Join Thom Tremblay for an in-depth discussion in this video Productivity improvements using pattern tools, part of Inventor: Sheet Metal Design.
Patterns that are always a productivity enhancement. Any time you can take a feature and pattern it or mirror it, that's another time you're not having to create it from scratch. Sheet metal features have some special capabilities that require some special attention, so the use of patterns and mirroring in the sheet metal environment does require a little more diligence. One thing that's very critical is to make sure you're grabbing all of the items that are included in the feature. For example, I would like to take and pattern this offset flange along the edge of the larger flange.
To do this, I can start the Rectangular Pattern tool, and start selecting features. I'll grab first, this flange and this face, but I'm not able to select this bend. Why is that? Because remember, that bend feature was created between two edges, one on this face, and one on this cut feature. Once I've selected the cut feature, I can return and grab the bend the way I need it to be. Now, I'm able to select the direction that I would like for this pattern, and create this replicated pattern, the number and distance that I need.
And once I get that distance set, I'm able to create a pattern of all of those features. Now, to mirror, I'll grab my pattern and my flange. Note that it automatically picks up the fillet. And then I'm able to select the Mirror Plane, which I will grab out of the browser, and we can replicate. Before we do that, note that the bend is coming in before the end of this part. So, the sheet metal tool is recognizing that this feature will shorten this overall face. And now we have our finished part. Features understanding the material that they are affecting make it easier to work with sheet metal components, and gain the productivity that patterns offer.
- Preparing your Inventor project
- Adding flanges to a part
- Cleaning up edges with hems
- Using the Bend feature
- Reusing existing data
- Making cuts in parts
- Opening parts with the Rip tool
- Improving productivity with the pattern tools
- Creating and editing a flat pattern