SheetMetal Examples

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Introduction

The Sheetmetal workbench icon.svg SheetMetal workbench (an external workbench available through the Addon Manager) has grown quite powerful and merits to be appropriately documented.

To avoid the overcrowding of the tool pages with examples this page was added to collect parts showing and explaining special SheetMetal features.

Planned phases to generate content:

  1. Collecting pictures
  2. Adding workflow descriptions
  3. Adding more detailed tutorials

Hinge

SheetMetal Example-01.png

SheetMetal Example-01a.png SheetMetal Example-01b.png SheetMetal Example-01c.png SheetMetal Example-01d.png

Workflow Hinge: SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall, PartDesign Pocket.svg PartDesign Pocket, PartDesign Hole.svg PartDesign Hole, SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold.

Hinge step by step

  1. Create a profile (a line and a tangent arc), preferably using the Workbench Sketcher.svg Sketcher Workbench.
  2. Activate the SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall command to create a BaseBend object.
  3. Edit the BaseBend object's parameters:
    • Set DataMid Plane to trueto let the profile extend symmetrically to both sides of the sketch plane.
    • Set Dataradius and Datathickness to values of your choice.
  4. Create a cut-out contour with the Workbench Sketcher.svg Sketcher Workbench.
  5. Use the PartDesign Pocket.svg PartDesign Pocket command to cut off one half of the Round bit.
  6. Create a hole pattern with the Workbench Sketcher.svg Sketcher Workbench.
  7. Use the PartDesign Hole.svg PartDesign Hole command. Avoid the countersink and counterbore options to keep the body unfoldable.
  8. Activate the SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold command to get an Unfold object.
  9. Done!

Paper clip

SheetMetal Example-02.png

SheetMetal Example-02a.png SheetMetal Example-02b.png SheetMetal Example-02c.png SheetMetal Example-02d.png

Workflow Paper Clip: SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall, SheetMetal SketchOnSheet.svg Sketch on Sheet, clone, flip and fuse, SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold.

Paper clip step by step

  1. Create a profile, preferably using the Workbench Sketcher.svg Sketcher Workbench on the XZ plane.
    Profile sketch
  2. Activate the SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall command to create a BaseBend object.
  3. Edit the BaseBend object's parameters in the properties panel:
    BaseBend object and highlighted sketch
    • Set DataMid Plane to trueto let the profile extend symmetrically to both sides of the sketch plane.
    • Set Datalength to 32 mm.
    • Set Dataradius to 2 mm.
    • Set Datathickness to 0.3 mm.
  4. Select the face between the round sections and activate the Workbench Sketcher.svg Sketcher Workbench.
    Face to support the sketch
  5. To hide the curled part use the Sketcher ViewSection.svg Sketcher View section command.
  6. Create the cut-out contour.
    Cut-out contour Cut-out contour slightly touching the selected face
  7. Finish the sketch using the Sketcher LeaveSketch.svg Sketcher Leave sketch command.
  8. Select the face again and add the Cut-out sketch to the selection.
    Face and sketch selected
  9. Use the SheetMetal SketchOnSheet.svg Sketch on Sheet command to cut around the curled bit.
    Finished first half
  10. One side is finished. We now need to find a way to mirror the body.

Potential mirror options:

  • The PartDesign Mirrored.svg PartDesign Mirrored command fails because it cannot handle SheetMetal features for some reason. So that does not work.
  • The Part Mirror.svg Part Mirror command creates a mirrored part, but this is no longer unfoldable. So that does not work either.
  • One way that can work is to use a clone. This still can't be mirrored, but it can use axial symmetry (turn it 180°).
  • Another way that works is to use a link object.

Mirror using a clone:

  1. Select the body from the tree view.
  2. Use the PartDesign Clone.svg PartDesign Clone command. It adds a new body containing a clone object.
    To apply a 180° turn set the DataAngle under the Placement property of either the body or the clone to 180°. (Z axis is default and should be fine if you started on the XZ plane as described).
    Cloned half Button right.svg Flipped cloned half
  3. With the body still active, use the PartDesign Boolean.svg PartDesign Boolean operation command to add the body of the clone and fuse both halves.
    Fused halves
  4. Activate the SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold command to get an Unfold object.
    Clip and Unfold object Unfold object
  5. Done!

