Learn how to pepare the Design Library to hold forming tools.
- [Instructor] We're going to be creating and working with sheet forming tools for sheet metal. Forming tools are parts that act as dies that bend, stretch, or otherwise form sheet metal to create form features such as louvers, lances, flanges, and ribs. And SOLIDWORKS already comes with a bunch of forming tools, so make sure you check them out. You need to make sure that you designate whatever folder you want to store the forming tools as a forming tools folder. I know SOLIDWORKS should know that if you name a folder, forming tools, that the stuff in it are forming tools, but it's just not that smart.
SOLIDWORKS is smart about a lot of stuff, but not about this. And this is something that a lot of users and students complain to me about, and it was confusing for me, too. The other thing is you want to look at is defining the stopping face and any faces you want to remove. Those are key things that you want to be able to define in your forming tool. When you're creating a forming tool, it's got to be a part file, not a sheet metal file. That was confusing to me, too.
I thought, "If it's being used on sheet metal, "shouldn't it be a sheet metal part?" But no, make sure you use a regular part file. And start out by using an existing forming tool which has the same shape. That way, you can play around with it, modify the dimensions. That's a nice way to start easing your way into creating custom forming tools. Name your file with the same name as the tool being used by the machine shop to make it easy to identify, easy to locate, and easy to call out when you're creating your drawing.
We're going to start by using the circular emboss file that's already available inside of SOLIDWORKS, and then copy it over to your design library custom forming tools folder. And we're going to be looking at it to see what it's going to be like. Let's move over to SOLIDWORKS to do that. So, here I have just a regular piece of sheet metal. Notice it's sheet metal. I haven't given it material. I'll just say it's 1060 alloy 'cause that's a pretty easy material to work with.
Here's my awesome forming tools folder. Remember when I said unless you tell SOLIDWORKS it's a forming tools folder, SOLIDWORKS doesn't know. So, I have to right click on it and say that it's a forming tools folders. You want to see that check mark there, otherwise it's not going to use it as a forming tool. Now, if we go to the regular design library, and we go to the forming tools, notice it shows this little icon that says it's a forming tools folder.
And if I right click, it's designated as a forming tools folder. And here are my embosses, and I'm going to open this circular emboss. And notice how it's just a circle. I'm going over to the browser so you can see, how do they make it? It's always a good start to kind of look and see what they did. So, first they created a base-extrude. So, they just created a sketch.
It's a two millimeter sketch. And then they just extruded it. And then they created the dimple with this dimension, half inch. And then they added some filets. And then they did a cut to cut away everything but the dimple. And then they added an orientation sketch. That's all they did to create this circular emboss. Let's do a, file save as, and just save it into our library into our forming tools.
And I'm going to call it awesome circular emboss. And I'm going to add a description, and I'm going to save it. So now, when I go over here, it's there. And I'm going to close up this file. So, I'm going to see what it's like if I try and put it into my sheet metal. So, notice it's pretty big. And that's replacement phase. It recognized it as a form tool feature because I assigned it the folder as a forming tool feature.
Notice I could set the rotation angle, the place. I can add a link to the form tool, so if the form tool changes, it's going to change in the part. And I can even give it a punch ID. And here's where I locate the position. So, I can say, "Okay, where do I want to locate it?" So, I can say, "From here to here is 1.6. "And from here to here is two inches." And that located it.
Then I'm going to green check and check it out. There's my dimple. How cool is that? So, all we did was we copied a forming tool from the SOLIDWORKS library over to our library just so we could test it out. I'm going to save this, and next, we're going to modify it.
- Adding a custom library to SOLIDWORKS
- Designing library folder locations
- Creating custom annotations for drawings
- Creating a grain direction annotation
- Modifying an existing forming tool
- Adding a forming tool to the Design Library
- Creating a hole pattern for a circuit board component
- Creating a feature to be reused
- Saving a feature to the Design Library
- Saving a block to the Design Library