1B Integrated Design Project

Hints on the use of Creo for
Sheet Metal Design
1 Philosophy
As was demonstrated in the final CAD sessions of part 1A, Creo has an application
dedicated to sheet metal components, with the ability to flip between the folded component
and the flat pattern (usually referred to as the development) as cut out prior to bending. Most
modern cutting machines, whether using punches, laser beams or water ets, can accept D!"
files, as produced by many CAD pac#ages, as the main instruction input, thus ma#ing savings
of time and effort while decreasing opportunities for error.
$he following notes are a guide to the use of Creo in the %D&. 'hilst modelling your
design does re(uire some investment of time, it will more than repay this when cutting out and
modifying your chassis and other components as well as providing the power to chec# for
interferences and to animate mechanisms.
As designers, it is important to remember that the primary purpose of producing a drawing
or a model is to provide a statement of your re(uirement. 'hilst a good designer will design
for a method of manufacture, the role of a drawing as a set of manufacturing instructions is
secondary, in that manufacturing processes evolve and s#illed technicians will have their own
techni(ues. 'hen modelling a folded sheet metal component, your re(uirement is for the fully
folded item and so this is what should be modelled. $he power of Creo can then be employed
to derive the flat development for cutting out and subse(uent bending.
Example - Production of a simple bracket.
)aunch Creo in the normal way, start a new model and immediately change the *+ub,
$ype-to Sheetmetal. .ote that the ribbon at the top of the screen has different icons to the
solid modeller. /ntil a first wall is present the only icons highlighted as available are labelled
“Extrude” and “Planar”. &lanar allows the modelling of a flat panel, of any shape, which
may be subse(uently bent up. $his would, however, be contrary to the stated principle of
*draw the re(uirement- as it would not afford control of the final dimensions of the folded
component. Any changes to the material thic#ness or bend allowance would cause variations to
overall dimensions.
/sing the option of “Extrude” allows the bent component to be drawn and final, overall
dimensions to be fi0ed. +elect this icon and remember that it is the edge view of the
component being drawn, complete with bends of suitable radii. $he following diagram shows
the creation of a *1- brac#et. .ote that the use of *internal- s#etches is recommended 2 ust
press 3M4 and select from the menu that appears. 5r simply select a s#etch plane.
+.&.$ebboth August 6716
.ote that the s#etch consists of a single line which is “Thickened” on the dashboard
after leaving the s#etcher. Direction of thic#ening and material thic#ness and bend radii
can be selected on the dashboard. .ote that bend radii do not, now, need to be s#etched but
can be specified under the *Options” menu.
$he s#etch can now be accepted by clic#ing on the tic# icon and with a blind e0trusion
depth specified the folded brac#et produced as shown below.
. 6
2 Starting the Chassis
'hilst comple0 parts can be built up by creating an unattached wall and subse(uently
attaching e0tra features to it, it is usually (uic#er and simpler to start off with a solid
e0trusion when designing something li#e a chassis with multiple bends.
$he recommended procedure is described below, using an e0ample to illustrate the various
2.1 Shelling from solid model
Draw your chassis design in the standard Creo modeller as a solid *bric#- 2 see "igure 1.
3emember to ma#e sensible choices of datum plane positions 2 you will be pleased you
did later. +elect, under *5&83A$%5.+-, the convert to sheet metal option and from the
menu that appears choose shell.
%t is now necessary to select which faces of the solid will be removed, bearing in
mind that one piece of material from the flat pattern cannot be in two places at once. 5nce
surface choices are complete you will be as#ed for the material thic#ness. $he sheet steel
used for %D& construction is 7.9mm. "igure 6 shows the resulting shell.
"igure 1
"igure 6
. :
2.2 Sheet metal conersion
$he shell in "igure 6 does not yet represent a piece of bent sheet metal, as it is not yet
obvious which edges are folded and which are not continuous (*ripped-). +elect the
*conversion” option (from the 5&83A$%5.+ menu) and note that the *dashboard-
becomes ;,
"igure :
$he left hand icon represents edge rips. +elect this and choose which edges are ripped.
