Watch a video of a CNC press break.
- Okay, we're standing in front a press brake. This is a six foot machine and we're gonna get set up to do a bend. We've got a couple of bending dies, this is a lower die, this is an upper die. And these go together in the machine so they actually do the bend. We actually have a larger one already set up in the machine here and we're ready to bend some parts. Alright, so I'm gonna change the flange dimension here. So I'm gonna go into the cycle start, click on the flange dimension, click on 1.5, enter, and we're ready to bend.
To design efficiently, try to keep your bends the same and with matching flange links to avoid having to set up multiple sets of tooling with different back gages. Also consider the bend radius. The standard tools come in 0.30, 0.60, 0.90, eighth inch, quarter inch, three eighths inch, et cetera. Try to design using these standard tools to avoid custom tooling that can add cost and lead time to your parts. You can see we can stage multiple bends, one after another, on a part. So I can do the first bend with the same tool, flip that same part around and do a series of bends, all using the same tooling, with just different back gage links.
Many times in Solidworks, you can design parts that are very hard to build in the real world. For example, if you see the lower die in the video, the flange needs to extend past the center of the top die and touch the top of the V groove on the back section of the tool. As a general rule of thumb, we wanna have a minimum flange length of four times the material thickness. To switch our brake tooling, what we need to do is use an alan wrench, release the tool, and come in with the bottom die, go ahead and release the lower tool, swap that out, and we can grab our next set of tooling.
To set up a brake, what we need to do is select the correct sized tooling for the job. First we need to add the lower die in and then tighten it down. Secondly, we bring in the upper die and then bring down the press brake to put a little pressure on the upper die while we tighten it down. Once it's ready to go, we then adjust our back gage and our bend angle to make the part.
There are many different types of tools we can use in press brake dies. Here is an example of just a few. Many times when designing in Solidworks, we can design parts that are really hard to build in the real world. For instance, if you make a hole too close to a bend, the material can pull into the bend region and cause a part to deform outside of what we'd expect. You can see in these videos here, we have some holes that have been pulled out of round and the material has been pulled into that bend region. A part like this, you can see we have a really thin section on the top, that even though it was formed, you can see it actually warped a little bit when it was being processed.
In the case of this part here, you can see the material actually deforms a little bit because the bend relief is not adequate to allow the bend to fully complete. Keep these things in mind when you're designing parts, that you need to make sure you have adequate bend relief, you keep your holes and features far enough away from the bend regions so you don't have any pulled material, and if you're working with any hardware, the hardware has minimum distance from the edge so that you don't have holes that have pulled out of round or deformed. In this part here you can see that the bend relief did not fully extend past the bend area.
The bend affected region and we have some pulling of the material. Also, think about how your part will be processed. A part like this could be extremely hard to manufacture because you have a flange that actually interferes with the interior flange when the part was built. It just makes things much harder, it's gonna drive up cost and lead time on your part.
First, review the sheet metal tools in SOLIDWORKS and the properties that make sheet metal unique: bend radius, K-factor, bend deduction, gauge thickness, and more. Then learn how to create basic parts, with base features, flanges, and bends that add strength and connections. 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. Gabriel also shows you how to create assemblies from multiple parts, use the Pattern and Mirrors tools to effortlessly duplicate existing work, and then document your designs with detailed sheet metal drawings. Watch the bonus videos to learn about the different machinery and processes that occur during manufacturing.
- Sheet metal tools in SOLIDWORKS
- Sheet metal manufacturing: Laser cutting, CNC machining, welding, and more
- Creating base features
- Creating flanges and tabs
- Making cuts and corners
- Using the Convert to Sheet Metal command
- Building multi-body parts
- Creating forming tools
- Forming across a bend
- Building an assembly
- Creating parts in an assembly
- Creating sheet metal drawings