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Hidden menu items

I learned something today that could help others starting out. This totally changes many of my current workflows, will allow me to use Sync and solve many of my sheet metal problems.

 

Even when a menu is grayed out, there are usable functions below the grayed out menu items. Now I have the ability to edit flat patterns while it's flat. I was finding many of my designs to be impossible without the ability to cut the flat patterns.

 

Menu's should not be gray if there is anything that can be used under it!

7 REPLIES

Re: Hidden menu items

I rarely have to add a cut to the flat, but I'm always adding or using "TAB" to add material to create an edge parallel to a bend line for forming. I'll add a tab, draw a sketch where I'll laser a line cut and then "etch" it so when it's saved as flat the etch is on the .dxf.

12gage you can try that as well, if you want to keep original geometry. draw a sketch where you'd like new cutouts and etch them. All depends on what other program you're using to read the .DXF to program to that specific machine.

Re: Hidden menu items

When things are folded or get a 3 way corner, material is/can be removed from the model and the flat no matter what. This leaves an un-punchable shape. Now I have a way to fix it.

Re: Hidden menu items

@12GAGE Are you trying to make your flattened .dxf exported from SE require no editing in your punching software? I can't recall the software used at the shop I used to work at, but we'd always leave the part as drawn and use just place the tooling we had in the editing program. If new tools were purchased that created better options we could simple use those without having to revise the SE part and prints.

Re: Hidden menu items

[ Edited ]

Yes, at least as much as I can. When it's possible I want the model to match the flat pattern to match the exported flat pattern.

 

Once that setup of the file is complete and working well, then when the model is re-sized, I know the flat pattern and the folding table I make are all correct without much checking. I frequently copy the draft and associated model files, change the overall size and gages, but all the details remain the same.

 

It take me about 30 min each piece of sheet metal to make folding tables that present back gage and stick out for each part. That is just one portion of the draft files.

 

Most of our tanks are a collection of 10 to 20 parts. I have to re-size about 5 tanks a week.

 

I need to get to the point where I have all 70 of our tank designs complete correlation between model, flat draft, bending draft, and exported flat.

 

We have not moved to nesting software yet, but have plans too in the next few months. Each option for nesting software grabs the flat patterns in different ways and with a variety of editing options. We use a punch for 20 Gage....12 Gage, and a plasma for 10 Gage +

 

The punch avoids all grinding except microfibers becuase there is no heat effected zone. Anything thicker than 12 Gage wears out the punch tooling too fast. Most of our welds are seal welds enclosing tanks.

 

With the kind of volume of one off parts we create, I will be avoiding any one by one editing of flats at all costs. Even if that cost is an extra $20K for the price of the nesting software and more time setting up model files. When all set up, I want to edit the XYZ of a tank, edit whatever gages are required, print new PDF's and export/next all new flats in under 30 min.

Re: Hidden menu items

Since a tab can only have a single profile per feature, I've started making a sketch, including the geometry I need, then use a delete face. This way I can just do a cutout, and I can do multiple profiles in that cutout. Many of the parts we make have knockouts, so the part can be rolled, then the cutouts removed after. This is very good for that.

ST9
Windows 7 Professional
Nvidia K2200 & Intel Xeon
"You're doing it wrong"

Re: Hidden menu items

How are you using delete face for sheet metal design? I don't understand your work flow.

Re: Hidden menu items

Here, I put together a simple example. I've used delete face inside the flat pattern creating an exaggerated knockout feature. There are many instances where knockout features are needed, and many times I need them to connect in many places because if they aren't when we roll it it will make flat areas that need to be round.

ST9
Windows 7 Professional
Nvidia K2200 & Intel Xeon
"You're doing it wrong"