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Folding/unfolding sheet metal with multiple bends in different directions

Question asked by Alex Lachance on Apr 3, 2018
Latest reply on Apr 4, 2018 by Alex Lachance

I don't think it's achievable but it's worth asking.


We use flat bars and plates to create custom H-Beams that represent the beam of our trailers. Generally, the beams are straight so it's no problem to do this. Sometimes, there's a kick into it and that's what complicates things a bit. The kick isn't all that complicated, it is what the shop asks of me to do. Here is a picture of the final result:


What it looks like in iso views on paint:


So right now, what we do is this. We build the flatbar as a plate and have it be cut from a flat pattern that generates way too much loss of material.


What my boss would like to be able to do, since it is do-able on the shop's floor level, is to be able to do a bend not only in the thickness but also a bend in the width, so that the flat pattern would actually represent a rectangular shape(approximately) instead of the huge flat pattern I have posted above. This would allow us to consume them as flat-bars and reduce our costs.


Any takes on this?