Working with curved surfaces

Does anyone have links to any good tutorials or books concerning working with curved surfaces in Inventor? Let me describe my issue, and maybe someone here can help:

Imagine a 1/4" or 1/8" thick rectangular piece of flexible aluminum (think flashing aluminum), with holes cut out of it in places, and several raised surfaces, and even whole protruded objects. We want this currently “flat” object to be the surface of a cylinder, which we would accomplish in “real life” by bending it around so that the two ends of the rectangle touch, creating a cylinder (without top and bottom surfaces).

I have been trying to model this in Inventor, and have had no success. The measurements and sizes of the cut outs and raised surfaces are extremely important, so extruding into a cylinder object using a tangent work space isn’t really the best option.

Anyone have any suggestions for how I could accomplish this?

I don’t know if there is anything in any of the later Inventor models but I know I’ve done work with cylindrical devices one of three ways. First one is using a workplane tangent to the cylinder (what you don’t want to use). You can also utilize a workplane traveling through the center of the cylinder. Or you can start off with a square rod where each side is equivelant to the diamter of the cylinder. Then you create your holes and raised surfaces. Then you cut around the raised surfaces in order to create that cylindrical shape (usually easy with just holes kinda complicated with raised surfaces)

dont forget about the “extrude from” or “to” command. itll make it easy to extrude from a round object and not have the piece coming out to go through the cylindar in any way, just meet with it. Also, consider the sheet metal. If there isnt a way to bend in circular way in version 10, there should be in version 11 or 12, because i know they are trying to improve sheet metal assemblies

I’ve had difficulty using Inventors sheet metal functions to create a cylindrical face. I’m probably missing something, but I would wait a few versions before trying anything really complex with sheet metal. So far, Inventors sheet metal stuff hasn’t been the answer to anything.

-Andy A.

if you bend a sheetmetal piece a full 360º with the bend radius set equal to ((length of sheetmetal piece)/pi), the piece will be bent into a circle, creating a cylinder.
Don’t know if this helps, or if it’s what you’re looking for, but I’ve had some success with this method.