Welcome to this new edition of the SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News, coauthored by members of the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support teams worldwide.
Understanding sheet metal flat pattern and folded mass specifications
By Mario Iocco
In SOLIDWORKS 2016 we implemented an additional way to view the weight of a sheet metal body. This new property is called “Flattened Mass.” (Fig. 1.)
A sheet metal body has a folded state and a flat pattern (flatten) state. In the past, the custom property mass of a sheet metal body referred to its folded state. Some customers did not know which weight we were offering when it came to the definition of custom properties.
In (Fig.2) we see a Power Supply box in the folded state.
By checking the mass property reported by SOLIDWORKS, you see that its weight is 155.49 grams (about 0.34 pounds). (Fig. 3)
If you unsuppress the flat pattern feature (Fig. 4.)
Now check the mass property in the same way, you see that this is 153.24 grams (0.33 pounds) (Fig. 5)
The weight difference (155.49 gr. vs 153.24 gr.) is very small –about 1.5 percent. However, we have customers who create some electronics components using precious metals. A very small weight variation can make a significant cost difference.
Why would the folded and flatten sheet metal vary in weight in SOLIDWORKS?
In “real life” parts don’t have 2 weights. However, SOLIDWORKS is a modeler and things are represented a bit differently. When a material is bent, the bent area gets deformed and stretched. The stretch varies according to the material, the bend radius, bend angle, etc. To account for that stretch, SOLIDWORKS applies “Bend Allowances.” These bend allowances are only applied to the flatten state. This simulates the “stretching” that occurs during the real bending of the part. Hence, in general, the surface area –and weight — of a flatten body is slightly less than the same body in its folded state.
As you can see in (Fig. 6), the surface area of the folded body is 118,406 versus 116,710 square millimeters. This produces the weight variance between the twos states.
Which weight is the real weight?
Most of the sheet metal designs created with SOLIDWORKS are created feature by feature. Once the part is completed, you can unsuppress the flat pattern and get to the flatten state. This is why the flat pattern feature is at the end of the feature tree. However, most real sheet metal parts are started from a flatten body. Hence the “real” weight of a sheet metal body is on the flatten body.
Be aware though, that the above answer may not always be right due to the modeling capabilities SOLIDWORKS provides. For example, you have the capability to create features only in the flat pattern. These features exist only in the flatten state and produce a larger discrepancy between the folded and flat pattern weight
In other cases, we can get the opposite situation, features created in the folded state like PEMS, gussets or form tools can be removed from the SOLIDWORKS flat pattern. It is always good to assess your specific situation in order to consider which one is the most approximate weight.
Great preview enhancement in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 2017
By Dan Lolea
Starting with version 2017, SOLIDWORK PDM Web2 is using the WebGL powered preview. This will enhance user experience when previewing most of the file formats including non-CAD like PDF, Excel, Word, image files etc.
Please see below example in Chrome browser and feel free to try it yourself in the already life 2017PR1 release
SOLIDWORKS Files Preview in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 2017 (new options)
|SOLIDWORKS Files Preview in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 2017 (new options)|
|PDF Files Preview in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 2017|
|MS Excel Files Preview in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 2017|
|MS Word Files Preview in SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2 2017|
Simulation Step-Up Series
Last month, Ramesh concluded on the topic of Bolt Connectors. He now moves on to discussing Pin Connectors, another widely use type of connector in SOLIDWORKS Simulation.
This topic is addressed in two parts.
Next month, Ramesh will discuss the other types of Connectors (Spring, Bearing, Spot and Edge Welds, Link and Rigid connectors).
Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base
How do I solve the error ‘Failed to obtain a computer identifier. You can continue, but you might have activation or transfer issues in the future’?
This error can occur when you upgrade your operating system. To resolve this issue, perform a ‘Repair’ of your SOLIDWORKS® installation.
From Solution Id: S-071477.
Using the SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2017 PR1 software, what causes the client preview to fail with the error ‘Could not read the file’ and the Web2 login page to fail to display in the web browser?
The SOLIDWORKS® PDM 2017 PR1 software requires that the Microsoft® Visual C++ 2013 Redistributable Package is running on both the client computers and the Web2 server. If these components are not installed, you can experience this problem. For instructions to solve the issue, read Solution Id: S-071932.
In Motion analysis, why do I see interference of components with a defined 3D contact, even if I enable the ‘Use Precise Contact’ option?
In Motion analysis, interference is necessary to create a contact force. The software uses the amount of penetration to calculate the impact force caused by the contact. The stiffer the contact is, the less penetration is required to create the force.
Note that the default ‘Stiffness’, ‘Damping’, and ‘Penetration’ values obtained by selecting materials in the 3D Contact definition are quite small. These default values correspond to the stiffness of a contact between small bodies.
For larger bodies, you should use larger values avoid excessive interference.
To understand how the contact force is calculated, see the Knowledge Base solution S-018619.
For more information about Impact and Restitution coefficients for 3D Contacts, see the Knowledge Base solution S-019789.
Solution Id: S-071516.
That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact us!