March 29, 2018


Holding high relevance in the manufacturing industry, Sheet Metal is one of the fundamental forms used in metal working. Its significance is evident in the diligent manner in which sheet metal parts are designed using Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software, such as SolidWorks 3D CAD Design.

With the help of SolidWorks 3D CAD Design, you can not only design solid sheet metal parts but also convert 3D models into sheet metal models directly and put in your bend radius, thickness and k-factor. In this blog, we will discuss how you can use SolidWorks 3D Interconnect functionality with a range of non-SolidWorks files, including sheet metal parts.

First, prepare for the 3D Interconnect by adding bends using Convert To Sheet Metal Feature. Now, to begin, open the required file. Once open, you would require to establish the fact that it is a sheet metal part. Before doing that, it would be convenient to change the measurement settings to inches. Then, convert the part to sheet metal by selecting the command from the tool bar on the left-hand side.

You would need to collect the radius of the bend in order to create right bends according to the pre-defined geometry. As you receive the new version of the file, save it with the old file. All you need to do is place the new file with higher ‘dot version’ in the same folder as that of the original. The software will automatically see if there is a new version of the part in the folder and enable you to use it.

 You will receive an indicator featuring an option to update the file as shown in the above image. Select it and roll back to see the features in it as well as the visual geometry. Then, measure new material’s thickness which would be different than the previous, in most of the cases. Then, finally, override the thickness to the new measured value. Further up, allow other features rebuild by selecting them. Before you close off, clear all the residual bends and recollects. That will do the trick. 

To learn more about designing sheet metal parts using SolidWorks 3D CAD Design, we suggest you sign up for a SolidWorks Sheet Metal Training. 

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