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

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

Follow Lynn on TwitterFollow Lynn on Twitter


Poll
Do you use any augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) technologies in your workflow?
Yes.
Not yet, but we are planning to implement it.
No, but we think these technologies could hold value for us.
No; these technologies do not hold value for us.
Submit Vote



Download Cadalyst Magazine Special Edition