4 Replies Latest reply on May 10, 2018 10:27 PM by Kevin Chandler

    Automatic dimension flat sheet metal drawing view

    Dawn Phillips

      Is there a way to automatically dimension a flat pattern drawing view of a sheet metal part? I would like an ordinate dimension both horizontally and vertically with the zero at the lower left of the part. Ideally, I would like a hole chart based on the same zero point.

       

      If we could automate this task we could save lots of time.

       

      We're using Solidworks 2015.

       

      Thanks in advance for any help.

       

      Dawn

        • Re: Automatic dimension flat sheet metal drawing view
          Kevin Chandler

          Hello,

           

          As an aside, I don't recommend dimensioning a flat pattern other than to indicate its blank size as rerefernce dimensions.

          Unless some feature is better shown in the flat and that it's dimensions will aid the part's drawing, I'd dimension the final product as you require it to be fabricated.

           

          Dimensions from a flat edge aren't accurate as soon as the dimension crosses a bend.

          Actual K-factor and bend radii will alter this.

           

          Lastly, per ASME Y14.5, paragraph 1.4(c):

          "Each necessary dimension of an end product shall be shown. No more dimensons than those necessary for complete definition shall be given." (my emphasis)

           

          Cheers,

           

          Kevin

            • Re: Automatic dimension flat sheet metal drawing view
              Dawn Phillips

              Kevin,

               

              We are a job shop. Our customers send us the formed sheet metal part drawing. We create flat manufacturing drawings for our shop with all holes and cutouts dimensiond and bending information. We also create the geometry to be cut.

               

              Dawn

                • Re: Automatic dimension flat sheet metal drawing view
                  Kevin Chandler

                  Dawn Phillips wrote:

                   

                  Kevin,

                   

                  We are a job shop. Our customers send us the formed sheet metal part drawing. We create flat manufacturing drawings for our shop with all holes and cutouts dimensiond and bending information. We also create the geometry to be cut.

                   

                  Dawn

                  I, too, have a fab shop in-house.

                  I don't program the punch or laser, so I don't deal with the flat pattern adjustments that are required to make the final part.

                  I do send flat pattern files with my orders, but this is only to save work on the programmer's end so he doesn't have to start from scratch.

                  He works his magic to get the blank that suits all of the ops on the way to the end product.

                   

                  Like a machined part's drawing, a sheet metal part's drawing must indicate the final product

                  Even more so for sheet metal, since tolerances change if you're locating from an edge or a bend andif you're dimmming across multiple bends.

                   

                  I also have clients who dim the flat, but that's just wasted effort due to process ignorance.

                  If you could unfold a machined part, would you dim it that way?

                   

                  Drawings and specifications are legal documents and the less accurate your drawings are toward the required end product, the less recourse you have for out of spec parts.

                   

                  "The difference between what you want and what you get is the difference between what you mean and what you say."

                   

                  Cheers,

                   

                  Kevin

              • Re: Automatic dimension flat sheet metal drawing view
                Dennis Bacon

                Dawn,, You can auto-dimension.. Just set it up correctly.. It's not perfect as far as spacing and such but you can tidy it up. Also you can add a hole table quite easily. The hole size in the table doesn't pick up some shapes. This is a really sloppy sm part but you can get the idea. You can also set up you bend deductions, k-factor, allowance, or whatever you use to show in the bend notes.

                Edit:.. Ooops,, wrong screen shot.

                Bye the way,,, For the past 28 years we have been camera or laser scanning our punched/lasered flat patterns and comparing to the cad flat pattern

                 

                The screenshot were taken from my 2015 install.

                 

                Another edit:... Of course you can increase the decimal accuracy.. Would be kind of silly to have it at two decimals like I have it.