AutoCAD

Bend It Like an Expert

1 Dec, 2003 By: Andy Wendt

How to create sheet-metal flat patterns in AutoCAD.


Few CAD users seem to know how to create a sheet-metal flat pattern with proper bend allowance. Except for those that use 3D CAD software that automatically creates sheet-metal flat patterns, most companies have their engineering departments create a dimensioned drawing of formed sheet-metal parts and leave the flat-pattern calculations to the shop.

The manufacturing trend for sheet-metal parts, especially for prototypes and small production runs, is to use computer-controlled laser or water-jet cutting machines. These precision machines cut with outstanding accuracy, and they can import CAD geometry for a cutting pattern.

I formulated a method to produce accurate sheet-metal flat patterns using AutoCAD to perform the calculations while constructing geometry. This method is ideal for small production runs of accurately cut and formed parts without a custom-made die. However, it works for any sheet-metal flat pattern, even if total precision isn't needed.

Download the full article (PDF, 4 MB, December 2003)

 


AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a different AutoCAD feature in every edition of her popular "Circles and Lines" tutorial series. For even more AutoCAD how-to, check out Lynn's quick tips in the Cadalyst Video Gallery. Subscribe to Cadalyst's free Tips & Tools Weekly e-newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!
Follow Lynn on Twitter Follow Lynn on Twitter


Poll
Which of the following do you share CAD files with most often?
Coworkers in your department
Other departments or remote offices within your company
Vendors, contractors, or partners outside your company
Clients or nontechnical stakeholders
No one
Submit Vote