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How to create a SOLIDWORKS rolled component that can be flattened

Article by Chris Briand, CSWE created/updated August 29, 2010

A recent customer query had us considering a number of different methods to create a roll of material. After a number of attempts using various methods, the following suggestion was to create a SOLIDWORKS rolled component using the sheet metal functionality, this technique came from technical sales manager Elton Smith at DS SOLIDWORKS. The advantage to this method is that the roll can be unrolled using the sheet metal tools within SOLIDWORKS.

To create the desired spiral component, we will need to form two sketches on offset parallel planes. Each sketch will contain a copy of the original spiral, inserted into the sketches with the Convert Entities tool.

First Phase in creating a Rolled sheet metal component within SolidWorks

First Phase in creating a Rolled sheet metal component within SolidWorks

Once the sketches are complete, it is time to use the Sheet Metal Lofted Bend tool. This will create a lofted section from your two projected sketches.

Second Phase in creating a Rolled sheet metal component within SolidWorks.

The final result should be a rolled component.

SOLIDWORKS rolled component

Third Phase in creating a Rolled sheet metal component within SolidWorks.

The Bonus to this method is that the SOLIDWORKS rolled component can then be unrolled, using the sheet metal Unfold tool.

This can especially useful for locating and punching holes in the sheet. Once the holes are created, the Fold tool may be used to roll up the flat sheet.

Unfold the rolled component

Fourth Phase in creating a Rolled sheet metal component within SOLIDWORKS.

We hope that the above methods lead you toward some new ideas regarding part development with SOLIDWORKS.

Learn more about sheet metal design

Attend our SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal training course either in a classroom near you or online.

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Chris Briand, CSWE

Chris has been educating and supporting Engineers, Designers and IT Personnel within the 3D CAD industry since 2002, and was adopted into the fantastic team of applications experts here at Javelin Technologies in early 2006.  Chris enjoys the continuous learning driven by the ingenuity and challenges Designers bring forward. Innovation using 3D Printing, 3D CAD and other technologies, combined with a diverse background as a technologist, allows Chris to find solutions that accelerate Designers, and take Design Teams to new heights. Chris is currently being held at an undisclosed location, near Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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