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Sketching Problem with Parametric Sheetmetal Part

Question asked by Ryan Huseman on Mar 1, 2016
Latest reply on Mar 2, 2016 by Ryan Huseman

@@@I am having problems modeling a sheet metal part.  I think the problem arises from a sketching problem instead of a sheet metal feature problem.  I am trying to design one model and use configurations to control the different variation parts that I will be designing.  I am looking for sketching advice or a different approach to the problem.  Below is a hand sketch of the cross section of the sheet metal part.  I have dimensioned the different variables I will be using.  As you can see I am trying to get the model to be based of "Number of Grooves" in the sheet metal.  Any dimension with a "TYP"  ties directly to the geometry of the grooves in the part.


Sheetmetal Sketch problem.jpg

My first approach in sketching this part is to use an array.  Below is the first approach in solidworks.  I took the approach of first creating a plane that represents the overall part (OVERALL LENGTH) which is blue in the right of the image.  I sketched from the left and used an array that uses a variable for how many grooves I would be needing.  I also sketch from the OVERALL LENGTH plane on the right back towards the left to meet.  The "FIRST FLAT LENGTH" and the last groove are not coincidentally constrained, because if I change the number of grooves the constraint would not be true.  Here is where I have added a red star.  Here is the where I believe the problem is.

Solidworks Sketch.jpg

The sketch is fully defined as you can see.  You can see me using the array on the pattern and how I started the sketch from the origin on the left and worked right using an array.  You can also see the OVERALL LENGTH plane that is in blue on the right where I drew the line to meet the left array.  Again this ".188" dimensions line is not coincidentally constrained, but the two lines should theoretically be in the exact spot.   I put a red star above the area that I am talking about.


From there I try to use the Base Flange/ Tab feature to create my sheetmetal model.

Below is the error I get when trying to select the Sketch.

As you can see this is where I am running into problems.  I believe that the methodology I used to create the parametric sketch is what is throwing the error.  I am looking for open concepts and ideas to try.  I have hundreds of variations of this part and I would like to use the configurations manager to manage them.  Below would be examples of the different variations.

solidworks #4.jpg

solidworks #5.jpg

I would like to do this with a parametric model.  Please give input and advice to help solve my problem.  Please let me know if you need any more clarification.  I have attached my .sldprt file for anyone to look at.

J. Mather