Mirror using a link object:

  1. Select the body from the tree view.
  2. Use the Std LinkMake.svg Make link command. This adds a new link object.
  3. Duplicate the link object by setting the property DataElement Count to 2.
  4. To apply a 180° turn set the DataAngle under the Placement property of either of the sub-linked objects to 180°. (Z axis is default and should be fine if you started on the XZ plane as described).
  5. Select both sub-linked objects in the tree view.
  6. Activate the Part Fuse.svg Part Fuse command to fuse both halves.
    Fused halves
  7. Activate the SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold command to get an Unfold object.
    Clip and Unfold object Unfold object
  8. Done!

Omega clamp

SheetMetal Example-03.png

SheetMetal Example-03a.png SheetMetal Example-03b.png SheetMetal Example-03.png SheetMetal Example-03c.png

Workflow Omega Clip: SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall, PartDesign Hole.svg PartDesign Hole, PartDesign Fillet.svg PartDesign Fillet, SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold.

Hex bowl

SheetMetal Example-04.png

SheetMetal Example-04a.png SheetMetal Example-04b.png SheetMetal Example-04.png SheetMetal Example-04c.png

Workflow Hex Bowl: SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall, SheetMetal AddWall.svg Make Wall, 6x SheetMetal AddCornerRelief.svg Add Corner Relief, SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold.

SheetMetal Example-04d.png

When a Corner Relief is added (right side) it can be necessary to adjust the value of the Size property.

Pen clip

SheetMetal Example-05.png

SheetMetal Example-05a.png SheetMetal Example-05b.png SheetMetal Example-05c.png SheetMetal Example-05d.png SheetMetal Example-05.png SheetMetal Example-05e.png

Workflow Pen Clip: SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall, PartDesign Pocket.svg PartDesign Pocket, 3x SheetMetal AddWall.svg Make Wall, SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold.

Extend face example

SheetMetal Example-06.png

SheetMetal Example-06a.png SheetMetal Example-06b.png SheetMetal Example-06c.png SheetMetal Example-06.png SheetMetal Example-06d.png

Workflow Extend Face Example: SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall, SheetMetal AddWall.svg Make Wall, SheetMetal Extrude.svg Extend Face, SheetMetal Extrude.svg Extend Face, SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold.

For the second use of Extend Face a Sketch with two contours is used for shape of the extension(s); and with the value of "use subtraction" set to true it provides the shape for the cut-outs, as well

USB shield contact

SheetMetal Example-07.png

SheetMetal Example-07a.png SheetMetal Example-07b.png SheetMetal Example-07c.png SheetMetal Example-07d.png SheetMetal Example-07.png SheetMetal Example-07e.png

Workflow USB shield contact: SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall, SheetMetal Extrude.svg Extend Face, PartDesign Pocket.svg PartDesign Pocket, SheetMetal Extrude.svg Extend Face, SheetMetal AddWall.svg Make Wall, SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold.

(The pull relief is just an artistic expression of what could be hidden inside a real plug)

SheetMetal properties

This section tries to explain the properties of each SheetMetal object with simple images, where applicable.

BaseBend object SheetMetal AddBase.svg

SheetMetal Example-08a.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-08b.png

Selected sketch + SheetMetal AddBase.svg Make Base Wall → BaseBend object with default settings


SheetMetal Example-08b.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-08c.png

Edit Datalength: Default length → Reduced length


SheetMetal Example-08d.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-08h.png

Switch DataMid Plane from false to true: Extrusion in one direction → Symmetric extrusion


SheetMetal Example-08d.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-08e.png

Switch DataReverse from false to true: Default direction → Inverted direction


SheetMetal Example-08e.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-08f.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-08g.png

Select DataBend Side: Outside (default) → Inside Middle


SheetMetal Example-08e.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-08i.png

Edit Dataradius: Default radius → Enlarged radius.
This property is the inner radius of the bends created at the vertices where two edges in the sketch have a non-tangential transition.


