SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Flat Pattern Drawing View Flip and Rotate

Article by Jim Peltier, CSWE updated November 14, 2013

Article

Often times we create sheet metal works of art (or just really complex designs) and we want the design to be clearly shown as a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Flat Pattern Drawing View.

Sheet Metal Part

Sheet Metal Part

Here I’ve create a relatively simple part (just tell that to the laser cutting machine operator) — just a bent plate with some mounting holes and cut-out text that reads “SOLIDWORKS!” I’ve had to use a stencil-like font in order to not have the centre of the ‘O’, ‘D,’ and ‘R’ fall out, but I was able to do this manually by right-clicking on the sketched text and selecting “Dissolve Sketch Text”. Now I want to convey this in a drawing:

Flat Pattern view needs to be rotated/flipped

Flat Pattern view needs to be rotated/flipped

Flip View

The text in the SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Flat Pattern Drawing View is a bit hard to read as it is clearly backwards. As fortune would have it, DS SOLIDWORKS has anticipated this type of scenario and has given me a button to press to flip my view around. Behold:

Only works with a Flat Pattern view

Only works with a Flat Pattern view

Provided I’ve inserted this as a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Flat Pattern Drawing View, either from my Drawing View Palette or from the Insert > Views menu, I will have this option in the Property Manager (that pane on the left side of the screen that lets me control the properties for just about everything in SOLIDWORKS). I just need to click on the Flip View button and… tada!

Much better, but there's still room for improvement

Much better, but there’s still room for improvement

Rotate View

It’s now easy to read, but it would be easier if I rotated the view such that the text goes horizontal. If I select my view again, I can go to a dropdown right above the Flip View button that will allow me to rotate my view!

Rotate the view by some preset angles, or type your own

Rotate the view by some preset angles, or type your own

Afterwards, it’s just a simple matter of changing the drawing scale and behold:

SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Flat Pattern Drawing View flipped and rotated

Drawing View flipped and rotated

Now the text (or whatever I have specified) can be easily and clearly illustrated on a drawing without the ambiguity that was shown before.

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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).