2.2.2 #end $efinition
.e0t select the third icon and define the bends.
$he actual bend radius achieved on the hand bender in the wor#shop, with this material, is
1.9mm (internal).
$he bend properties of the %D& materials are shown in the following diagram. .ote
that the Aluminium alloy is 1.<mm thic# and that an internal bend radius of 1.= is
"igure >
2.2.% &lat Pattern
%t should now be possible to produce a development of the model by selecting
“'reate &lat Pattern” by selecting the icon ,
Chec# that the model is now flat, by selecting any saved view other than $op or
4ottom. Any edges still folded indicate that not enough edge rips were selected. Chec#
also that a consistent bend allowance of :.1 has been allocated.
"igure <
. >
2.2.( !elief
%n "igure < a typical flat pattern is shown. .ote that as no corner relief was selected
then sharp darts are cut into the start of the bend, resulting in a high rate of material
deformation in this corner. Although, for the thin material being used, this is acceptable,
the ease of bending will be improved by removing some material from this area.
Choose the Smt 'onversion from the family tree and, on the 3M4 menu select
“Edit $efinition” to redisplay the dialogue bo0 shown above in "igure :. ?ighlight the
right,hand icon and see the effect of choosing one of the options shown in "igure =.
3ecommended dimensions are shown.
"igure =
Another nicety is illustrated in "igure 9 where part of a sheet is to be bent down and
part not. Although &ro,8 does offer bend relief for such instances, cutting machines cannot
produce slits of @ero width. %t is, therefore, suggested that a cut is inserted which goes ust
beyond the bend area, terminating in a full radius, as shown.
"igure 9
. <
2.% )ddin" 'uts
$o save time it is strongly recommended that all mounting holes and cut,outs are
included in the initial cutting stage to avoid the need for drilling later. $he *"lat &attern-
feature, li#e any other in the model tree, can be suppressed and resumed at will. $his
allows you to toggle between the development and the folded up form of the model.
?owever this should only for viewing 2 as soon as you threaten to ma#e a new feature the
flat pattern is automatically suppressed and the new feature is inserted before it in the
table. Mounting holes and other features are added to the folded form, and will
automatically be placed correctly on the flat pattern. 5nce a feature has been made it is
recommended that you call it something sensible by highlighting it in the model tree with
the left mouse button and then, from the 3M4 menu, selecting !ename . $here are 6
methods of ma#ing holes and cuts, the Extrude icon to the right of the screen and from the
%.+83$ menu either Extrude or *ole (although *hole- will only do round ones).
. =
2.! "amily #a$le
%t is vital to define a "amily $able for all folded components as they will be
re(uired in both bent and flat forms in drawings, and in the folded form in assembly
models. $he family table should be started as soon as possible so that the correct instance
can be inserted. "rom the $55)+ menu select &amil+ Table and the following bo0
appears ,
+elect the *Add a Column- icon
and the dialogue bo0 shown appears;
?ighlight &eature under *Add %tem-
and select the "lat &attern so that the
form loo#s as the one depicted.
Accept selections with 5A.
3eturning to the "amily $able window will show it to be partially filled in.
+electing the *Add a row- icon allows a further instance to be added.
+uggest it be called *chassisBfolded-. .ote that the generic will have the flat
pattern turned on and the folded instance must have it turned off. %t is also useful to have a
further instance of your chassis in the flattened state so adding a further instance will result
in the "amily $able shown below.
. 9
"rom now on, whenever this model is inserted into an
assembly or a drawing you will be as#ed which instance
you re(uire. (Always choose the generic from the list of
files in the ,orkin" director+ and choose the instance
from the secondary dialogue bo0 that appears, as shown
opposite). .ever put the generic model away with the
"lat &attern feature suppressed as this causes trouble with
references in assemblies and drawings.
