How to Add Features to a Folded Edge

dateJune 27, 2020

When designing a formed sheet metal part, you may find some individual features are more appropriate to add in an unfolded state, such as a circular cut across a bend.

To add these specific features, the Unfold and Fold commands can be used to temporarily flatten selected bends, apply the feature, then refold.


Suppose we want to add a hole to the following part:

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We cannot just simply add a plane and proceed to do an extrude cut

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We can see the differences much better when we unfold the sheet metal to compare.As we can see from above, the cut hole shape is not the same as each other.

As shown below, we can see that using the extrude cut method results in the hole being an oval or ellipse shape. Whereas by unfolding and following up with a extruded cut results in a proper circle cut onto the bend.

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  1. Click the UNFOLD icon and select the planar face as the Fixed Face.
  2. For Bends to unfold select the bend faces as shown. Click OK.

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Note: Collect all Bends would completely flatten the part.

  1. Sketch a circle dimensioned as shown.

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  1. Create a cut using Link to thickness.

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  1. Click FOLD
  2. The Fixed Face is automatically detected from the previous operation.
  3. Now click Collect All Bends to automatically select all unfolded bends.
  4. Click OK.

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    1. Examine the flat pattern. It should now look like this:

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With that, you now know how to add features to a folded edge