Archive for May, 2010

Sheetmetal Bending & k-Factor

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Quite often I hear Inventor users saying: “the folded part didn’t come out like it was in the model, I even gave them a flat pattern!” The flat pattern feature in Inventor is near useless if you don’t have the sheetmetal style set correctly to suit material, tooling and processes used to form the part. k-Factor is a useful number that when used along with a correct bend radius can give sheetmetal flat patterns that will fold up very accurately. “So how do I work out this magic k-Factor?” you ask. The easiest and most accurate way to do this is:

  1. Cut out a rectangle of material that you want to fold, say 100mm x 50mm. Measure accurately, and record, length and thickness.
  2. Mark a bendline across the centre of the rectangle and form a 90 degree fold with a press-brake or whatever you are using to do your folding.
  3. Measure, with a vernier caliper, the length of each side and record these (I’ve called them “Leg 1 Length” and “Leg 2 Length”
  4. Measure and record, using a radius gauge, the Inside bend radius.
  5. Plug these numbers into the calculator I’ve created here, and voilĂ , you have your k-Factor to put into your sheetmetal style in inventor.

To check your result, create a sheetmetal style in inventor that has the measured bend radius, k-Factor (from the calculator), and measured thickness, and create a sheetmetal part using this style. Sketch a rectangle, create a face from it, put another sketch line across it in the center, create a 90 degree bend and using the measure command, compare it with your real sample. They should be pretty close. If not, maybe your bend radius is not quite right as it’s a very difficult thing to measure accurately. You can fine tune the k-Factor if necessary.

Note that you will need to repeat this process any time you change material, thickness, tooling etc.

Inventor 2011 – iLogic and Parameters

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Fairly short video showing the new parameter functionality in Inventor 2011 and how it can be referenced through iLogic rules.

2011 Functionality

Friday, May 14th, 2010

What features in Inventor 2011 do you want to see more of? I haven’t gone into great depth with all of them but there may be some new stuff you’re battling with that I may be able to provide some assistance on.

Coming tonight: A quick video on the new parameter options.

iCopy

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

A slightly non-standard way of using iCopy. This allows a skeleton sketch to lie on the same plane as the master sketch for the assembly. Useful for iCopying assemblies that are not driven by a sketch that lies on a plane normal to the iCopy path.

Inventor 2011 Launch

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Enter parameters and values while sketching.

I attended the Cadpro / Autodesk Launch for the 2011 Autodesk Manufacturing Solutions products on the 13th April and was very impressed with some of the new features in Inventor. There have been a lot of new technologies being developed over the past few years, many of which have been available in labs.autodesk.com as free downloads, and it finally feels like these are all coming together and making Inventor that much better. I’ll pos