Solid Edge

Control Sheet Metal Designs with Material Properties

7 May, 2011 By: Russell Brook

On the Edge Solid Edge Tutorial: Adjusting parameters like bend radius and relief depth gives you ultimate control over your designs.

Editor's Note: This tutorial courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.

Solid Edge provides a dedicated sheet metal application to take the legwork out of sheet metal design. Material thickness drives bend size, bend relief, and inside and outside dimensions, and it also ensures accurate blank sizes. Setting these parameters means you don't have to worry about these design details as you work, but knowing what they do and how to access them gives you ultimate control of sheet metal designs.

Sheet metal material properties can be set up before you design, or changed at any time during your design. To access them, start a new sheet metal file by navigating to File > New  and choosing the ISO Sheet Metal template. Select the Applications button, choose Properties, and select the Material table.

On the Material tab, choose a predefined material from the Material pull-down list. You can also override material properties if a perfect match cannot be found, or if you want to add a custom material, but most commonly used materials are listed.

The face style is set by the material you choose, but you can also override the face and fill style and rendering options from the Settings pull-down menu on the Material tab. Now move to the Gage tab to choose the material thickness using the "Sheet metal gage" pull-down, or enter your own values for material thickness, bend radius, relief depth, and width.

Changing the "neutral factor" (sometimes called K-factor) in the bend equation ensures unfolded blank sizes are accurate. Generally 0.5 works for mild steel, 0.6 is good for stainless steel, and 0.3 is used for aluminum. Of course, this is all dependent on your manufacturing tooling, but you can fine-tune your settings here after inspecting test pieces from the factory. Changing the neutral factor value decimal is usually sufficient and accurate for most cases, but you can enter a custom formula if you prefer.

To learn more tricks like these, visit or read more Cadalyst Solid Edge tutorials. Until next time, good luck using Solid Edge.

About the Author: Russell Brook

Russell Brook

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