from Pro/E sheetmetal to SW sheetmetal...

Discussion in 'SolidWorks' started by Steve, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    ...has anyone made the transition other than me only to find that SW
    sheetmetal seems to have far fewer tools - particularly with regard to the
    rip functionality. Pro/E, as well as having an edge rip function allowed for
    'rip connects' (and sketch rips on surfaces) plus much more advanced
    'extended walls' functionality (in SW you just about close a corner - even
    then it has to be a specific corner type).
    Even though I am new to SW, it is apparent that its sheetmetal
    module is not as feature rich as I was first led to believe. Would like to
    know if anyone is aware of what's coming up in future release(s) that might
    address some of these issues.

    Steve S
    Steve, Feb 5, 2004
  2. Steve

    d Guest

    Hi Steve,

    No real background in PROE, other than the files/dwgs I've received in
    the past, but I have been generating SM parts w/swx since 98+. I do
    have experience w/ IV, SE, IC and ProCAM. They all do SM a bit
    differently, but SWX has the edge imo. Given the SM capabilities, it
    still baffles me why people haven't taken the time to learn them.
    Often, the explantion I receive is that "Pro did it this way" or "It
    doesn't work, I can't get it to unfold.....". As a result of this
    mentality, I frequently receive models that can not be fabricated as
    designed and require me to start from a paper drawing. THat works, but
    the savings in time (money) from creating the part correctly in the
    first place will never be realized.

    I mention this because I suspect that sheet metal would likely get
    more attention if more people used its capabilities and submitted more
    enhancement requests. Unfortunately, it's easier in the short run to
    keep making shelled and ripped sm parts. The truth is that if you
    can't make the part in swx, it is likely that the part can not be
    fabricated as designed.

    With the exception of the simplest flat part, I model everything we
    do. I've yet to find a part that can't be modeled, documented and
    flattened. THere are shortfalls atm. Worst (for me) are intersecting
    bend reliefs. Closed Corners are a great addition, but I set back
    corners for material >.048 by 1/2 MT for weld penetration and that is
    not an option in CC.

    It's not pro and you are likely at a disadvantage to take pro
    tecniques and force them into swx. Hang in there, despite the bashing
    the program takes in this ng, I have not seen anything but improvement
    in the sm aspect of the program. Keep sending in the er's, but give
    the program a chance. Take some time and go through the tutorial,
    check out the docs for sm features, forget what you know about pro.

    Sorry for the rant. Short answer to your question: No, I don't. But, I
    suspect constant improvement from release to release that is primarily
    driven by requests.

    d, Feb 5, 2004
  3. Steve

    Steve Guest

    Dave thanks - appreciate your comments. Surprised there aren't more people
    out there with views on the subject though. Going to have to hang on in
    there and be patient i guess!

    Steve, Feb 6, 2004
  4. Hi,
    I would like to take this opportunity to mention my brief experience
    with Solid Edge. In my opinion Solid Edge has the best sheet metal
    tools than any other
    program in their price range. I can't say that I'm an expert, I only
    played with Solid Edge for a short time, but some of the things that I
    remember that I wish SW could provide are: the way Solid Edge places
    their forming tools, like louvers, they are so easy to place and
    change. Another feature is Contour Flange Options; the ability to
    change a flange's ends from square to miter, and the Corner Relief
    feature that allows to trim: Bend, Bend, and face and Bend and face
    chain, these are very handy tools that allows you to change the
    notches either "inside" or "outside" and the material will be trimmed
    accordingly. These are just a few of the features that I noticed and
    thought that they could be a nice addition to SW.
    Javier Rodriguez, Feb 6, 2004
  5. Steve

    SBC Guest

    Have you tried the 'RIP' command in SolidWorks? You'll find that while you
    do not use it the same way it performs very similar to the one in pro.
    SBC, Feb 6, 2004
  6. Steve

    mplanchard Guest


    I agree with Dave that you are better to start a sheet metal part with
    the Base Flange feature instead of ripping a solid shelled box. If
    you have very complex corners, try these steps:

    1. Make a C shape for your first feature.
    2. Utilize unfold to flatten (not flat pattern)
    3. Sketch the complex profile on the bends. Utilize Extruded Cut and
    link to thickness.
    4. Fold and collect all bends.
    5. Next add your side wall. Utilize convert entities in the sketch.
    Drag the sketch back until it clears the complex profile area.
    6. Extrude the sketch and you should be able to complete your complex

    If you want a simple model, send me your email address to
    and I will send it to you.

    There are no longer green and white sides - but give SW a chance by
    starting with the Base Flange feature first. I think you will like
    the time you will save in the other areas.

    Regards, Marie
    mplanchard, Feb 6, 2004
  7. Add to that their (solidedge) equivalent to sheetmetal edgebreak can
    even do INTERNAL corners. Can Solidworks edgebreak do internal
    corners? No, Nyet, Nada, Nein, Nay . . . I guess punches do not
    break down on internal corners and therefore do not need to be
    broken(?) . . . the punches just know that the corner is internal . .

