Friday, 11 December 2015

Create Sheet Metal Swept Flanges "Hole" in a better Way

One of the best sheet metal enhancements in SOLIDWORKS 2016 is the ability to add Cut Features to a Swept Flange and have those features map correctly to the Flat Pattern. Although the Swept Flange tool is a wonderful part of the Sheet Metal toolset, I have had many users comment about how frustrated they were that they could add Cut and Hole Features to their Swept Flanges and see them in their formed views but the hole features were missing in their Flat Pattern when it was time to send the part out to the Punch Press or Laser Cutter!

SOLIDWORKS 2015 Sheet Metal Swept Flange Flat Pattern

Above is a Sheet Metal part created in SOLIDWORKS 2015, the part is made using a Swept Flange and two Cut features. You can see when the part is flattened the two Cut Features do not propagate to the Flat Pattern and disappear from the view, this would usually result in having to add the Cut Features to the Flat Pattern separately which results in a potential loss in accuracy and adding valuable time to the part design process.

SOLIDWORKS 2016 Sheet Metal Swept Flange Flat Pattern

In the SOLIDWORKS 2016 example above, you can see the same Swept Flange part but with both Cut Features being mapped correctly onto the Flat Pattern and not requiring any features to be added directly to the Flat Pattern. It is easy to see how anyone who uses the sheet metal Swept Flange often will take full advantage of this fantastic enhancement to make the creation of complex sheet metal parts quicker and easier than ever before.

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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Watch Out a New Tool in SOLIDWORKS 2016

To ensure greater accuracy for digital simulation or to produce a 3D printed prototype, it’s often necessary to model the physical threads on shafts and holes, among many other features.

To create a thread in previous versions of SOLIDWORKS, we had to manually create a profile and a helix for creating a swept cut. This process has now been automated with a new Thread tool in SOLIDWORKS 2016. The new Thread tool allow us to create helical threads on cylindrical faces using profile sketches. Now, this feature is very flexible, allowing us to specify the start thread location, an offset, end conditions, the type, size, diameter, pitch and rotation angle, and even choose options like right-hand or left-hand thread.

We can also create our own custom thread profiles like weldment profile. SOLIDWORKS allow us to store our custom thread profile as a library feature. The default location where these are saved can be modified at Tools > Options > System Options > File Locations. Select Thread Profiles from the Show Folders for pull-down menu.

Creating a cut Thread

Click Insert > Features > Thread

In the Thread Property Manager,
  1. Under Specification,we can select any type of thread profiles here its metric die.
  2. Set the Size to M6x1.0.
  3. Check Offset under Thread Location.
  4. Set the Offset Distance to 1.00mm and clicked the Reverse Direction button.
  5. Check Maintain Thread Length under End Condition. Note that when you do this the thread       profile updates from 10 to 11 millimeters in length.
  6. Click OK

Thread is now created and we are ready to move on with designing our part. This new Thread tool in SOLIDWORKS 2016 is a great time saver and we can quickly create all the accuracy and detail we need, while staying focused on design.

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