Thanks for the summary. I agree we could do with enhancements to the UI for working with flat patterns. As flat pattern improvements are usually a candidate for enhancement during most releases, I will come back to this group during the requirements phase to ensure we have captured your needs correctly.
Long post coming...
Also something to think about. MBD and using sheetmetal parts based on the model (JT) will not be easy. While talking to Nx12 betatesters and some MBD persons in plmworld in Indy, I think it would be best to think of a way to manage and utilize flat pattern info in a different way.
Flat patterns main usage is got get it out to a cutting machine. (To me and my company at least
To get flats exported to our vendors is then our job. MBD, to give out a JT model only containing a model view called flat_pattern does not give any value. Nor does giving out the NXparts. It does not give additional value if there is no mechanism to interrogate the flat pattern. And based on your process to do this in JT and NX native parts. With NXparts, different manufacturers could use their material tables and Tooling info to drive the flat pattern generation. Not to have it created by customers way in design phase which is 80% wrong by default.
This is the part where the browser would be handy. To be able to turn curves on/off based on certain features or characteristics like holes, cutouts, etc would make a lot of sense. Then to have the logic to override the layer settings from sheetmetal preferences and do the export based on real manufacturing needs. And to pick only the info what is most important or needed and get it right without laborious manual work in nesting software. Simple mapping between what is always needed. Customers preferences mapped to the manufacturers and a lot of non-value adding work avoided.
The browser would have other benefits in NX while designing the part. One would be to group certain geometry in the flat pattern based on the design. If there are cutouts or holes or other features in the model. it would be helpful to group them in the model and then when making the flat pattern this would transfer the grouping to the flat pattern. Manufacturing or other people would have it easier to have the ability to turn on or off a gorup of features instead of doing it one by one. Oh, thats right you can't So we need that browser...
Then what comes to exporting the flat pattern. If the browser could be used, the flat pattern preferences should include the possibility to assign certain groups to layers and different linetypes. Alltogether, it is not optimal to have only one set of linetypes in the preferences. Different manufacturing companies would probably appreciate having the option to have their own. Say I place the same order to two different companies. They both have different systems, machines and tooling. Perhaps a different nesting and CAM software. I see other ideas in addition to the browser here
This group is dedicated to the discussion of Sheet Metal in NX.