cadalyst
AutoCAD

Bend It Like an Expert

30 Nov, 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)

 


More News and Resources from Cadalyst Partners

For Mold Designers! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the mold design professional. Sponsored by Siemens NX.  Visit the Equipped Mold Designer here!


For Architects! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the building design professional. Sponsored by HP.  Visit the Equipped Architect here!