Solidworks Student - Flattening curved sheet metal?

HomeBuiltAirplanes.com

Help Support HomeBuiltAirplanes.com:

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,026
Location
Alaska
Are you trying to get the outline to send CAM software, like a DXF or something? If so right click on the face you want and scroll down to save as DWG/DXF
Yes that is exactly what I want to do.
Can I not use the Solidworks Cam?
I would like to unfold or flatten (not sure the differences yet?) all the pieces, and then lay them out nested to be cut... what is the work flow for this? Lots of learning still for me to do :) Most tutorials I have googled are either too specific or two generic.... or I am too impatient.... probably the later
 

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4,283
Location
Warren, VT USA
Yes that is exactly what I want to do.
Can I not use the Solidworks Cam?
I would like to unfold or flatten (not sure the differences yet?) all the pieces, and then lay them out nested to be cut... what is the work flow for this? Lots of learning still for me to do :) Most tutorials I have googled are either too specific or two generic.... or I am too impatient.... probably the later
Have done this to death on some UAV projects to get laser cut outlines. Look for the flatten command in your version of SW. If it is there you pick the surface or surfaces you wish to flatten, pick the starting edge, set resolution, and let it make the flat. If that flat is what you wanted what I do is I thicken it into a solid and then I configure that solid to be a single part. Then I install those parts in an assembly on one plane. Once you have that assembly layout you make a drawing without any title block. That drawing page can be saved as a DXF.

If you want a single outline you just right click on the surface of the flattened surface and pick save as DWG/DXF.

Fast plywood tab and slot UAVs can be done this way. Cut everything on the laser out of one assembly. Very tight workflow. Very easy. Was amazed how everything self jigged. Did a large scale cockpit mockup this way as well. Used the CNC router to cut out the flattened parts. Worked great. Self jigging plywood is so fast.

You can dump the parts into SolidCam. I use Fusion360 for all my tool paths for now. Will be trying SolidCAM soon.

My laser takes DXF files and has its own CAM package, super simple. CNC router I use Fusion360, amazing intuitive package (was HSMworks before Autodesk bought it). 3D printing I use Cura, a bit of a beast but works well once you figure it out.

Nothing but time will get you the design experience to build the actual parts so they can be made properly.
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,026
Location
Alaska
I configure that solid to be a single part. Then I install those parts in an assembly on one plane. Once you have that assembly layout you make a drawing without any title block. That drawing page can be saved as a DXF.
I think that will save me a bunch of learning time, thanks.

Currently trying to figure out how to make the rubrail peices follow the edge of the side panels.
I can make an extrusion follow the upper edge if the lofted panels, but i can't figure out how to make a sheet metal part folliw the surface of another lofted sheet metal part.

The tab and slot feature is amazing and easy, so I have all the panels and shelves self aligning that way.
I think I will just use a couple 1/4" dowels to pin the rubrails in place once I figure out how to make them the right shape and in place.
 

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4,283
Location
Warren, VT USA
It's a fine line between sheet metal and just 3D modeling. Sheet metal is a limited set of what you have available. You can also cut things into smaller parts if one big one won't behave. With sheet metal you have to start with something that can be the base flange. So make a very short straight extrude on one end and make that the base flange, unfold then cut it off at the end and get your DXF. Or get your DXF and shorten it with sketching tools. Lots of ways to trick the software. I think if you just use the flatten command to flatten the rail you can just get the DXF that way. Thin rails (rectangular) probably don't need a flat pattern anyway....

I am sure you can help me someday. I'm new to the Beechcraft certified world :)
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,026
Location
Alaska
The American bonanza society has a published gear inspection that I highly recommend in addition to the manual.

The gear is not designed for the abuse it gets and is a weak area.
 

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4,283
Location
Warren, VT USA
Got a ways into that already. Fortunately this one hasn't been abused but I need to check every adjustable part of the over center and springs.
 

Nicholette

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Messages
11
Location
UK
Maybe you can get to something like a boat shape in Solid Works if the complex curves are thought of as triangles. Here is jpg of my design for cockpit. This pic I took while I was considering the pre take off airflow pattern. If you turn it upside down you kinda have a boat shape. In this picture you are considering two solid cad complex shapes. 1 The windowed fore section 2 The abaft 'cabin section'. It is this section that most like your boat strake plate. The 'Planes' are added to coincide with your 'frame stations'. Basically all you need do is draw is the lines I have that look like kinda Zig-Zag lines. This breaks down a complex turning surface into triangles. I have constructed all of this so as to use standard aluminium sheets and 'unfolded them so they fit on those sheets, The fore section unfolds as a kind of U shape and the abaft sections as a looking more rectangular the complex shape being formed by the amount of fold along the zig zag lines. I have not got Solid Works running at the moment, if I did I could show the flat version. All my cabin opening are cut before folding, really easy as they are all round and all done while still a flat sheet. Haa I had ideas that this would go reaaaaaaally high too so it needed to be pressurised.

