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Within SolidWorks there is a tool tab called ‘Sheet Metal’ that allows you to design from scratch or convert a 3D part to sheet metal and flatten your design for manufacturing. However this does not mean that you are limited to using this tool for metal.
Sheet Metal Tab

Some of our customers use Sheet Metal to create a standard library of their board types, this allows them to save time and use SolidWorks to create their parts and assemblies quicker as they can simply specify a cut of the board and it will generate thickness and size for them. This will produce a cut list.

Cut Lists

When you use sheet metal SolidWorks will automatically generate you a cut list of the material within the file. This is useful for materials such as wood, card and plastic panelling. You can use this list to manufacture the parts needed for your model or assembly. The cut list will provide you with the lengths and widths of the material needed.
This list will simplify your features within SolidWorks to give you an easy job of manufacturing without the use of calculating bending moments or length of bent materials.

Costing

Not only can you create cut lists from within Sheet metal, in SolidWorks Professional and SolidWorks Premium you can also use it to generate a cost list. If you tell SolidWorks the price of material by weight or size it can generate a list of how much those cuts and parts will cost to manufacture.

Flatten a Part

Sheet metal allows you to flatten a part. This makes it good for creating a net of the part/product. This could be used to make packaging for your product. You could create the packaging as a constructed model and then use SolidWorks Sheet Metal to flatten and make a flat pack, indicating where to fold or cut.
This is useful for designing and testing before having the need to make the packaging. You can also use this for rendering conceptual designs.

Sheet metal flatten feature

What’s Next?

For more in formation on sheet metal, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. If you would like to start using sheet metal and require the knowledge, we offer sheet metal training courses.

To see when our next available course is, check our online training schedule.

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