At my current workplace we use a lot of stainless steel wire mesh. A lot of the time, these mesh screens are bent to a shape. I am wondering if there is a way to bend this sort of thing in solid edge. The current way I have been doing it is with swept extrusions, and a series of patterns wherever possible, but on some of the more complicated parts, this takes way too much time, and makes it hard to revise the part without it breaking. What I want to do, is bend the part in a way similar to what you would do with a piece of sheet metal.
I do know that I could put a picture of the mesh on a flat sheet, and bend the sheet to the proper dimensions, but this is not what I am trying to do. I have tried to convert the mesh part to sheet metal and bend it, but as you might expect, solid edge has difficulty determining the thickness of the part and will not allow my to convert it. I have not found a way to properly bend a part like this in solid edge.
I have done similar stuff in Autodesk Inventor with the bend command in the regular part environment. Does SE have a command that is similar? What is the standard or proper way to do something like this? Is it even possible without doing a swept extrusion? Any other suggestions appreciated.
The pictures I have included show an example of the mesh I am taking about, and something similar to what I am aiming to accomplish. The bent part was made with swept extrusions.
Thanks in advance!
- Alex S
Hi there @Alex_Schneider,
Have you tried/considered using a pattern of cutouts, in a sheetmetal part, to emulate the mesh? It does have a BIG negative impact on file size & therefore performance though....hence why most people use a texture on a PSM. If it's a must have though, then just be prepared for it, especially the with dense feature patterns.
Design Manager Streetscape Ltd
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Depend on how the mesh is created. If it's created by cutting sheet metal, yes.
If it's created by assemblying round extrusions, the extrusions would need the bend radius built into them.
Attached is a piece of bent expanded metal that I use. It's very CPU heavy for what it is. but it's the only way to get line work into PDF's without shading.
I tried to make an attempt by modeling an over-simplified version of a mesh-like object in Sync but the bending using rotation with Steering Wheel succeeds up to a certain angle.
Perhaps I need to get some design intent options fine-tuned.
Yes, and I agree, that Bend command in Inventor works almost like a real-world thing.
I have considered this as an option. The main issue with this one is that all of the mesh I am using is round wire, so to emulate the 'round' of the wire I would have to add a round to each of the corners after completing the cutout, or when I am done with the bend. Either way that is a ton of button clicks, and added strain on the computing.
I would probably be fine with using a texture on a PSM if it allow me to make the center of the mesh transparent. I have to include a drawing of the assembly, with an exploded view of the assembly that often includes these screens. So then the screen would then block out anything behind it.
I should be able to handle fairly big file size, but I need to weigh all of the options to find the solution with the least negatives.
Below I have included a side profile of the mesh I am working with.
Thanks for your input, much appreciated.
I figured that might be the case. Sucks for me since the mesh I am using is round wire spot welded at seams. profile shown in my other reply. If you know of any way to bend a single round rod, I could explore that, and see if i can get it to work with my extruded mesh part. From what I've seen, there is no such command in SE.
The line work without shading is similar to the problem I'm confronting. Texture overlay would be fine for just the 3d part file, but once I incorperate it in either .dft or in an assembly, I have issues.
Thanks for the video. Really helpful for seeing what you are talking about. I hadn't thought of trying sync. I've primarily stuck with using ordered for everything, since most of the parts I model are fairly simple (except for ones like this of course). Might be a good time for me to actually learn how to use it.
If it consistantly cuts out at that small of an angle, it won't do much good. Most of our bends on this material are a 90 degree bend as shown in my first images, but are usually closer to the edge (like .2" - .5" flanges). Some are more complicated. I have had a few that are folded around, then hooked with safety wire, and brazed. The bends on that varied from 20 degrees to 180 degrees (with around .6 bend radius).
When ever I get asked about the differences with Inventor or Solid Edge, that bend command gets brought up. I was kind of hoping someone would point out my ignorance and show me where the SE equivalent command is hiding.
Here are some pictures of the worst case senario. I did this one with swept extrusions and patterns. Most CPU intensive CAD file I've created to date, and if there is ever a revision, changing this part could be a nightmare.
Including a part file of the mesh I am using. Thanks for your help,
Great job knowing exactly what material I am working with. It looks like the part file you included is pretty similar to my current 'best' way of doing it. I hadn't thought of adding the contoured flange and hiding it for use of flat pattern, and that could be really useful. For the flat pattern I could probably get away with adding a texture to the flange in the flat pattern, and use that in the .dft, though I would much rather not have to do that.
In the example pictures I show in the previous reply, this swept extrusion and pattern method is extremely labor intensive, since there are so many different little bars to make a pattern for.
Is there any way to unbend the mesh with the flange, then hide the flange to show the mesh in the flat pattern?
Great input, thanks,