SheetMetal Workbench

From FreeCAD Documentation
(Redirected from Sandbox:Sheet Metal)
Jump to: navigation, search
Other languages:
English • ‎français • ‎italiano

Overview

SheetMetal SMLogo.svg Sheet Metal is an add-on workbench to design and unfold sheet metal parts. It is not part of the standard FreeCAD install.


SheetMetal Example.png
In the picture above: the sheet metal model built with the Sheet Metal add-on (rear); in front of it, the unfold solid; at the forefront, the unfold sketch with bending lines for export to DXF.

Warning: If the export in DXF is used to control machines (Lasercut for example), you have to modify the DXF to remove the lines showing the folds, that this machine will take for cutting lines

References

Installation

This workbench can be easily installed and updated from the Addon Manager available in FreeCAD 0.17 and above. For FreeCAD 0.16 users and other install methods, please refer to Installing_additional_contents.

Tools

A detailed description of the tools can be found on the author's blog.

  • SheetMetal Bend.svg Bend: extends a wall from a side face of the metal sheet. Properties can be edited in the Data tab:
    • DATAangle: Bend angle.
    • DATAextend1: Extends the wall on the left side.
    • DATAextend2: Extends the wall on the right side.
    • DATAgap1: Gap from the left side.
    • DATAgap2: Gap from the right side.
    • DATAinvert: Invert bend direction.
    • DATAlength: Length of the wall.
    • DATAmiterangle1: Bend miter angle on the left side.
    • DATAmiterangle2: Bend miter angle on the right side.
    • DATAradius: Bend radius.
    • DATArelief Type: Rectangle or Round. Enabled only when a gap value is set.
    • DATAreliefd: Relief depth. Enabled only when a gap value is set.
    • DATAreliefw: Relief width. Enabled only when a gap value is set.
    • DATAkfactor: K factor (also known as neutral factor) for the bend. Used to calculate bend allowance when unfolding.
    • DATAunfold: False (default) or True. If true, unfolds the bend.
  • SheetMetal Extrude.svg Extrude: extends a face along normal. Properties can be edited in the Data tab:
    • DATAgap1: Gap from the left side.
    • DATAgap2: Gap from the right side.
    • DATAlength: Length of the wall.
  • SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold: flattens folded sheet metal object and generates a solid and a sketch. The Unfold objects are not parametrically linked to the model; if edits are made to the model, the Unfold operation needs to be redone.

Basic Usage

The work flow is pretty simple: start with a base plate or sheet, select a thin face representing the thickness of the metal sheet, and click on the SheetMetal Bend.svg Bend tool to add a bend, or on the SheetMetal Extrude.svg Extrude tool to extend the face.

The workbench does not have a tool to create a base plate, so you need to start your model with one of those methods:

If you start with a PartDesign Body, you can mix Sheet Metal features with PartDesign features such as PartDesign Pocket.png pockets or PartDesign Hole.png holes.

To unfold a sheet metal part, select a planar face and click on the SheetMetal Unfold.svg Unfold icon.

Limitations

  • The workbench is affected by the topological naming issue that is inherent to FreeCAD. If an edit of a bend earlier in the history of the part renumbers the faces, then the following bends may be affected and switch faces. If the bend features do not break, you can double-click on it to get a dialog where you can select the proper face in the 3D view, and update the Bend.
  • The Unfold tool has some limitations, and will fail in certain complex situations. When it fails, try to select a different face.

Tutorials

Sheet Metal Tutorial by meme2704

The following tutorial is reproduced from the PDF tutorial mentioned in Links.

Presentation of the workbench

After downloading the extension and install, open it.

Sm1.png

1st operation

  • Get the base: use either the workbenches "part" or "draft", make 1 sketch that will contain all holes and any cuts, extrude this base to the thickness of the sheet.
  • Bear in mind that the edges will always be in addition as well as the folding radii.
Sm2.png

2nd operation

  • Open the Sheet_metal workbench.
  • Select 1 thickness of the edge (edge) of the base plate and click on the "bend" tool 90° default bend angle can be changed from 0 to 90°.
  • Edge height is 10mm by default, editable from 0.1 to xxxmm.
  • Bending radius is by default equal to thickness, editable from 0.1 to xxmm (never put 0).
  • Gap1, gap2 is the withdrawal of the folded edge from the corner of the base (0 accept).
  • Invert default: false folds to Z +, true to ZReliefd cuts the corner between the fold and the base (inactive if gap = 0).
  • Reliefw adds 1 slot between the crop and the edge (inactive if reliefd = 0).
Sm3.png

Repeat as many times as there are sides to bend.
Folding 1 return with use of "extend".

Sm4a.png

To add 1 back repeat the same operation by selecting the thickness of the concerned edge.
To reduce the space between the 2 edges, use "extends".
Select the thickness and specify the length to add.
Note that if the extension of the 1st edge is made before the fold of the return, it will not be taken into account, if 1 identical fold is added to the extension, it will appear correct but the unfolding will not be done.

Folding of 1 2nd edge:
Now we must separate the 2 edges otherwise they will merge and unfolding will be impossible.

  • 1st method: make 1 withdrawal of 1 edge.
    • Give 1 value slightly greater than gap1 (or gap2), at zero there is still fusion.
  • 2nd method make 1 cut at 45 ° see further, use this tool.
Sm5a.png

Unfolding

Choose 1 reference face (here the orange face) and click on the button in the toolbar.
We obtain the blue part of which it is enough to modify the values X, Y, or Z to see it in totality.

Sm6.png

Cut the flaps at 45°

After folding the flaps without having made a withdrawal, the shape thus appears.

Sm7a.png

To do it must split at 45 ° (or following the bisector flaps are unequal width).

  • Create 1 new skit related to the common part of the 2 flaps.
  • Create 1 linked stop by selecting the outer edge of the "hinge".
  • Draw 1 triangle whose top is constrained at the end, oriented 1 side at 45 °, give the small side 1 minimum width (0.1mm is enough), and make 1 pocket.

Be careful not to scratch the "hinge" where the nakedness of bound the tip of the triangle at the edge of the fold line.

Sm8a.png

Unfolding

Sm9.png

Piercing edges and flaps

Make these holes and cuts after folding and before unfolding.
Always take care not to "scratch" the fold lines.

Sm10.png

Make wired flaps

Make 1 fold on the edge of the side, at 45 ° of 0.1mm long, then 1 other reverse at 45 ° of the length of the contiguous flap, then extend the opposite side, it will pass over and they will not be merged.

Sm11.png

Special case of this same pierced edge

In this particular case, unfolding only works by choosing the yellow face as a reference.

Sm12.png

Special case hole straddling the folds

Previously it is said several times that it is not necessary to cut the folding lines.
How to do ?

Sm13.png
  • Make the base with its half-round hole and make the 2 half-sided and the 2 half-folds separately.
  • Then make 1 extension on 1 of the sides of the width of the opening minus 0.1mm, the 2 edges thus remain separated.
  • Then on this extension (in green) draw the contour of the cut and make 1 pocket
  • The result is the red piece above, and the unfolding works, stays the line that separated the 2 edges previously
Sm14.png

Links

External workbenches

FreeCAD workbenches are easy to program in Python, there are therefore many people developing additional workbenches outside of the FreeCAD main developers.

The external workbenches page has some information and tutorials on some of them, and the FreeCAD Addons project aims at gathering them and making them easily installable from within FreeCAD.

New workbenches are in development, stay tuned!