Bend Table

You can specify the bend allowance or bend deduction values for a sheet metal part in a bend table. You can also specify K-Factor values in their own K-Factor bend tables. The bend table also contains values for bend radius, bend angle, and part thickness.

There are two types of bend tables that you can use:
  • A text file with the .btl extension
  • An embedded Excel spreadsheet
Use a sheet metal gauge/bend table to specify both thickness and bend values with a single table.
A comparison of the two methods is shown as follows:
Text File Excel Spreadsheet
When you share your part with a colleague, you must remember to share your bend table as well. When you share your part with a colleague, your bend table is automatically included because it is embedded.
Text tables can be edited in a variety of applications. Excel spreadsheets can be edited in Microsoft Excel only.
  • It is recommended that you use the Excel spreadsheet unless you have legacy bend tables from SOLIDWORKS 2000 or earlier.
  • If you edit a bend table that has multiple bend thickness tables, the radii must be the same. For example, if you insert a new bend radius value into a bend table with multiple bend thickness tables, you must insert the new value in all of the tables. However, angles can differ.

You can edit a bend table in a separate Excel window. Click Edit > Bend Table > Edit Table in New Window. After editing the table, save the table, then re-insert it into the part for the changes to take effect.

Bend Table - Text File

A sample bend table for sheet metal operations is provided in install_dir\lang\english\Sheetmetal Bend Tables\sample.btl. To create your own bend table, copy and edit this bend table with any text editor.

Bend tables created as a text file support the following:
  • All bend table types (bend deduction, bend allowance, and k-factor).
  • All units of measure (meters, millimeters, centimeters, inches, and feet). Set the unit of measure in the Unit row of the bend table.
A few items to note about bend tables in a text file:
  • The sample bend table is provided only for informational purposes. The values in this table do not represent any actual bend allowance values.
  • If the thickness of the part or bend angle falls between values in the table, the software interpolates the values to calculate the bend allowance.

Bend Table - Excel Spreadsheet

New bend tables that you create for SOLIDWORKS are stored in an embedded Excel spreadsheet. You add bend table values into the cells of the spreadsheet, ensuring that the table is read properly by the SOLIDWORKS software.

Bend tables made in Microsoft Excel now support the following:
  • All bend table types (bend deduction, bend allowance, and k-factor).
  • Multiple angles in a single bend table file.

Creating Bend Tables

To create a bend table:

  1. In a part, click Insert > Sheet Metal > Bend Table > New.
    If you get a message that says inserting a bend table may cause the developed length of the flat pattern to change, click Yes.
  2. In the dialog box:
    1. Select an item in Units to set the unit of measurement.
    2. Select an item in Type to set the bend allowance, bend deduction, or k-factor.
    3. Type a path for File name, or click Browse to locate a path where you want to save the bend table.
    4. Click OK.
      An embedded Excel window, containing the bend table spreadsheet, appears in the SOLIDWORKS window. The bend table spreadsheet contains default radius, thickness, and angle values.
  3. Type the bend allowance, bend deduction, or k-factor values in the spreadsheet, depending on your choice for Type in step 2.
  4. Click outside the table, but within the SOLIDWORKS graphics area, to close the spreadsheet.