to select the surface which is going to be fixed. Usually is the bottom face of the 3D part but not compulsory.

Secondly, we have to give the wall thickness to the plate and the direction also. After that, we will have two options available for this Reverse thickness and Keeping the body. When you check the box it will show you the partial view and you select the option accordingly.

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Thirdly, we have the bend radius just belove the above options. Enter the bend radius and go to the next step.

The next or 4th step is to select the bend edges. Select the edges on which we want the bend. After that, there is one option available RIP Sketches. This feature this used to split the sheet at the edge.

In corner defaults, you can select the gap between the bends and click on Ok.

Flatten part

To flatten the sheet metal click on the flatten feature from the command manager. You can save the flattened part as .DXF file for laser cutting.