SheetMetal Example-08e.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-08j.png

Edit Datathickness: Default Thickness → Enlarged thickness

Bend object SheetMetal AddWall.svg

A Bend object consists of sets of one cylindrical bend and one planar strip each. Each pair extends from a selected edge of a blank.

SheetMetal Example-09a.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09b.png

Selected edges + SheetMetal AddWall.svg Make Wall → Bend objects with default settings
(Two Bend objects in two separate bodies.)


Edit Dataradius to vary the inner radius of all bends supplied by a Bend object. (See BaseBend object above)

Edit Datalength to vary the length of all planar strips extending from the bends of a Bend object.

Don't confuse the Datalength with a flange length which is the sum of this length, radius, and thickness (90° only).


SheetMetal Example-09b.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09c.png

Switch Datainvert from false to true:Default flanges (Bend objects) → Inverted flanges


SheetMetal Example-09c.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09d.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09e.png

Edit Dataangle:Default angle (90°) → Enlarged angle → Decreased angle


We don't have to care about trimming the edges, because Auto Miter is activated by default.
If deactivated, the result would look like this:

SheetMetal Example-09m.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09f.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09g.png

Switch DataAuto Miter from true to false: Default angle (90°) → Enlarged angle → Decreased angle
(Auto Miter has no effect on single flanges)


To manually miter a flange edge miterangle1 and miterangle2 are used:

SheetMetal Example-09m.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09n.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09o.png

Edit Datamiterangle1 and Datamiterangle2: No miter (default) → Differently mitered edges, positive angle → Symmetrically mitered edges, negative angles

Mitering only effects the planar strips, not the bends.

(It takes the whole edge into account and so cannot be used to chamfer flange edges)


To display the different choices of Bend Type we introduce an auxiliary cuboid that extrudes from the same outline as the blank and has the same height as the Bend object (its flange length).

SheetMetal Example-09h.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09i.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09j.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09k.png

Select DataBend Type: Material Outside (default) → Material InsideThickness OutsideOffset

  • Outside: The bend starts at the selected edge (The whole Bend object lies outside the cuboid).
  • Inside: The outer side of the bend ends on the cuboid surface (The whole Bend object lies inside the cuboid).
  • Thickness Outside: The inner side of the bend ends on the cuboid surface (only the planar strip is protruding from the cuboid surface).
  • Offset: According to the value of Dataoffset the bend is moved in outward direction from its default position.
An extension is inserted for positive values (high-lighted strip).
Negative values are allowed to move the bend inwards.


If we don't want to use the whole length of an edge we can use gap1 and gap2.

SheetMetal Example-09c.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09l.png

Edit Datagap1 and Datagap2: Default flanges → Flanges with different values for gap1 and gap2

If the length of a gap reaches or extends the value of Datamin Relief Gap, a relief will be added to the gap.
Reliefs are controlled by Datarelief Type, Datareliefd (relief depth), and Datareliefw (relief width) which are enabled only when a gap value is set.

SheetMetal Example-09p.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09q.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09r.png

Edit Datareliefd and Datareliefw: Default values → Relief depth enlarged → Relief depth and width enlarged

SheetMetal Example-09r.png Button right.svg SheetMetal Example-09s.png

Switch Datarelief Type from Rectangle to Round: Default rectangular relief → Round relief

The round option will only be applied, if the relief depth is larger than the relief width.

Switch DataUse Relief Factor from false (default) to true to set the values of Datareliefd and Datareliefw automatically. Both are set to the object's (inherited) thickness multiplied by the value of DataRelief Factor.

In this case the round option is useless, since the relief depth is as large as the relief width. (See above)


A new property DataLength Spec introduced in version 1.0 enables us to choose how to measure the length of the Bend object:

SheetMetal Example-09t.png

Side view of four 120° flanges with default length (10 mm) and different DataLength Spec values:
Leg (default), Outer Sharp, Inner Sharp, Tangential


With the Tangential option selected the property Datalength is the equivalent of the flange length.

Outer Sharp and Tangential are identical for 90° angles.