-.#. $o a &amil+ Table before insertin" the model into either an
assembl+ or a dra,in".
. C
% &oling the Design
+hould the structure of the chassis need modifying, during the design process, then there
are several techni(ues to choose from.
%.1 Simple Modification of Dimensions
$o modify the overall si@e of the chassis one can return to the original solid e0trusion. $o
increase, for e0ample, the overall length of the chassis is straightforward. +elect the
original e0trusion from the Model $ree and on the 3M4 menu select Edit $efinition. $he
relevant dimensions can now be simply altered, although care must be ta#en that other
features such as holes are still in the desired position. +ee below.
?owever the same approach cannot be used if it is re(uired to increase the depth of the
s#irt. $his cannot be achieved all round the chassis, as the tabs bent down in the central
portion must remain narrower than the slots from which they are cut. $herefore the original
e0trusion cannot simply undergo a dimension modification but must be 3edefined to
include a cut giving a step in depth around the problem area. $his creates more surfaces
and so the "irst 'all feature must be redefined to produce the desired shell. $his, in turn,
means that the +M$ Conversion feature may need redefinition to re,establish the rips and
bends and to achieve this any corner reliefs must be temporarily removed as their
references will go missing in the process. $his is, clearly, too complicated and so it is
recommended that 3edefinition of the original feature is avoided and simpler techni(ues
%.2 Modification of 'alls
The most useful tools are given by the two icons below.
'reate &lat /all
'reate &lan"e /all
*"lat- wall simply means that the shape is defined by s#etching on the flat face, it may
still be attached to the e0isting wall via a single bend of any angle.
*"lange- wall is effectively the same as *e0truded- and means that the s#etch is
edgewise on, therefore comple0 bend profiles may be defined although they must be
constant over the length of attachment. $his command allows attachment to curved edges.
4oth of these commands operate with a dashboard type display of parameters to be
defined, with the provisional wall shown in lime,green so that the effect of any alterations
can be seen graphically before being committed to.
4oth have the facility for calling up standard shapes whose dimensions can be
edited on a simple graphic menu, or to be user,defined by entering the s#etcher.
. D
%.% (on)uniform &*tension of 'alls
$o e0tend walls by an amount varying over the length of the edge in (uestion,
choose the 'reate &lat /all icon. $he following dashboard appears.
&ic# the edge to attach to and set the shape to !ectan"le as well as the angle to &lat.
/nder the +?A&8 tab a simplified s#etch can be displayed and edited as shown below ;,
.ote that the effect of changes can be seen *live- in the yellow rendered wall in the
main window. $he e0ample shown is a simple rectangular addition over the length of the
attachment edge minus 1=mmE observe that the first time the number 1= is entered a minus
sign must be used. 3eady,made shapes available for this feature include *Trape0oid-, *1-
and *T- while any flat shape can be defined by entering the s#etcher with the “Sketch...”
%.( )n )lternative )pproach
$o change the shape of a wall the alternative would be to cut a larger than needed
wall down to that re(uired. $o effect this, select the “Extrude” icon and choose the 2id
&lane as the +#etch &lane. 3emember that the removed material must be defined by a
*closed section- in other words the s#etch must be a oined up shape. 5nce the material to
be removed is defined and the s#etcher e0ited then the e0trusion depth should be defined
as *$hrough All- and under the *5ptions- pull,down +ide 6 should also be set to *$hrough
. 17
%.3 )ddin" /alls ,ith #ends
$his command also allows walls to be attached via a bend, by selecting the re(uired
angle in the field that had been set to &lat above.
%n the e0ample below, a bo0 with > sides bent up has a further return added. As we
re(uire to ma#e this addition to all > sides, the shape will be trape@oidal, with ><F ends, to
avoid interference. .ote the effect of the various flip arrows 2 modifications can be seen
*live- in the model window.
Accepting the options above gives the result shown;
. 11
%.+ Copying of "eatures
$o repeat the feature on all > walls the *copy and paste- method can be used.
