Creating a custom forming tool
Video: Creating a custom forming toolForming tools can be design from the ground up in solid works. And this video will cover the basics. To get started, let's take a look at this part. What I have here on the screen is a piece of sheet metal, or just basically a boss extrude. And I've got a sketch laid out on the top surface. If I edit the sketch I can see what kind of geometry I have here, and you can see all different shapes. I'm not going to go through how to create the sketch. You should be able to make the sketch on your own. I just want to cover some of the basic sketch entities that are here. Take a look at them, but you should be able to create the sketch on your own. Exit out of that. Take a look at the surface it's on, which this bottom surface here.
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CAD software like SOLIDWORKS makes sheet metal design quick and cost effective. This course gets you up to speed with the sheet metal tools in SOLIDWORKS for designing parts and assemblies, and then takes you on a trip to the factory floor to see the final manufactured results. First, you'll learn to create base features, flanges, and bends that add strength and connections. Then find out how to flatten parts and add holes, cuts, and corners that are manufacturing ready, and use the Convert to Sheet Metal command to convert imported geometry into native sheet metal parts. Author Gabriel Corbett also shows you how to create assemblies from multiple parts, use the Pattern and Mirrors tools to effortlessly duplicate existing work, and then document and export your designs. Finally, take a tour of a sheet metal fabrication company and learn about the machinery and processes that occur during manufacturing.
- Understanding sheet metal fundamentals
- Creating base features
- Creating flanges and tabs
- Making hems and corner features
- Unfolding and folding parts
- Adding cuts across bends
- Adding welded corners
- Using the Forming tools
- Importing geometry
- Using the Convert to Sheet Metal command
- Making sheet metal drawings
- Exporting DWG and DXF files for laser cutting
- Building an assembly
- Creating parts in an assembly
- Creating flat patterns
- Using in-context design techniques
- Exporting parts
Creating a custom forming tool
Forming tools can be design from the ground up in solid works. And this video will cover the basics. To get started, let's take a look at this part. What I have here on the screen is a piece of sheet metal, or just basically a boss extrude. And I've got a sketch laid out on the top surface. If I edit the sketch I can see what kind of geometry I have here, and you can see all different shapes. I'm not going to go through how to create the sketch. You should be able to make the sketch on your own. I just want to cover some of the basic sketch entities that are here. Take a look at them, but you should be able to create the sketch on your own. Exit out of that. Take a look at the surface it's on, which this bottom surface here.
And let's go ahead and create a boss extrude using that sketch. So I'll choose that sketch, and make sure we're going to be going in the correct direction. So flip that and we want to go to 0.15. Click on OK and there's our first feature. Now because we're going to be forming sheet metal around this piece, I wan't to make sure that we have nice rounded edges. So let's at our first fillet. I'm going to type in 0.25 and I want to fill it these corners on the inside of the part all the way around. Click Okay, and there they are.
Now, we want to add one more fillet here, and we'll typed in a 0.1 fillet. And then I'll choose one of these edges to propagate around the outside of the part. Click Okay, and add one more to the top edge. Both of 0.1 and keep in mind, the minimum radius of curvature of your sheet metal has to be bigger than this tool, so we have to make sure that all these radiusses aren't too small so that the material can flow around the outside of the shape and form that feature. Once you've got this feature looking pretty good you want to remove the material down here that's bellow the feature.
To do that when I created this shape originally, I have this sketch here. So I can reuse that sketch, do an extruded cut and remove that material. I'll say Through All, click OK, and then my material is gone. Now, under the sheet metal tools, we have a feature called Forming Tool. Click on that, and the first question it ask is the stopping face, and that's this one back here. So, just choose the back of the part, that's where we want to end the feature, on the back side. And if I wanted to make this and actual cut, I could choose faces to remove, but in this case here, I'm just making an emboss, so I want to be able to just leave the entire, shape in there. It's just going to indent that into my piece of sheet metal. I'd click on the insertion point if I want to move that around but the center of the part looks just fine, so click OK and there it is, I've got my first forming tool.
Now, we want to make sure we save that forming tool out to the library. Notice the library here, and we've got some forming tools. So what I want to do is I want to save that into the library, but first we need to save it to the desktop. Click on File, click on Save, and save it out. Now go ahead, open up the library, click on Add to Library. Choose the feature itself. Give it a name. We'll call this a star emboss, and do we want to put it under forming tools, under embosses? Sounds great. Click OK, and there it is, star emboss.
Now to use that shape, let's click over to an open part, open the library features, grab the star emboss, drag it over, let go, position it where we need it, and click OK. And there's our shape. Custom, forming tool, complete. When creating forming tools keep in mind that we must consider both the material and the process to form the sheet metal. Keep in mind that just because it looks nice on the computer doesn't always end up that way in real life.
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