Written by: Shaun Johnson, Application Engineer
New in SOLIDWORKS 2019 is the ability to tie sheet metal bend parameters to specific materials in the SOLIDWORKS Materials Database. This feature makes it easier to explore different avenues in your sheet metal designs while maintaining accurate flat patterns.
To get started, you’ll need to access the Materials Database. You can do this by right-clicking on the material in a part model and selecting “Edit Material”. This will bring up the SOLIDWORKS Material Database. Keep in mind that you will not be able to modify, in any way, materials which are part of the standard materials libraries that are installed with SOLIDWORKS. You will need to create a copy of each material that you would like to adjust and place it in the ”Custom Materials” folder.
There is now a ”Sheet Metal” tab for each material in the database. This is where the desired parameters for controlling sheet metal bends for each material are set.
SOLIDWORKS comes pre-loaded with various charts for use with each of the control types (Gauge Table, Bend Table, Bend Calculation Table). Alternatively, users can browse to select tables of their own creation to control the sheet metal parameters.
Lastly, users may manually specify parameters based on material thickness. Thickness ranges must be continuous – there cannot be a gap in the range. For example, you cannot define a range from 0 to 3 and define the next range from 4 to 6 because the range between 3 and 4 is not covered. Once the desired values are set, click on the ‘Apply’ button to save your changes and apply the material to your part.