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How to do two complex folds to simulate cardboard

Question asked by David Goldman on Dec 29, 2012
Latest reply on Jan 17, 2013 by David Goldman

I'm working on a packaging design project, and I'm trying to use Solidworks 2010 Sheet Metal to simulate cardboard (cardstock) folding. This is my first time really using the sheet metal feature outside of tutorials, so I'm learning as I go. I know sheet metal works differently than cardboard, but hopefully I can make this work.

 

I have two folds I'm trying to make. The first one has five folds in it, all coming together at one point to make a corner. I have included a picture of what the flat version and folded version should look like. Right now the best I can do is fake it in my making the blue valley fold (in the picture) into a cut and trying to meticulously line up the flanges, but when I flatten the model, there's still a gap between the flanges. I know that corner will probably be getting pretty messy, so maybe I can put a small hole in the center of it?

 

The second fold deals with cutting slits and making the material on either side of it fold in opposing directions, then come back together. I tried to make the flat (normal to top plane) base flanges first, then use Edge Flange > Flange Length > Up to Edge and Merge, but was only able to do it once, since the second (and third, etc) times it was no longer connecting two different bodies. Is it possible to cut U-shape slits, then do a Sketch Bend to the outside of the slits, then do a Jog (or more Sketch Bends) to the inside of the slits to bring it together, then merge it again in some way that will allow it to be unfolded? It seems like it might need to do multiple bends in different directions simultaneously to accomplish this without rejoining it somehow, and I don't know how to even begin trying something like that.

 

While I'm making this, I'll mention that if anyone has any other suggestions on simulating cardboard as sheet metal, I'd really appreciate hearing any tips. Any suggestions on bend tolerances, K-Factors, BA's or BD's, etc. I'm currently working with a K-Factor of 0, a material thickness of .015" and a bend radius of .001". I don't know if they're used (or even share-able), but if someone could point me in the direction of some kind of cardboard material template, that'd be amazing.

 

Hopefully my sketches will explain what I'm trying to do properly. Thanks in advance for any help!

 

-David

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