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How to Create a Custom Bend Table in SolidWorks?

SolidWorks Sheet Metal includes many helpful and time-saving features when working on sheet metal designs. One feature is the option to design a custom bend table to your specifications. Sheet metal bend tables allow you to specify a sheet metal part’s bend allowance or bend deduction values. The bend table also includes bend radius, bend angle, and part thickness values. Bend tables are accessible in text files and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. SolidWorks has given you several sample tables to consider as a guide for creating your own. You can find these sample tables in the following locations: SOLIDWORKS Installation folder\SOLIDWORKS\lang\english\ Sheet Metal Bend Tables. To learn how to make a custom bend table in Solidworks, edit a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Bend Table and insert the calculated values to make your table. For each material thickness, you would require a different bend table. You can use a bend table to specify thickness and bend values with a single table. A SolidWorks Sheet Metal Bend Table can only adjust the Bend Allowance, Bend Deduction, or K-Factor, but you can still manually alter the thickness and radius. Learning how to create a custom bend table in Solidworks goes a long way in perfecting designs that need such expertise.

How To Create A Custom Bend Table In Solidworks

Sheet metal bend tables save properties for a specific material. A single table allows you to correlate a bend allowance, bend radius, or k-factor with any thickness, bend radius, and material combination. Follow the step-by-step explanation to learn how to create a custom bend table in Solidworks.

First, select the part design you want to create a custom bend table for, 

Step 1: In a part, click Insert, then Sheet Metal. Go to Bend Table and select “New.” If you receive a message stating that inserting a bend table may change the developed length of the flat pattern, click Yes.

Step 2: Select an item in the Units option to set the unit of measurement in the dialog box. In the Type option, select an item to configure the bend allowance, bend deduction, or k-factor. After Enter a path for the file name, or browse to find a location where you want to save the bend table. Select OK.

An integrated Excel window with the bend table spreadsheet emerges in the SOLIDWORKS window. The bend table spreadsheet includes default radius, thickness, and angle values.

Step 3: In the spreadsheet, enter the bend allowance, bend deduction, or k-factor values based on the type you selected in step 2. New bend tables for SOLIDWORKS are saved in an embedded Excel file. You enter bend table values into the spreadsheet’s cells, ensuring that the SOLIDWORKS software correctly reads the table. Microsoft Excel bend tables now support all bend table kinds (bend deduction, bend allowance, and k-factor) and multiple angles in a single bend table file.

Based on your type selection in step 2, you could either create a bend allowance, bend deduction, or k-factor table.

  1. Bend allowance
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The Bend Allowance is the bend’s arc length measured along the material’s neutral axis. Understanding a part’s bend allowance and bend deduction is a critical first step in learning how sheet metal parts are made. The metal around the bend is distorted and stretched when sheet metal is bent. As a result, your portion gains a modest amount of total length. The Bend Allowance is the material you must add to the original length of your flat sheet to arrive at the length of the formed section. As previously stated, the length of the neutral axis does not change after bending.

The bend allowance will generally vary depending on the material type, material thickness, bend radius, and various machining methods, kinds, and speeds.

  1. Bend deduction
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However, when attempting to generate a flat pattern, you will need to subtract the desired part size to obtain the exact flat size. The Bend Deduction is the mass you must reduce from your flanges’ full length to get a flat design. We can rewrite the above equation to calculate the Ben Deduction as:

The Bend Deduction is the difference between the Bend Allowance and twice the outer setback in the preceding equation.

  1. K-factor

The K-factor is a ratio that shows the location of the neutral sheet for the sheet metal part’s thickness. You can define a k-factor bend table when you choose k-factor as the bend allowed. In sheet metal, the K-factor is a ratio determined by the thickness of the sheet divided by the neutral axis. The unique K-factors will be determined by the type of material and the bend radius relative to the thickness of the material. The K-factor is critical since it indicates the starting point for calculating the amount of elongation and the bend deduction. Knowing the K-factor will also help you make a more precise sheet metal bend.

The bend allowance is determined using a K-Factor as follows:

BA = pi(R + KT) A/180

A/180

BA stands for bend allowance.

R = inner bend radius 

K = K-Factor (t / T)

T denotes the material thickness.

t = distance between the inside face and the neutral sheet

A is the bend angle in degrees (the angle through which the material is bent).

While creating your custom bend table in the excel spreadsheet, you need to specify wall thickness and bend radius.

  1. Wall thickness
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Sheet metal wall thickness can be stated as a gauge value, such as 10, 12, or 16 ga. You must consult tables to determine the results regarding wall thickness. It is crucial to note that there can be different wall thicknesses, which can be misleading when inputting data into SolidWorks. 

  1. Bend radius

When creating and analyzing a sheet metal design, the bend radius of the material is critical. The bend radius is measured by two factors: the equipment used and the material’s wall thickness.

Step 4: To close the spreadsheet, click outside the table but within the SolidWorks graphics area.

Bottom-Line

In this article, I discussed what bend tables are in SolidWorks and how to create a custom bend table in SolidWorks. This feature is essential to creating customized bend tables that meet your design requirements.