Sheetmetal and its application
Sheetmetal manufacturing is massive if we see the products manufacturing from sheet metal is very high. The need for Sheetmetal design engineers is constant and is increasing. If we look around you can reorganize various things in-house or outside in the surrounding which is manufactured with the help of Sheetmetal manufacturing technique.
For Example, In house Desktop CPU cabinet, metal cupboard, inner fitment of a microwave oven, etc. If we see out in the surrounding we see sign boards, metal roofs, etc. These things are manufactured with the help of the Sheetmetal feature available in the software.
This Sheetmetal process is majorly in use. The reason is that the products made using this process are lighter, faster to manufacture, require less labor, and the structural strength is good. The parts can be made by bent or welded or doing b0th the metal sheets which are in use. The metal sheets using which the product can be made vary from 0.1mm to 7mm. This range can vary depending upon the need and machine availability to make required Sheetmetal parts.
Because of the Sheetmetal industries, CAD software also added the feature which is dedicatedly focuses on the Sheetmetal fabrication. Various options are available in the Solidworks Sheetmetal which helps the designer in part designing.
Features in Solidworks
- Base Flange/Tab
- Convert to Sheet Metal
- Lofted bend
- Edge, Miter Flange
- Swept flange
- Sheet Metal gusset, and many more.
In this article, we are going to see how to use Lofted-Bend in Solidworks.
Lofted Bend feature
The Lofted bend feature makes the surface between two sketches. The sketches should be in a single piece or multiple sketches should be in contact with each other. The two sketches must be created on two different planes. Also, the sketches should not be a close loop or sketch. While using the feature we can give the thickness to the surface equivalent to the metal sheet.
Using Lofted feature
We can use the lofted feature by going to Command manager under Sheetmetal > Lofted bend. Creating the sketches on two different planes and selecting the lofted bend feature. Then select the two sketches and provide the wall thickness and direction. Later we can flatten the part design made using this feature.
Creating a Sheetmetal part using the Lofted bend feature
Open the Solidworks part design. Click on the sketch under the command manager and select the line or other feature which will be needed for designing the sketch.
Then select the plane on which we have to create the first sketch. Exit the sketch and create another plane and draw the second sketch. Exit the sketch and the next step is to select the lofted bend feature.
Select the Sheetmetal feature under the command manager. In Sheetmetal, you will see the lofted bend feature. Select the lofted bend and under profile select the two sketches.
When scrolling down in property manager you will see the Sheetmetal parameters. Give the thickness of the wall there and also the bend radius. After selecting and giving input click on OK.
Then Sheetmetal part is created and can be flattened using the Flatten feature under the Sheetmetal command manager.