I'm just wondering what different ways there are to deal with round rod that is bent? Because it would be nice to be able to give a cut length, and I've figured out a few ways to do this, but they all seem like too much work around. Or maybe I'm missing something? How do you guys deal with round rods and their resulting flat patterns?
On the other hand frame might be overkill. It's not clear what @nominus38 is trying to achieve with "rods". Are they just piece parts in an assembly or are they to be mitered and welded like a frame?
If you just need a cut list of cut pieces of rods you could also use and save cumulative measure variables from the part sketches and annotate them as in Imic's example or use them in a parts list as cut lengths.
What I'm trying to achieve is, we get a few piece parts that get bent in the pressbrake, usually handles that get welded to cleanout doors and the like. These parts, many being standardized parts in that the get used in multiple assemblies, actually in nearly every job we do for a few different customers. But we do a lot of similar parts as well, round rod, two bends forming a shallow U shape. It would be wonderful to be able to do flat patterns of these, so that the amount of material stretching could be accounted for and the guys would know how long to cut each piece, and the brake operator could know exactly where to place the bend, taking out some of the variation between operators. Does that make sense?
The problem is that Edge won't flatten true round parts, so I have to do work arounds to have the part displayed as it would when finished, with it being round, but also be able to have a flat pattern.
Ah yes....the "bend lines" for the flat pattern is an issue.
I haven't needed to do this for a long time, but generally [the workaround method] made a sheet metal version driven from the parent file via IPC, for the folding flat pattern only.
Could you post a picture about your product?
There is a (not a direct) way to make flat pattern from "two bends forming a shallow U shape".
Here is a video:
What about making an assembly version of the sheet metal file, then applying the rounds there,...still another file to manage, but probably much easier to execute.
What I've been doing as of late is after I've made the part as sheet metal and flattened it, I switch over to part, and I round the edges, but use a radius that is ever so slightly smaller than the thickness of the part. For instance, if I am making something with Ø.375" round rod, I make a I set my material to .375, draw my contour flange and extrude it in both direction to .375", then I put my round radius at R.1870. This makes it almost a true circle, but not quite.
I've also done the using two models, one for the flat, one for formed. Also used to make the part in and flatten it, then make the flat pattern part of the print, then converted to 2d view, then I'd modify the part and add the rounds, making the flat pattern error out but it didn't matter because the flat was already done.