It is very common in the sheet metal industry to share or receive files from other CAD platforms. Therefore, it is sometimes necessary to recreate the part in order to get everything that we need out of it. SOLIDWORKS has great tools to convert imported bodies allowing us to work with imported files as we would with a native SOLIDWORKS file.
One common example is when you need to obtain a pattern from an imported .STEP or .IGES sheet metal part file.
Steps required to Flatten a Dumb Solid
Here are a few simple steps to take in order to flatten your imported part:
- In the SOLIDWORKS open dialog set the file filter to the required file type, in this example it is a STEP file (*.step / *.stp)
- Then select Options from the window before opening the file
- Select the Perform full entity check and repair errors, and Automatically run Import Diagnostics (healing), click OK then open the imported file.
- Say yes to Do you wish to run Import Diagnostics on this part?
- Then select attempt to heal all from the import diagnostics PropertyManager, then Ok.
- When asked, do you want to proceed with feature recognition say NO (you could say yes, but for this particular instance we want to convert our .step file to a sheet metal part so that we can have the flattening capabilities, and it will be simpler to do so with just a simple imported body).
- Under your Sheet Metal toolbar, select the Convert to Sheet Metal tool
- For the Sheet metal gauge, I will select the gauge table, and select Sample table steel table from the pull down menu. You could always select your own custom tables. Set it to your desired gauge.
- Under Sheet Metal Parameters, you will need to select a fixed entity, that is the face from which all the bends are from.
- Under Bend edges, you could select individual bends or click on the Collect all bends button.
- When done, click on the green checkmark/Ok to accept. This has created 3 new features in your feature Design Tree:
- A Sheet Metal Folder, which contains your sheet metal parameters
- A Convert Solid Folder, which contains the bends used for this part
- A Flat Pattern feature that you can unsuppress to view your Flat pattern at any time
You now have a sheet metal part with sheet metal parameters that you can flatten!
Learn more about Sheet Metal
Take a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal training course either online or in a classroom near you.
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