Getting the Perfect SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Miter Flange

Article by James Swackhammer updated October 17, 2020

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Getting the perfect fitment with sheet metal could make you look like a king or queen among designers and friends with the welder/fitters. They shall dance and sing to the all Supreme of sheet metal miters…. Although SOLIDWORKS Miter (mitre) Flange is a command that doesn’t seem hard, there are some hidden challenges which I will demonstrate below.

SOLIDWORKS Miter Example

I have a simple flat sheet metal part that I want a miter flange on. Selecting the command and then selecting the face I want to start on comes to our first challenge.

SOLIDWORKS Miter flange

Require a Miter flange running on the blue edge, however a sketch is created on the perpendicular face

I created my sketch on the orange face and adding in my desired profile. It is fully defined with all the dimensions and relations I need.

 

As another example, if I want my flange to be on this face (the blue edge), I must start on this face (the orange edge).

As another example, if I want my flange to be on the blue face, I must start on the orange face.

Hopping back up to my sheet metal tab because miter flange is a command we can go directly into without leaving the sketch, we then select it.

Rebuild Error due to horizontal line

Miter Flange Rebuild Error due to horizontal line

When I select my edges and try to complete the command I get an error saying “Unable to make a miter flange”.  Why is that?

Horizontal line removed and preview is showing.

Horizontal line removed and preview is showing.

It turns out that SOLIDWORKS does not like a miter flange with a horizontal line coming off the edge. Editing that sketch and making that line 30 degrees and adding the miter flange we can now see a preview. When I teach I typically say, “If you see a preview when using your command, it should work”.

I want to move onto the flat pattern after fixing my sketch to what I want and complete my miter.

Flat Pattern View

Flat Pattern View

SOLIDWORKS looks for the easy way out with these particular bends. When editing the flat pattern we notice that Simplify Bends is turned on. This works great for basic boxes and straight cuts but not so great with rounded edges.

Round edges

Round edges

You can see the before and after above. Your welder and fitter will thank you for the more precise corners. The “s” shape is realistic after bending producing betting fitments.

More SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Tips

For more tips and trick related to Sheet Metal please check our SOLIDWORKS Flat Pattern configuration article and the SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Bounding Box article.

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James Swackhammer

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