A sheet metal part starts out as a flat piece of metal with a consistent thickness. For manufacturing purposes, details like bend radii and relief sizes are usually the same throughout the part.
You enter the values for these details, and then the software applies them as you design. For example, when you create a flange the bend is added automatically. It is necessary to convert the folded model to a flat pattern for manufacturing purposes. Then you can switch between the folded view of the model and the flattened view by double-clicking the Folded Model or Flat Pattern browser node. The mass and volume for a sheet metal part are most accurately obtained from the flat pattern. The moment of inertia must be calculated from the final folded shape.
You can use top down design methods to create multiple sheet metal bodies in a single part file. The Create Flat Pattern command is not available for multi-body parts. You must use the Make Components or Make Part commands to create derived parts that can be flattened. You can add features to the flat pattern for clean-up purposes.
These operations are typically performed to support shop-specific manufacturing practices. Features added to the flat pattern using the commands on the Flat Pattern tab do not display when you view the model in the folded state. Flat patterns rich with manufacturing information can be created and documented on drawings containing tables of holes, punches, and bends.
You can export flat patterns to industry standard formats for CNC manufacturing. When you use sheet metal parts in assembly models not available in Inventor LT , sheet metal fasteners are available through the Bolted Connection Component Generator, or through Content Center. Create a sheet metal part using the sheet metal template. The template uses your settings for material thickness, bend radius, and corner relief. You use sketch commands to create a profile for a base face or an initial contour flange.
Then you exit the sketch and create your sheet metal feature, and add any additional sheet metal features required to complete your part. Create a regular part with a uniform thickness, and then convert it to a sheet metal part. Specifying a part as sheet metal displays the Sheet Metal tab, and adds sheet metal-specific parameters to the parameters list. Conversely, you can convert sheet metal part to a standard part. Doing so closes the sheet metal tab, and restores the standard part modeling commands and environment.
Conversion of a sheet metal part to a standard part automatically deletes the sheet metal flat pattern. Any time you delete a flat pattern in a sheet metal part, you also delete all flat pattern views in associated drawings. When using this technique, ensure that the modeled sheet thickness agrees with the material thickness parameter setting. After converting a part to sheet metal, we recommend that you replace any dimension and parameter values that control the sheet metal thickness with the Thickness parameter.
For example, in an extruded feature use Thickness as the extrusion value with the Distance extent method. The Thickness parameter updates the part thickness when you change the Sheet Metal Rule, or when you override the Thickness manually in the Sheet Metal Defaults dialog box. To create a sheet metal part to fit a specific set of conditions, construct a series of surfaces, stitch them together later, and then thicken them.
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