?ighlight the feature to be copied and under the 8D%$ menu select 'op+. $he Paste and
Paste Special commands are now available.
Paste allows an independent copy to be
created on any selected edge. ?owever, in this case
it would be preferable to have dependent copies,
i.e. copies which change to match alterations made
to the original feature.
$herefore select Paste Special and
in the dialogue bo0 which appears (see
opposite) tic# the bo0 for dependency as
5A,ing this causes the dashboard to
appear and it simply remains to select the
attachment edge re(uired for the copy.
8nsure that if the e0ternal edge was
selected for the original then the same is
selected here and vice,versa.
.ote that the *clipboard- is now
empty and that further pasting operations
re(uire the master feature to be
highlighted and copied each time.
3epeating the procedure for each wall produces the structure shown below;
%f the dimensions of the original trape@oidal wall are now varied then the copies
will change as well. %f, however, a difference was re(uired then any dependent feature can
always be made retrospectively independent by highlighting it and using the 2ake Sec
4ndep option from the 3M4 menu.
.ote that, in this case, the new walls all e0tend over the entire length of their
attachment edges despite being of differing lengths. $his is because they are defined as
doing this. %f the original feature had been s#etched and had been defined with all finite
dimensions rather than attached to ends of e0isting entities, then some modification of
copies might have been necessary to achieve the desired result.
. 16
%., #a$s -e.uiring Bend -elief
%n our e0ample, it is desired to stiffen the chassis by e0tending the side walls into
tabs to be bent round and pop,riveted to the end walls, as below.
$he neatest result is obtained by folding the tabs behind the adacent end wall. $his
can be achieved with the same “'reate &lat /all” command which will ensure correct,
flush alignment of surfaces automatically.
8nter the dashboard for this command as before, highlight the attachment edge (it
is suggested that a consistent choice of outside edge is chosen) and define the shape. A
nice little wrin#le is to use a trape@oid with a very slight angle (e.g. 6 degrees) to provide
clearance from the top edge and from the bend at the base, in case the bending is not (uite
177G accurate.
At the bottom corner of the tab, where its
bend meets the bend between base and
side wall, there is a region of infinite
deformation. $his must be resolved by
some sort of relief and the default (set
under the dashboard heading 38)%8")is a
simple rip, giving the effect shown
highlighted opposite.
$his is actually undesirable, as it would
be both difficult to bend and would leave
a dangerous sharp corner.
%nstead some material would be removed from this area to avoid the situation altogether.
Although there are bend reliefs available from the dashboard defining the wall in (uestion,
these do not wor# very well when adacent to other bends (their purpose is to lie between
bent material and flat material, as shown later).
$here are 6 recommended methods to resolve this;
. 1:
- 5sin" ori"inal 'orner !elief
3eturn to the +M$ Conversion feature and edit its definition.
+elect 'orner !eliefs from the +M$ Conversion definition and then select
'ircular. Choose Enter 6alue and set diameter to <mm ($his is the value re(uired to
avoid all traces of a rip relief).
Accept by selecting the tic#, twice. $his results in the "lat &attern now showing
large circular cut,outs at the corners. ?owever, if the "lat &attern is suppressed, it will be
observed that the corners loo# the same as before on the folded,up version (ie with no
. 1>
relief). $his is because the cuts cannot be computed until the fabrication is flat and, at the
moment, the "lat &attern feature is the first time that the sheet has been flat.
$o observe the effect in the folded,up model, it is necessary to insert two features
into the model tree.
"irst the 5nbend feature, using the icon shown.

"ollow this with the #end #ack feature, using this icon.
"or both of these features a surface or edge must be selected to stay
fi0ed,(ma#e it the same reference for both features) and the options; 5nbend )ll and #end
#ack )ll should be chosen. .ow, if the "lat &attern is suppressed, the folded corner loo#s
li#e this;,
.ote that the regions of bent metal are separated by the circular relief.
