Sheet Metal Tech Tip: Simplify Bends and Normal Cut [VIDEO]

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated August 26, 2013

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Do you find yourself modeling up sheet metal parts a lot, but getting unusual things happening with your flat patterns? Maybe the flat pattern isn’t quite right. Maybe you just get errors when you try to flatten it. Well, I experience both in the video I’m about to show you.

The “Normal Cut” requirement makes perfect sense. Being a very thin feature, it’s unreasonable for me to control the angle on the edge of my sheet metal. Chances are, I’m going to laser-cut this profile, so all my edges are going to be perpendicular to the face of the sheet metal. Using the “Normal Cut” option maintains my design intent for manufacture.

The “Simplify Bends” option allows me to remove curves from the profile. This could be useful if I’m not laser-cutting the profile, but nowadays I pretty much always want this option unselected.

I hope that explains a couple of things about troubleshooting your sheet metal part.

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Jim Peltier, CSWE

Jim has been using SolidWorks since 2001, and has spent most of that time working in the design of industrial automated manufacturing equipment. He has been working as an Applications Expert at Javelin Technologies in Oakville, Ontario since July 2012 and is a Certified SolidWorks Expert (CSWE).