I received a request from my client to get a flatten-ed shape of a satellite dish in Solid Edge
Is it possible to get a flat pattern of the satellite dish? While it is possible to model the shape (either with dimple / emboss ), those model cannot be flattened.
Alternately I could use the "flatten surface" function to get the flat shape, but I still have my doubts on the inner working of this new feature.
Solved! Go to Solution.
in ST7 (Classic and Premium) you can do this very easily using the new flatten tool for deformed thin parts.
I know about the flatten surface tool (Under surfacing tab), but I saw a difference of surface area value between the model and the flattened part, and I had no idea how to answer my client if he asked why there is a slight difference between the model and the flattened component (and he is concerned whether the result is accurate enough)
you can use this tool even for solid model. It is located on Tools tab, when you switch to Flatten environment (like if you want create a flatten of sheetmetal).
I know there is a difference between original and computed surface area. From my research the computed surface area is dependent on three factors, two of them you can set in tool option:
"Strain hardening exponent" and "Strenght coefficient"
These two are material constant, which can be easily found for most common materials.
(I just got idea on ER, where these constants should be defined for standard materials in Material library )
Third is "Accuracy" of flatten.
But there is another weird thing, which I believe need clarification from development.
I tested several "Accuracy" levels of flaten and expected that computed surface area will be closer and closer to original surface area. But it is not. At level 5 (medium) the defierence between original and computed surface area is minimal. At level 7, 9 and 10 the difference is larger than at level 5.
I attached a test files and text document with computed area for several accuracy level.
Doesn't the creation of this kind of shape result in some shrinking and some stretching? Couldn't this cause a change in surface area between the blank and the finished shape? I think with some software you can set a transition line between shrink and stretch that would definitly affect the ratio of before and after.
There's a million ways to skin that cat. What process is being used to form it? Is it desireable to select a surface to rigidly maintain total surface area on, and deform the rest? At best it's just to get you in the ballpark, and you need to make process adjustments to get what you want out of the flat/formed shape.
This is where you might need to change the Material in order get better results. I imagine the "Modulus of Elasticity" is in play.
Maybe try using WATER as a material since there is none.
I wish they had a "Foam" material
Like Dylan said, the process is everything. If you are drawing it with the edge sliding into the form that is one thing, Explosive forming would be very different, I think. Besides being more fun.
What I know about this is based on FEA (femapapi.exe runs in the background and we have to define material thickness to midplane (shell element)) . Material will have plastic deformation and FEA method will compute strain (matrix).
Here is a link about this:
I've compared SE's result to NX's One step formabilty and VISI's Blank and the different was ~5%.
Of course the input is very important!