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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 Flange tool is the same button as the Base tool. However, if you provide an open sketch, that sketch is used as a profile and the bends are pre-generated. If you leave the angle sharp, they autofill with the default radius, or you can overwrite the default radius by adding fillets to the sketch. Lets take a look at a couple of examples. In this case here, I've got a sketch open on the front plane, and I've got three line segments to finding my sheet metal piece. And I've got a couple of the pieces that are undefined, but that's okay.
Let's jump over to sheet metal tab, click on the flange tab. You can see I've got a preview of exactly what kind of, shape that I'm going to be getting when I turn this into a sheet metal part. I can drag it out a little bit to show you, what it's going to look like. And notice I've got the material here on the outside of the sketch. If I were to flip that over by clicking on Reverse Direction, it moves it to the inside. I can adjust thickness here, maybe quarter of an inch. You can see it automatically adjusts, I can change the bend radius, to whatever I like. You can see a preview exactly what's going to happen when you create your sheet metal part.
In this case here, I want to change that back to an 0.30 radius, and I do want my trail to be 0.90. And then down here for bend deduction, bend allowance, again I'm going to use a K factor in this case, but you probably want to put in bend deduction values or bend allowance values, that you get from your sheet metal vendor to make sure you're going to get a flat pattern that's the correct size. Once you're happy with your part, click on OK, and there's the flange tab. My second example here, is a predefined long radius bend, but no problem. Click on the flange tab again, and because that's already predefined, it just uses that in the sheet metal part.
Again, I can drag that out to whatever size I need to. I can drag it in the other direction, I can play with some of the different values here. Again, I can change the thicknesses, the lengths, the bend radiuses, k-factor. You name it, we can adjust all those different variables that go into creating that sheet metal part. And when you're happy with it, go ahead and click on OK. And then my third example, this one here I've got a sharp angle here, I've got an open angle here, and I've got a couple predefined radiuses here. I got a quarter inch and an eighth inch radius, and let's see what happens there by clicking on the flange tab, and notice the default radius is used everywhere that I have a sharp corner.
But over here on the eighth hinge and the corner inch radius, it just automatically uses those radiuses that I have defined in my part. So, if I change the default radius here, maybe try a little we say 0.60, you can see that all these values that are using that automatically adjust. The ones that we've already defined with hard numbers, just automatically use those values. Again, I can drag this out, to whatever length I need and click on OK, to create the shape. The Flange tools are great for quickly building complex parts that would otherwise take multiple step using other tools.
This is a perfect tool to start off most sheet metal parts, just keep track of the material will be inside or outside of the sketch, and make sure you're choosing material thicknesses that are appropriate for the type of material that you're using.
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