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Best Practice for converting 2D AutoCAD sheet metal parts into 3D SE models.

If you have designs done all in 2D AutoCAD and you want to transition to a 3D system like Solid Edge ST6, what is the users communities best practice?

The current options I see are:

1. You start with the existing flat patterns and then just bend them up

2. You bring in the 2D data and use it to develop contour flanges in Ordered mode

3. Bring in 2D and build the model using regions in Synchronous (not sure about this one)

4. Hybrid of Ordered and Synch

5. Other options


All these options have pros and cons. I would like to add a couple condition.

1. I would like to see the most robust model (easily modifies) as possible and;

2. I would like to be able to generate flat patterns for manufacturing.


There are a few things to consider. What are you bringing...

There are a few things to consider. What are you bringing the data in for? If you need to preserve the flat pattern exactly as it is, then start with that data and add bends to it. Modeling contour flanges off of sketches will almost certainly produce a slightly different flat pattern than the one you previously produced, when you take into account all the bend conditions and material variables that software uses to unfold the part. If you want a perfect model, then draw off the 2D profiles and let your flat pattern adjust to that.


I started with several thousand DXF flat patterns as legacy data. I bring them into an empty draft document (have the template set up by modifying the DXF open .ini, line #6 to point to my draft file...this allows double-click open of DXF's straight into my selected template) and then I use Create 3D in the Tools tab to transfer the DXF sections I want to a .psm template.

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: There are a few things to consider. What are you bringing...

I'm looking for best practices that have worked in the past for people.
It sounds like you did quite a bit of legacy data rebuild/import. I hope you don't mind if I ping you later.
Accepted by topic author RyanM
‎08-26-2015 04:32 AM

RyanM,   It depends on many things. I prefer to use Creat...



It depends on many things. I prefer to use Create 3D command from views. These views contain more data as dimensions and bend radiuses... Dimensions will be attached to model if you use synch mode. Of course you need for perfect data as natural factor to create a correct model.

Here is an example:


If you have flat pattern views than you can use Bend command. I suggest that you use synch mode for simple parts and mixed mode for complex parts.


Here are two videos:

- Synch model:


- Mixed mode:


Traditional mode has some nice options (Flatten bend) what is very useful for users.


It works well and I can say that the best in its class! Smiley Wink