How to Make and Flatten a Sheet Metal Cone in SOLIDWORKS

Article by James Swackhammer updated November 15, 2019

Creating a Sheet metal cone in SOLIDWORKS can seem like a complex task, but I’m here to alleviate your worries and provide you with the correct workflow.

I typically like to start my first sketch on the Top Plane. Using my sheet metal open sketch technique, we can draw an arc and its construction lines. With the radius (or diameter) dimension plus a dimension for the gap, we can exit this sketch and move onto the next profile.

Tip: You can create a new Plane the fast way by selecting the Top Plane, holding ctrl and dragging down. This is a shortcut for creating a parallel plane. The only thing left to do is inputting the distance dimension.

SOLIDWORKS Sketches

New plane and sketches added

After creating the reference plane we can now draw our second profile. I’m keeping it simple with just a smaller circle (arc), but here you can do dissimilar profiles. With the second sketch drawn, we can then create our cone shape using the Lofted Bend under the Sheet Metal tab.

Tip: Preselecting sketches can be utilized before entering into Lofted Bend.

Lofted Bend Inserted for sheet metal cone

Lofted Bend Inserted

When you enter the Lofted Bend command there are many options, so to avoid overwhelm it’s best to start at the top and work our way down one-by-one. I start with Manufacturing Method and if it’s going to be bent or formed and I’m going to choose Formed. Because I took Formed, the options get reduced. Profiles can be selected now if you didn’t preselect the sketches. Type in your thickness and remember, an important part here is to choose if the profile is going inside or outside, as you may need to reverse the direction.

Terms: Formed in this occasion means rolled, I plan on having my part rolled on a roller machine.

Flat Pattern

Flat Pattern

I would then make a drawing, use the automatic flat pattern configuration, then add in a bounding box, and that’s it!

Learn more Sheet Metal Techniques

Take our SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal training course either live online or in Canadian city near you.

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James Swackhammer

James is a SOLIDWORKS Technical Support Application Expert based in the Javelin Oakville head office