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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.
There are 2 methods to make sheet metal parts. Option 1 is to add in all the features, in a flat pattern and then fold up the part. Option 2 would be to add secondary operations to cut holes or cut across a part. Secondary operations add significant cost and are generally not as desirable. If you want to make a cut into sheet metal that will flatten correctly, you need to choose the normal cut option. Let's take a look at some examples. In this part here, we've already got a couple bends in this part and it's folded up. If I click on this top surface here, start a sketch and come over here to the line command and click on space bar so I'm looking normal to it.
And we go ahead and draw a line from this point here to this edge here and down across this edge and back out. Then I'm going to go ahead and add a dimension from those 2 lines, of 30 degrees. Click OK. And I've got a fully defined sketch. Now what I want to do is, I want to cut that across my part here. So I'm going to go up to Features and go to Extruded Cut, and I want to say Through All. And it cuts across the part. Now if I leave normal cut off, what it does when I click on the feature, it cuts across the part and it looks really nice, however in reality, in sheet metal if it starts with a flat pattern we can't make a cut like this. It actually causes errors for us, so if I click on the flat pattern I'll show you what I'm talking about.
Unsupress, and actually you see that it actually tries to do this little angle cut here because it's not in a flat state so you have to actually machine that in there, or you have to cut this later on. On a saw. So if I suppress that I can come back go back to the feature and click on normal cut. And that little option there will change it, so that it actually dips in around those corners and actually deforms that material around the corner. Now from the side it looks exactly the same. But, as I look at it at an angle, I can see that both of the corners, kind of flex around where the bend region is. Normal cuts are really what will happen automatically, when you cut a part in its flat state, and then form it up.
At the end of the day, normal cuts are the way to go, because, there's no extra tooling, and the parts will be clean and easy to form.
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