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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.
Swept flanges are fairly new to SolidWorks and provide a handy tool for complex compound bends. Be careful with this tool. Just because you can create it in a computer does not mean you can create it in real life. Many times, you'll need to buy expensive tooling and deal with manufacturing issues. My best recommendation would be to do a preliminary design and then start talking with a manufacturer about the feasibility of that design. That being said let's make a Swept flange. To get started with, let's go ahead and open 2.7, Start File. And in this case here, what I want to do is I want to create a flange that's going to start on this edge here and go around the outside of the perimeter of this part and end over here.
So, one of the primary things we need to choose when we're starting with a swept flange is we need to choose and draw a sketch on a coincident edge. so in this case here, because I want to draw on this edge or actually want to extrude along that edge. I want to start drawing on this face here. So I'm going to go ahead and choose a sketch, start a sketch and start with a line command almost right there the top and draw it up over and out. And we'll just leave it undefined for the moment. I can move things around a little bit just to get a little bit better shape.
That's about what I'm looking for. Now I'm going to go ahead and exit out. So, I've got a sketch on that edge there. And we're going to be going and creating that swept flange down along this edge, around that edge there and around the rest of the part. To get started, go to the Sheet Metal tools. In the ribbon, if you don't see that tool available here, you can always add it in. But we also have access to all the Sheet Metal tools up here under Insert > Sheet Metal, in this case here, we're going to come down to Swept Flange.
Click on Swept Flange and this works a lot like a regular sweep. Number one, I'm going to choose that profile If I want to sweep around the outside of the part. Notice it's pre-selected because I had selected it originally. If not, go into the tree, expand it out and choose that sketch. Next it's looking for edges. Now it can have a sketch that defines those edges or I can just choose them from the window. As soon as I do that, it gives me a nice preview what's going to happen, and I can continue on that part. Check out this edge right now. It's a hard edge, but as soon as I click on that next adjacent edge, it actually bends in, sweeps it out, so it's pretty nice.
And continue that all the way around, all the way over to here and go ahead and end. Looks good. You can use the basic default radiuses or you can change them. You can change a couple of their offsets from the ends and then click on OK to accept the flange. Now this part is very complicated to build doing tradition bending techniques. So this would have to be a stamping or hydra-form part to be actually manufactured. This one is not too bad though. But you can really get some pretty complicated parts that'd be extremely difficult to manufacture using this tool.
So my recommendation is definitely check in with your manufacturer to make sure whatever you come up with is manufacturable and easy to work with.
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