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Why Would SOLIDWORKS Flat Pattern Drawing View Display the Formed Part Instead?

Article by Sanja Srzic created/updated November 26, 2014

SOLIDWORKS users occasionally come across a sheet metal drawing view that displays formed (bent) part instead of flat pattern. Here is the explanation of a common mistake that causes this problem.

SOLIDWORKS creates flat-pattern configuration when the drawing of a sheet metal part is generated. The only difference compared to the main configuration is that the flat-pattern feature is unsuppressed in the flat-pattern configuration. Design changes should be made in the main/default configuration.

Flat-Pattern Feature

Flat-Pattern Feature

It is a common practice for many SOLIDWORKS users to right-click on a drawing view and use the Open command to access the part. Specific to sheet metal flat-pattern drawing views is that accessing the model this way activates the right configuration of the model.

Open Part from Flat Pattern View

Open Part from Flat Pattern View

Unaware of the configuration change and wanting to edit the model, users sometimes toggle the Flatten option or manually suppress the flat pattern feature in the FeatureManager Design Tree. While the model may appear correct, the problem becomes obvious in the drawing document where the flat pattern view no longer shows flat pattern, but a formed part.

The way to correct the flat-pattern view in this scenario is to access the model, activate the flat-pattern configuration and unsuppress the flat-pattern feature.  To avoid the problem, after accessing it from the flat-pattern drawing view, it is sufficient to switch to the configuration tab and activate the main configuration of the part.

Switch to Main Configuration

Switch to Main/Default Configuration

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Sanja Srzic

Sanja is the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Team Leader for Western Canada, and is based in the Javelin Winnipeg Office

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