Probably a good way to familiarise yourself with how useful triangles are in sheet metalwork it to draw a square to round transformation item then unfold it, (you always choose the shortest line for your joint line). A plus here is that triangles are very strong. This will give you a good understanding of what Solid works is capable of

This is really a very very old problem and the term 'lofting used in Solid Works comes from the old Shipbuilding term. - Mould Loft where the vessels lines were drawn full size on the floor in chalk, then the transfer to the metal with the intermediary of light wooden frames, (scantling frames), shaped to the curves obtained from the moulding loft floor, then carried to the 'forming heavy press shop', where the real thick heavy metal plates were 'formed' to the shape of the scantling frames which matched their position on the twisting turning complex curve of the hull. Were it that you were just interested in your boat then probably a good cheap (free) starting point would be - FREE!ship - Browse Files at SourceForge.net. Why a loft? Because it is a very very large open space where these thing could be laid out full size

I hope this helps you to achieveNicholette_MyHomebuit_Cockpit_V23A.jpg the desired result © Nicholette Ruenour 2014-2020
 
Last edited:

vondeliusc

Active Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
43
Location
Kalispell, MT, USA
Narfi (no name)
SW sheet metal is expected to be used for linear folds.
Basic criteria is that the component must be of constant thickness and straight line bends, and that bends
are of a constant radius.
So unless you get fancy, think box; think about a press brake with a straight die.
SolidWorks assumes you are working with a flat (constant thickness) hunk of metal and a press with a straight die.
So if the boat base and boat sides were separate, you could bend them with multiple constant radii to approximate
the sort of 'parabolic' shape, but since the sides are not constant radius, nor the bottom, you cannot use sheet metal function.
However, you can draw each component as a separate body (don't merge) and 'flatten' a compound/multi-radius object to create an approximate 'flat-lay' for use in a plasma cutter (I do) or a paper template (glued onto metal for bandsaw).
You can create 'sheet metal' either by 'additive' bottom-up creation, or top-down from a 'properly' formatted solid model
(constant thickness including bend radii and straight bends).
Boat flat views.JPG
-Christian
 
Last edited:

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,026
Location
Alaska
So I got the model done.
Saved everything as separate parts and imported them into an assembly and nested into a 48x48 section on the same plane.

Trying to figure out Solidworks cam.

I successfully went through the process with just a test piece, the hull bottom is the largest so easy to test/play with.

The cam wanted to machine out everything except the panel instead of just cutting around it. I found that part of the process and deleted it and successfully saved what I believe is functional machine code.

I want connecting tabs to keep the parts from moving as they are cut out. I'm not finding how to do that.

The materials list doesn't have any wood, just metals and acrylics. I assume (but don't know as I'm learning) that speeds etc... are derived from the material used?

Some details...
The machine is using Mach3.
I have successfully used VCarve Desktop to create machine code for placards and simple small shapes to cut out on the machine.
That is the extent of my knowledge and experience so far.

TLDR:
How do I create the tooling tabs on parts in Solidworks Cam 2019?

How do I know the speeds etc.... are appropriate for plywood?
 

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4,283
Location
Warren, VT USA
You're farther than me. Haven't turned on SWCAM yet. In most CAM packages the direction you choose on each 2D profile means which side of the line you are on. You want whatever the slot cutting or profile cutting canned sub routine is instead of pocket or clearing a pocket if that makes sense. Climb milling is different than normal milling. This is which direction the cutter is turning and which side of the profile.

I use a .250 side cutter high angle 2 flute for plywood (upcut) and 75 in/min. I used .25 deep passes last time and that worked well. Tabs will be part of the outline or profile milling menu pick.
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,026
Location
Alaska
Well laminated the shelves yesterday and glued it all together today, just need to glue the transom top, breast hook and rubrails on, it all fit well together but the cheap home depot plywood doesn't bend well and the face plies are paper thin and rip off easily.
I'm not a wood worker and have been teaching myself boat building last couple of years so only have experience with marine grade okume. This was a new learning curve for me. Broke one panel, but I cut 3 full sets so had spares....

20200529_215731.jpg
 

Jay Kempf

Curmudgeon in Training (CIT)
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
4,283
Location
Warren, VT USA
Nice! A little scale boat building project in the flesh. Really nice job running the gauntlet through the CAD/CAM workflow in short order.
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,026
Location
Alaska
Thanks, its been a fun learning experience and gives me some confidence going forward.

Here is what is beside the bench this project is on,

20190725_211254.jpg20190725_001715.jpg

Bateau FS17
17ft long 7ft wide
 

narfi

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,026
Location
Alaska
Ok here we go beginning to end. Wife is happy with the finished product and I learned some things along the way.

20200608_171848.jpg20200608_171920.jpg20200608_171945.jpg20200608_172023.jpg20200608_172044.jpg20200608_172126.jpg20200608_172159.jpg20200608_182432.jpg
 
Top