SolidWorks Sheet Metal 2013 Tips for FRC Teams

More and more I see FRC teams using sheet metal or wondering about using sheet metal. If you have a part that is of constant thinkness, you can consider using sheet metal. I personally used sheet metal for laboratory robot design. It’s strong, light, easy to fabricate and when time is an issue – sheet metal is a great option.
So here are Marie’s tips - some may have been proposed by others but I thought I would put them together.

  1. SolidWorks Sheet Metal is available to all teams. Right-click in the Command Manager in SolidWorks. Click Sheet Metal to get all the sheet metal tools.
  2. Usually you design in 3D and then create the flat pattern in 2D. I like to flatten after every feature I create, just to be sure the part will flatten. I recommend if you are new to sheet metal, go through the sheet metal SolidWorks Tutorial under Help>SolidWorks Tutorials.
  3. If you have a sheet metal mentor or sponsor, ask “what is your bend radius” or “what is your preset tooling” Don’t enter in a bend radius of .5 (theoretical ) or 0 (what you think you want), these don’t exist – really. Don’t use a hole diameter, that isn’t a standard for your sponsor or sheet metal house that you work with. This will save time.
  4. New at SolidWorks 2013 is the ability to export the flat pattern right to DXF for manufacturing and to create multi body sheet metal parts.
  5. How much will it cost and when can I have it? Try Solid Quote from Rapid Sheet Metal Solid Quote is a free Add In that will give you an idea on how much things cost and how long it will take. The app works with SolidWorks and PTC Creo.
  6. Simple Stress. Stay away from holes close to edges. Ask your sheet metal manufacture for rules of thumb based on material, thickness and your design. A little conversation up front, saves design time and mistakes.
  7.     Once, I went to a senior citizen center and talked to a "tin knocker" before I picked up a mouse for a new project.  You can learn alot from an experienced tradesman.  Marie

I know this post is unrelated but I need help do you know if we can us color sensor?

Please Help I am so lost.

I dont understand the question

my team want to know if we can us a color sensor on the robot?

I would search for “sensors” on CD an then ask in the sensors or NI forum. Someone can propabably help you there. Not my area. Marie

Your question has nothing to do with Solidworks or sheet metal.

Post it in the appropriate forum (try and you’ll get better results.

I have been going through the sheet metal tutorial, and on the miter flange step, it refuses to propagate along the adjacent edge. Any tips?

When you select the inside edge for the Miter flange, be certain to pick the edge towards the top left vertex. You want a plane, Plane 1, to be created ll with Top plane, but through to top most point. My guess is your plane is in the middle, towards the bottom inside face. The “propogation” for a Mitre flange only goes in one direction - not both. Marie