    And when adding the edgebreaks with SE, a very nifty filter will only
    let you select edges that are material thickness - which means - you
    don't (!) have to perform a million zoom-in/outs to get your tiny
    corners filleted. This was there at least in 1998 . . .

    And to speak of pro-e: Pro has a sheet metal twist - when could we
    ever hope for this?

    We have no hope of unfoldable simple contour draws, which are
    extremely easy to cheat, but why not have a feature that unfolds - not
    that hard in my mind?

    I get the impression that they are not sure what else is needed or
    they think the tools are great as is - solidworks sheet metal is good,
    but some big holes are there.

    Let's mention the bizarre and unmanufacturable corner reliefs of miter
    flange which have no hope of being configured or the self intersecting
    unfold on an internal corner on a miter or . . . co-planar flanges
    that will not unfold (needing a .001 gap) . . . or hems that will
    intersect the part base wildly without reporting an error . . . or
    edge flanges that fail to unfold when welded to other coplanar
    edgeflanges . . . or the strange flange sketch projection that happens
    when offsettig an edge flange . . . or the inablilty to create "wall"s
    in the base-flange method . . . or the offset jog that will not
    correct for projection when going past 90 degrees . . . or . . . or .
    .. .

    (Secretly I love this stuff, but there are lot of little got-yas that
    make many of the supposedly helpful features things to avoid & yes I
    am a model-to-sheet-metal advocate - base flanges are not mature in my
    mind - no region features - no walls - no in process multi-body . . .
    wasn't until 2003 that you could even configure all your bend
    allowances independently with k-factor).

    . . . BOOM! (he exploded)

    Sean-Michael Adams, Feb 6, 2004
  8. Steve

    matt Guest

    An approach that I like better is to make the base flange just the
    rectangular base, and do a miter flange to make the 4 sides. This makes it
    easier to control the overall outside dimensions of the box and makes nicer
    looking corners, as far as I'm concerned.

    Then there's always the "trim side bends" and "closed corner" options,
    which look good, but take more steps.


    () wrote in
    matt, Feb 6, 2004
  9. An approach that I like better is to make the base flange just the
    This approach works very nicely and in fact if one wants to have high
    detail panels on the sides of the box, edgeflanges might be
    substituted as well. I personally believe that the most "well
    behaved" box can and should be created using 5 sketches (1 bottom & 4
    sides) with the corner reliefs and closed corners sketched in by the
    user as desired in the 5 sketches. Even further the model to sheet
    metal will behave quite nicely and even outperform the base-flange
    method. In both cases though, bend reliefs will need some tweaking,
    but less so with the first method.


    Sean-Michael Adams, Feb 7, 2004
  10. Steve

    Brian Bahr Guest

    In swx I find the fastest stable way to create a box is to create a
    solid block, shell it, rip the 4 corners (have it in wireframe mode so
    you dont even ahve to rotate it) and the convert to sheetmetal. It is
    very fast and reliable.
    Brian Bahr, Feb 7, 2004
  11. Steve

    matt Guest

    (Brian Bahr) wrote in
    That method knocks out the corners, so you have to do the closed corner bit
    if you don't want big ugly holes in the corners.

    Also, it's the "old school" way of doing it, not that that really matters.
    In terms of number of steps, the rectangular base flange with a miter
    flange is way faster, only two sketches, two features.

    matt, Feb 7, 2004
  12. Steve

    Brian Bahr Guest

    Actually I agree your method is superior but I have had some stability
    issues using miter flanges (but I admit that some of this problem is
    my own doing as I use some non typical settings with sheetmetal for
    our special use.)
    Brian Bahr, Feb 8, 2004
  13. Another thing with miter flanges is that they seem to have an
    underpowered treatment of form/corner relief (can't prorperly clear
    corners as squares and can't turn corners that have been
    "pre-relieved" in anticipation). And if you need any side detail in
    the panels, you will have to resort to a cut.

    On the other hand, the miter flange can be a really neat way to have a
    top flange on the box and still have the two feature tree. I like how
    the miter flange addes the picture frame cuts, but you always have to
    deal with the miter flange "minimum gap" which applies to the whole
    miter and may not be needed everywhere (i.e. its worst case).

    Lucky for us there are lots of ways to get this right.

    I also heard the (shelled or otherwise) model to sheet metal method
    refered to as the "old" way as if it were not preferred. I prefer to
    think of it as the "original" way and the "new" way as the imperfect
    way (can't do multi-body, profile & region extrudes, walls, "new"
    features sketch planes project strangly when past 90 degrees, etc). I
    wish they would finish/refine the features they have implemented to
    merge both methods and truly make the distinction moot. In my feeble
    mind, many of the new features require too many incremental steps in
    too many places to make then what they hope to be. Unless one needs
    fastener patterns (holewiz) I'm still in love with the 6 feature cube
    with all the needed detail added to the sketches.

    In any case, the tools seem to get the job done.

    Model and let model!


    Sean-Michael Adams, Feb 8, 2004
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