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Fun with Sheet Metal

Discussion in 'Using Alibre Design' started by DaveDill, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. DaveDill

    DaveDill New Member

    Hi All,

    I am trying to use Alibre's sheet metal functions to make a simple 5-sided box. (A bottom and 4 side flanges)

    The only thing at all challenging about this is that I want the sides of the 2 end flanges to extend past the sides of the box, sort of like the front of a drawer.

    As you can see in the attached screen shot, the back corner is the standard flange corner and the front corner has the extension that I want that was added by drawing a sketch on the end of the flange and extruding it out.

    It looks fine but I get an error when I try to flatten the pattern.

    Am I approaching this in the wrong way? Does anyone know of a technique that will allow me to get a corner like this and allow me to get a flat pattern?


    Dave Flange.jpg
  2. DavidJ

    DavidJ Alibre Super User Staff Member

    Something like this ?

    Flange alignment chosen may be critical. This is just a very rough attempt to show it may be possible.

    Attached Files:

  3. DaveDill

    DaveDill New Member

    Thanks David,

    That is what I needed.

    It had not occurred to me that you could add a negative offset to a flange to extend it.
  4. Oldbelt

    Oldbelt Senior Member

    Look at the smp steps

    Attached Files:

  5. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    One thing you need to watch out for when extending the flange beyond the edge of the body is that it also extends the bend. This is something you'll likely never see when actually making the part.

    A better method in my view is to add some Tabs to the side you want to extend. That gives you more control over the size and shape of the extensions without extending the bends.

    Also, I like to apply all the flanges in one feature. That allows me to use the Advanced and Corners tab to fine tune the corners and the bend reliefs. Depending on how you want the corners to finish, you can use the Close Corners function to further refine their fit.


    Attached Files:

  6. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    You can also edit the sketches of an individual flange.
  7. DaveDill

    DaveDill New Member

    Thanks for all of your replies. All interesting ways of trying to do the same thing.

    The problem as noted with extending the flange or cutting back the bottom tab is the half bend left at the flange bottom. You can clean that up with a sketch and an extrude cut but the bend being there will prevent you from using an outside bend, you can only do an adjacent bend.

    I tried editing the sketch on the face of the flange extruding it (as noted in my original post) and while that worked, I got an error when I tried to flatten the pattern.

    I had tried adding a flange to the end of the flange but Alibre will not accept an angle of zero.

    HaroldL has come up with the right magic incantation though. Edit the flange sketch and then use the tab operation.

    This works for me with one exception. If I use an adjacent bend it will flatten, if I use an outside bend when I try to flatten the part, I get the error “SMFLNG_TAB_BENDPRT_FAIL: Unable to get bend part from tab.” which is up in the top 10 for unhelpful error messages.

    Strangely, I can use an outside bend with HaroldL’s drawing with no error. Guess I will start another drawing from scratch and play some more.

    Thanks again for all of your replies. I appreciate the help.

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