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Creating separate drawings from a multi-body sheet metal part

Question asked by Chris Manger on Feb 10, 2014
Latest reply on Aug 7, 2014 by Victor Felix Jundis

Some background info, our company designs and manufactures food processing equipment.   50-75% of the parts on our machine are custom designed sheet metal parts.  We have always created separate parts for each sheet metal part, then inserted those parts into an assembly to create weldments.   When SolidWorks implemented the multi-body sheet metal feature (2012?), we stuck to how we have been handling things in the past and we exported the bodies as separate parts.  One example where we would have a multi-body sheet metal part is a tank.  Design the entire tank in a single file, then "cut" the panels into separate bodies/parts. We have a "base model" then export each body to a separate file.  We then convert the body to a sheet metal part.  If we want to change something, we would edit the base model and the corresponding part files would get updated.  Sometimes we run into issues when adding new bends/features and have to delete the sheet metal feature, then convert to sheet metal again.  This causes issues with mates on the assembly the parts are used in.


I would like to get a better understanding of how the multi-body feature is suppose to work.  Here are a few questions I have:


1.) Our drawing title block gets populated by the custom properties of the model.  I see that each "Cut-List" in a multi-body part has properties.  I filled out a couple of them and created a flat-pattern drawing based on one of the bodies.  The title block did not get populated by the body properties.  What is the workaround for this?


2.) Is it best to create geometry with no bends (radius) then let the "Convert to Sheetmetal" tool do this for you?  So each separate body (part) would have its own Convert feature.


3.) How do you get each body to show up as a separate line item if you use the multi-body part in another assembly model?


Hope to hear from some multi-body sheet metal users soon.   If anyone has any examples they could share, that would be great!