2 - 5sin" relief added b+ hand in the unbent state
$he method above does result in (uite a large hole in the corner but it is possible to
remove the minimum amount of material if done manually. Add an 5nbend feature as
above and e0amine the flattened corner detail as e0ample below.
A sheet metal cut can be inserted into the flattened material to remove the line
shown, where two bent regions meet.
. 1<
$he first s#etch shown below removes a triangle, whereas the second removes a
circle attached to points at the unctions of the bend @ones (diameter comes out at about
:.>). .ote that in both cases there are no dimensions because e0isting features are used for
all definitions. 7*int8 4n the sketcher9 add % points first.:
$heir effects in the folded state are shown below.
$he cut feature can be mirrored onto the opposite corner by selecting it (either from
the model or the tree) and choose 2irror .
A mini dashboard appears, on which the only item which must be filled in is the mirror
plane selection.
$o mirror onto the bac# corners a datum plane could be inserted halfway down the
chassis. Alternatively either 6 or all > corners could be cut on the same s#etch.
. 1=
%./ 0dding Bent #a$s from a "lat Bac1ground
$he same *'reate &lat /all-command allows tabs to be bent up from surrounding
flat material in the manner shown below. %n the e0ample being used it is first necessary to
cut away the side walls where the tabs are re(uired. %t is also desirable to be able to alter
the positions of these features by editing one single dimension and so an au0iliary datum
plane may be inserted at an offset from the front plane.
/se Extrude to remove a rectangle of material symmetrical to au0iliary datum
plane(D$M6) and attached to outer surface of side wall. 5nly two dimensions will be
shown on the s#etch, width and depth as seen below.
$his cut may be mirrored about the M%D datum plane, using *options- on the
dashboard to ma#e the copy dependant, (thus ensuring ease of subse(uent modification
while maintaining symmetry of chassis).
. 19
+elect 'reate &lat /all icon and pic# edge of cut for attachment as shown. Define
shape, angle and bend radius.
$his case is where the inbuilt relief options are particularly useful. 5pen the 38)%8"
menu from the dashboard;,
%t is recommended that the options shown
opposite are used ,
 )eave both sides the same
 Choose Obround.
 +elect *Tan to #end- as the length.
 +elect *Thickness x 2- as the width.
.ote that the material removed is from the
surrounding flat area 2 the tab width is
unaffected. $herefore the width of the original
cut must be the tab plus two desired reliefs.
$hese choices result in a flat
pattern that is both easy to cut and to bend
which produces the result pictured
$his feature can now be copied to
the other cut using the *Copy H &aste-
method previously described. 3emember to
use *Paste Special- to ma#e the copy
dependant. .ote that using the mirror
function on this feature does not produce the simple result e0pected and is unnecessary if
the tab is, itself, symmetrical.
Cuts can be added to these walls, noting that if M%D datum plane is selected as the
s#etching plane then *Throu"h )ll- produces the result below. 3eference the cuts to
D$M6 hori@ontally and surface of chassis vertically.
. 1C
+hould the model need modifying then the position of the whole feature can be
controlled with the dimension to D$M6 and the width of spacing by the depth of original
cuts. $he width of brac#ets is controlled by the width of original cuts and the height of
brac#ets by the brac#et definition. $he cuts and the holes should always remain
symmetrical to D$M6 as this is how they were originally defined..
4t is al,a+s a "ood idea to spend a little time considerin" ho, to define positions and
,hat datums to refer dimensions to in order to simplif+ subse;uent modification.
%.2 Create "lange 3all
All the above modifications and additions have used the 'reate &lat /all
function. ?owever, occasionally, it is useful to be able to create an e0tra wall by
s#etching on its edge and then e0truding the profile, as, for e0ample, when multiple bends
are re(uired.
