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Real-world projects are vital to mastering SOLIDWORKS, and sheet metal enclosures are a perfect example of a typical project. Sheet metal enclosures house and protect circuitry, wiring, and other sensitive electronic parts and frequently require customization by a professional CAD designer. So take a firsthand walk through designing a sheet metal enclosure for circuit boards and panel-mounted connectors, as well as fans, power cords, and switches, with SOLIDWORKS. Gabriel Corbett covers the key techniques for working with in-context parts and assemblies that dynamically adjust based on the master part model. He'll show you how to use equations to drive the size of the box and calculate vent holes, work with circuit boards, and download connector components. Plus, learn how to add decals before prepping the final drawings for manufacturing.
The Miter Flange tool in SolidWorks works similar to the Edge Flange tool, with a major exception of how we actually create that feature, and how it handles corners. To get started let's create a sketch of the flange we'd like to build. Now the Miter Flange tool needs a sketch showing what that profile is. So I need to choose a face or plane to draw that on. So I'm going to jump over here to the Sketch tab, start a sketch. And I'm going to choose one of these faces. So in this case here I'm going to choose this face of the part, and keep in mind over here's the origin.
I want to keep track of where the origin is in relationship to where I'm going to be starting my flange. Start with just this Basic Line tool. And I'm going to start right here on this upper corner, and that's important because if I wanted to go down I would start on the bottom corner. But if I want to go up let's start on the upper corner, and let's just drag our flange up to some distance. And, I can continue on right? I don't have to just make one flange like we would with the Edge flange, I can also get out of that command and jump back into the Line command, I can create an Arc command. I can do a bunch of different things at this point in time here.
But I'm going to go back to the Line command, click on this, I'm going to add a flange this way, and one up here. So actually going to create three flanges all at the same time using this Mitre Flange technique. I can drag these things around as needed, I can dimension them as needed. In this case here we'll say it's 1.75, 0.75, and half inch. Okay, now we've got full dimensions on here. Now we're ready to create that flange. Come over here to Sheet Metal, go ahead and click on Miter Flange. And notice, it just adds that real quickly to that sheet metal part.
So instead of creating three edge flanges, I'm going to create these all at one time using the Miter Flange. And that's not even the best part. Check this one out. All right, so now it's going down that whole edge of that part. And, I can actually choose this next edge here, and watch what happens. Choose that edge there. It miters this section here, as well as these over here. So it actually finishes that whole corner for me, all within that same command. That would be a lot of work using the regular Edge Flange, or maybe trimming it away or changing the profiles. This is almost a no brainer.
Literally three lines, choose an edge, and SolidWorks does a tremendous amount of work for us behind the scenes. Click OK when you're happy. And there it is, a real nice sheet metal part. And, check these out, nice close corners. Corner to corner, perfect for welding or filling this is in with some other type of material depending if you're going to weld it or you're going to add a bolt flange or a, riveted flange to this. It's all prepped up and ready to do that, so you can move to the next step. Now also, because the origin's in the middle of the part, here it is right here, I'm going to go over here and click on Show.
And then come up here and make sure we're saying View, and we're showing the origin. So there it is. Keep track of where that is. In this case here, I'm putting all my Flanges, or Miter Flange, on the outside. This is prepped and ready to go for using the Mirror command, so I can mirror this entire body here, over to the side here, and over to the side here. That's saving ourselves a lot of time so we don't have to continue adding all these flanges and doing all that work multiple times. We really only going to create one quarter of the design, and then use that Mirror command. If I want to come down here I'm going to add another flange on the other side of the part.
So in this case here I'm going to choose a New Sketch. And I'm going to choose this face right here. Now we are going to come into a little bit of an issue here when I design this flange going the other direction, let's take a look at how it's going to happen. So, as this comes down, this edge right here. I don't have anything else that can go around here. And, keep in mind, it wants to start in one direction and continue in that direction. So it's not going to allow us to go this way and that way because we're creating that sketch, right here on that edge.
That's a little bit of a limitation using this tool, but it's an easy workaround as long as we can design and create those flanges wherever we need them. Let's try creating the Flange, Sheet Metal, Miter Flange and quickly allows us to go right down that edge. And let's try this edge just for fun, see what happens and it says no, sorry can't do that. So, it's going to give us a little bit of heat. It also pops up this little icon here which means, go all the way around. And I think that's going to fail as well. So, it's not quite available because it's causing other issues. But click on this one over here and see what happens. It actually tries to use any of these adjacent edges and just kind of keep on going with this flange.
But again, I don't think we want to use all that. So, let's trim some of that out of there. Let's keep the first one. And delete the other ones. I'm just clicking, highlighting them, hitting Delete on my keyboard to get rid of these other edges out of the design. There, let's just keep the first one, click OK, and there's our flange. The Miter Flange is a great way to build some very complex features that would otherwise be very difficult to create with individual edge flanges or other features. Keep this tool in mind as a real time saver and powerful tool in your design quiver.
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