Join Gabriel Corbett for an in-depth discussion in this video Using forming tools, part of SOLIDWORKS 2013-2017: Sheet Metal Design.
Forming tools, allow us to add in custom form shapes into Sheet Metal. We can add in ribs, louvers, card guides, embosses, debosses, and the list keeps going. Generally, forming tools are custom. However, they are quite a few standard shapes that most manufacturers might have. The best advice that I can give is check with your supplier as to what type of tooling they have. Many shops will provide a list for your reference. In SolidWorks, we have some pre-installed shapes and we can use those, modify them or even create our own. Let's check it out. I'd like to place a emboss down here on this lower piece of Sheet Metal.
And to go grab that tool, I need to go into the design library. I'll open up the design library. And if you're not familiar with the design library, it has a lot of features that we can drag and drop into our parts. We have annotations, assemblies, features, and forming tools. If you'd like to keep this out, you can click on the little push pin here and it keeps it out. So we have embosses, extruded flanges, lances, louvers, and ribs. But in this case here, I want to use an emboss and I'll use the circular emboss. It's pretty easy to use, we just drag and drop. So we can drag it out here, if we drag it over to this face here, it'll place it there, or we can place it down here. Soon as you let go of that mouse, it places it on the face. I can flip the tool over if I'd like, or flip it back. And I can rotate if I needed to, but it's a circle, so it's not going to do much there, and I can modify a couple of other features down here at the bottom of the tool, but most of the defaults are just fine.
If I go over to the Positions tab, I can then click on the Space bar, click Normal 2, and add a few dimensions here, to locate that part. I'll say 2.5, and I'll say 3.5. That's located, in space. Now, if I'd like to add more, I can just go back to the Point command. Anywhere I click, it's going to add one more of those features. If you don't want one, click on it, hit delete, takes it out. When you're happy with what you have, click on OK, and it adds the two features.
Now what I'd like to do is add a louver. To this face here. So I'll grab that louver, I'll drag it out, let go. I'll flip the tool over, and I'll position it. Click on Space Bar. Come down here. want to zoom in on that point. Add a dimension 1.0. And from the top edge here, I'm going to dimension to that point as well. I'm ma say 2.0. When you're happy with that, click on OK and click on OK one more time. I have one of these features, now I could go back and add more louvers or add more points in, add those to this face here.
Or, I can use something like a pattern. So I can go and take a pattern, can pattern along that edge. And the feature I'd like to pattern is that louver I just added. There it is, you can add the spacing, (SOUND) add how many, that we need, and click OK. Louvers, embosses, forming tools. Easy to add, easy to work with, and we can modify them. And we'll learn how to modify and. Create our own in the next few movies.
- Understanding sheet metal fundamentals
- Creating base features
- Creating flanges and tabs
- Making hems and corner features
- Unfolding and folding parts
- Adding cuts across bends
- Adding welded corners
- Using the Forming tools
- Importing geometry
- Using the Convert to Sheet Metal command
- Making sheet metal drawings
- Exporting DWG and DXF files for laser cutting
- Building an assembly
- Creating parts in an assembly
- Creating flat patterns
- Using in-context design techniques
- Exporting parts