$o create an integral sensor brac#et, for e0ample, the dashboard shown below is
entered by selecting the icon ,
+elect the desired attachment edge for Placement9 under Profile go to the 5ser
$efined option and enter the s#etcher (s#etching on the M%D datum plane), specify the
length as symmetrical about the s#etch plane.
5ther possibilities offered by this command include the ability to attach to a curved
edge but to manufacture this type of feature would re(uire more sophisticated forming
e(uipment than is available. Also, under the standard profiles are included various types of
*safety edge- where material is folded to avoid sharp edges, but these are not considered
relevant to the %D&.
. 1D
Part ! ) 4utput 5 Dra'ings and D6"7s
Drawings must be produced to gain Design Approval. $he re(uirements are;
1. A general assembly drawing together with enough prints of rendered models to convey
the operating principles of the design.
6. Dimensioned drawings for all components to be manufactured. %n the case of the chassis
and other sheet metal parts these should comprise views of both the folded form and the
flat pattern.
!.1 Dra'ings
+tart a new drawing and select *Empt+ ,ith &ormat-, browsing for a suitable
C/8D border. 'hen in the drawing, add both *generic- and *folded- instances of the
model 2 from 3M4 menu choose Properties and then $ra,in" 2odels. +elect )dd
2odel from the D3A'%.I M5D8)+ menu and insert chassis model twice, once in each
instance. /se Set 2odel from the D3A'%.I M5D8)+ menu to determine which
instance views are added from.
As most features have been defined in the folded state, it is best to dimension these
in the folded views.
5verall dimensions and the positions of the main groups of holes should be shown.
%t is necessary to display centre,lines by selecting them from the dialogue bo0 accessed via
the icon shown.

. 67
$he dialogue shown now appears and the
right,hand tab will display centre,lines once the
view(s) re(uired have been highlighted.
5nce the centre,lines are displayed manual
dimensioning is much simpler as the centre,line
itself may be used as a reference. Automatic
dimensioning does not really wor# with sheet metal,
so it is recommended that dimensions are inserted
manually by selecting the icon shown.
$he bo0 shown is displayed at this
point and as a default the option
*5n 8ntity- should be selected,
although other options allow for the
centre of circles or radii to be used
%t is not necessary to
dimension every last hole as this information is contained in the D!" file.
%t is permissible to use a note about symmetry to minimi@e the number of
dimensions, provided the intention is unambiguous. .ote that, with sheet
metal, it is not possible to rely upon the automatic dimensioning provided
by &ro,8 and it is recommended to insert dimensions manually.
%t is still necessary to produce flat views (from the flat instance of the model) but
the only features which must be dimensioned on these are the bend lines (which must be
scribed by hand in the wor#shop later).%t is acceptable to dimension to one side or the other
of bends or even to their centre line, provided that dimensions appear stating the
relationship between these. +uch dimensions may be shown once as *$J&%CA)- as in the
e0ample below.
. 61
3emember to alter any of the properties of a view, ?ighlight that view and on the
3M4 menu select *&roperties-.
$his will bring the dialogue bo0 shown up.
$he most useful page being *Kiew Display-
which allows the display of a view to be loc#ed into
a line drawing mode, either *?idden- or *.o
?idden- line display.
!.2 D6"
$he cutting machine re(uires a D!" file to
be produced. +tart a new drawing file, choosing
Empt+ ,ith &ormat, and select the format * 1bB
steelB><70><7Bd0f.frm- or alalloyB67701<7.
Attach the flat instance of the model and Add a $op Kiew at a scale of 1;1, ensuring that
no notes or dimensions are displayed. ?ighlight the view and from the 3M4 menu select
properties. 5pen the 6ie, $ispla+ page of the dialogue bo0 and change $ispla+ St+le to
-o *idden and change Tan"ent Ed"es $ispla+ St+le to -one. $hese actions get rid of
hidden detail and bend lines so that the view will be left with only cut lines displayed.
