SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Thickness

Reduce Costly Manufacturing Errors with a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Service

SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Service

Common Sheet Metal Issues When I visit clients, I am surprised that SOLIDWORKS users are not aware of the sheet metal bend tables included with the software and quite often I find there is a disconnect between design/engineering and manufacturing departments. Typically this means: Engineering/design may not be providing the right information to manufacturing. The as built part can often be different to the design drawing. Costs are incurred as the wrong material is ordered for inventory. Wasted time defining sheet metal characteristics, and sometimes use tooling that does not exist in store! Wasted time with rework, and purchasing unnecessary tooling and material. Using a generic K-factor of 0.5 (or similar value) to calculate sheet metal part flat patterns means that when working with thicker gauges, and multiple bend parts; the inaccuracy of using a generic value results in parts that are off by as much as a 1/4 inch!…

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How to start off with Pre-Made SOLIDWORKS Parts

Sheet Metal Part with Pre-made Features

The final chapter in my SOLIDWORKS Part Template Series is to start off with pre-made parts. If your company is one that has a set amount of jigs and fixtures, or creates similar parts all the time with some dimensional changes then pre-made SOLIDWORKS Parts is for you. One thing that could save time is to have different sets of templates per material type and the extra mile would be thickness, too. So for example, you can have a template dedicated for 0.250″ (1/4″) – Stainless Steel (ferritic) and another for 0.125″ (1/8″) – Plain Carbon Steel. If you often make similar parts, it could be in your best interest to start off with an example part. Once this is complete you can edit a few dimensions and a couple properties then you’re done. Look at that, a brand new part in minutes and if linked to the proper drawing…

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How to convert a SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal Thickness to a Gauge Value

A common practice in industry when working with SOLIDWORKS sheet metal is to show thickness as gauge value. For example, 20 gauge equals 0.0359 in. We will accomplish this using an equation, and IF statements to convert the values. Here is an example. This condition indicates that if the value is 0.0359, it is desired to display “20” as a result. Gauge_Number = IIF(“Thickness” LIKE 0.0359, 20, IIF(“Thickness” LIKE 0.0598, 16, IIF(“Thickness” LIKE 0.1345, 10, 1000))) Add extra IIF statements to the equation to show the desired gauge value. Create a custom property to use in your layout.

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