Design a Sheet Metal Part from the Flattened State

You may want to design a sheet metal part from the flattened state. In this case, you create a sheet metal part, then insert bend lines on which to fold the part.

To create a sheet metal part from the flattened state:

  1. Open a new part.
  2. Create a sketch as shown. You do not have to dimension the part.
  3. Create a Base-Flange by clicking Base-Flange/Tab Tool_Base_Flange_Tab_Sheet_Metal.gif or Insert > Sheet Metal > Base Flange. The sheet metal features appear in the FeatureManager design tree.
  4. To bend the sheet metal part, sketch lines on the part as shown.
  5. Bend the part by clicking Sketched Bend Tool_Sketched_Bend_Sheet_Metal.gif, or Insert > Sheet Metal > Sketched Bend . The part bends at the sketched lines.

Adding Features that Appear in the Folded Model

To add features that appear in the folded model:

There is no need to drag the rollback bar in order to add any additional tabs, cuts, or other features to the folded model. Instead, you can add features directly in the folded state; the features appear above the Flat-Pattern feature in the FeatureManager design tree.
Designing a part with sheet metal-specific features uses fewer features and editing tools, and eliminates the use of the rollback bar. The sheet metal-specific features make it easier and faster to create a sheet metal part than designing a part, then converting it to sheet metal. SOLIDWORKS includes sheet metal-specific features so you can create a part as sheet metal without having to convert it to sheet metal.