Choose command *+ave a Copy- of the file and in the dialogue bo0 change "ile $ype to
D!". %t is helpful to produce one D!" file for all components in 7.9mm steel and one (if
applicable) for all components in 1.<mm aluminium. Do this by attaching all relevant
models to the drawing and selecting new model for each view. Take care that all scales
are 8.
+ubmit the D!" files via the bulletin boards accessed from the %D& website under
*&roect H $eam "orums-. /pon logging in to this environment go to the "orum
*+tudent submission of D!" files- and post your D!" files by pressing the button
*.8' $5&%C-. "ill out the subect bo0 with your team number and place some te0t in the
main space including team number and material(s) re(uired. Attach your D!" files by
pressing the */pload attachment- button towards the bottom of the screen. 4rowse for the
re(uired file(s) and press the *Add the file- button. 'hen complete press the -+ubmit-
button below the message. .ote that there is a limit of : attached files per message.
$ra,in" file appearance prior to creation of $<& file.
Determine the order in which bends are to be e0ecuted 2 if in doubt see# advice
from wor#shop technicians. $he cut sheet should have bend lines scribed upon it to show
the start of each bend. 4e careful to scribe upon the side of material that will be uppermost
(and therefore visible) in the bending machine.
. 66
3 )ssembl+ 2odellin"
3. Parts 1ibrar+
%t is strongly recommended that the entire assembly is modelled before gaining
design approval and starting manufacture. $o help with this, models of the standard
component parts have been placed in the MD& library. $his is accessed, from the *5pen
"ile- dialogue bo0, by changing directory to C/8D )ibrary and then selecting mdpBlib.
$he library structure is shown below and it will be found that each section has a
description of the contents.
/se the &review facility offered by &ro,8 to see the file before opening it. .ote that
some of the items have been pre,assembled to save time. Also note that the gears are
shown as smooth drums of the pitch,circle,diameter. $o mesh the gears ensure that these
circles are ust touching. ?owever to chec# the overall space envelope re(uired by a gear,
Suppress the final cut and a new outer surface (coloured yellow) will be revealed.
'hen building up a large assembly, it is much easier to use sub,assemblies, rather
than bringing loads of individual components into the top,level model. "or instance;
assemble the motor, shaft e0tension and wheel (already done in the library), together with a
suitable brac#et of your own devising, into a drive,unit assembly before inserting this into
the overall robot, thus saving having to do everything twice and minimising the number of
datum features that need to be displayed when positioning things.
. 6:
8.2 Standard Brac1ets and other materials
%n addition to the chassis, there will, probably, be a re(uirement for au0iliary
brac#ets formed from sheet metal. $o save time, a small library of standard brac#ets has
been compiled, which can be modified to individual re(uirements. .ote that from
wherever library files are obtained, they are #ept as read,only. %t will be necessary to save a
re,named copy to allow modification. $he types of brac#ets offered are shown below.
$here are also short lengths of the bar and angle materials which may be used
8.% 0ssem$ly #ips
'hen placing parts in an assembly model, remember that when one or two
constraints have been made then the part may be moved by hand (in the remaining degrees
of freedom only) by holding Ctrl H Alt while using the MM4 for rotation and the 3M4 for
translation. $here is nothing wrong with leaving a component partially constrained while
other parts and features are arranged.
%f it is re(uired to add a mounting hole to match a placed component, this can be
done from within the assembly model by using the *Activate- facility. A typical procedure
might be ,
 %nsert a component into the assembly and place #nown constraints upon it. (e.g.;
mounting surfaces and orientation of faces and edges).
 &osition the component by hand to roughly the right position in remaining plane(s).
 Activate the model to be cut (highlight and 3M4 menu). 5bserve little green diamond.
 Cut a hole to match that in placed component, possibly using concentric circles.
 &lace dimensions on cuts using references in chassis model alone. 3esolve redundant
dimensions and constraints as prompted (by deleting coincidences).
 $wea# dimensions to round numbers as re(uired.
 Accept cut feature if satisfactory.
 3e,Activate assembly model (highlight top level of model tree and use 3M4 menu).
 3eturn to definition of placement of partially constrained component and add constraint
aligning mounting holes.
*o,ever9 this techni;ue is not suitable for use ,ith instances of famil+ tables.
4f it is used to place holes in the folded instance of a chassis then all sorts of problems
,ill be experienced ,hen the "eneric model is examined9 from suppression of features
to lost references.
. 6>
A safer method for folded components is to insert the mounting holes into the
generic model without worrying about their e0act placement and then editing them in the
assembly to bring them to the desired position.
$he procedure is, therefore, amended as follows;
 %nsert appro0imate mounting features into chassis model.
 %nsert a component into the assembly and place #nown constraints upon it. (e.g.;
mounting surfaces and orientation of faces and edges).
 &osition the component by hand to roughly the right position in remaining plane(s).
 8dit holes to match those in placed component.
 $wea# dimensions to round numbers as re(uired.
 3eturn to definition of placement of partially constrained component and add
constraints aligning mounting holes.
8.! Mechanisms
'hen assembling the elements of a mechanism 'onnections dashboard is used,
rather than the static 'onstraints. $he model can rapidly become over,complicated unless
some simple golden rules are observed.
 'hen placing an item use either 'onstraints or 'onnections page of dashboard, never
both at the same time.
 +ee# to minimi@e the number of connections used to describe a mechanism.
 Avoid placing individual components into a dynamic assembly. 4uild up sub,assemblies
of components which are statically fi0ed to each other and then combine these with
dynamic connections in a higher level assembly which defines the mechanism.
%n the e0ample shown below, a lifting arm is mounted on the chassis and driven by
a pneumatic cylinder.
. 6<
$he recommended approach is ,
1. 4uild up the chassis assembly, with relevant mounting brac#ets.
6. Create the lifting arm assembly (by attaching component parts with static constraints).
:. +tart a new assembly and insert chassis, fi0ed to main assembly frame of reference by
using default location button on right hand side of constraints dialogue bo0.
>. %nsert lifting arm assembly by selecting the dynamic connections dialogue and using a
Pin oint.
<. Ma#e a copy of the pneumatic actuator from C/8D )ibrary and insert this copy into the
assembly with a pin connection at one end and a simple cylinder at the other (to avoid
redundant a0ial restraint).
. 6=
"/.C$%5. 38"838.C8 .5$8+
2 - =ettin" Started
+tarting with +olid Model
8ntering sheet metal application
and creating shell
+M$ Conversion 6.6 Defining sheet metal features
Deciding which edges are
discontinuous and which bent
4end Definition
Kalues of bend radii for materials
used in %D&
"lat &attern
Development of model as cut
from sheet, before being bent
Adding corner reliefs and slots
for ease of manufacture
Adding ?oles and Cut,outs 6.: /se of "latL"olded models
"amily $able
Allowing flat and folded
instances to be used
% - 2odification Techni;ues
+imple Modification of
Dimensions :.1
Modification of original
e0trusion H pitfalls
Modification of 'alls
80tends wall uniformly over
entire length of edge
.on,/niform e0tension of
'alls :.:
Allows e0tension over part of
edge and to varying lengths
Adding 'alls with 4ends :.> Attaching new bent wall
An Alternative Approach
Cutting away unwanted material
Adding multiple new features by
*copy and paste- method
$abs 3e(uiring 4end 3elief
Adding e0tra folded tabs and
managing relief of material in
4ent $abs from "lat
4ac#ground :.C
Adding bent walls to flat
material, including relief
Create "lange 'all
80trusion of wall with several
integral bends
( - Output
Drawings >.1 Drawings and Dimensioning
D!" >.6 &roducing files for cutting
3 - )ssembl+
Component )ibrary
)ocation and use of library of
standard parts
4rac#ets <.6 .otes on use of standard brac#ets
Assembly $ips
+ome guidance on alignment of
Assembly with dynamic
. 69