Sheet metal in V4  1-20  21-40  41-48

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 From:  MajorGrubert (CARLOSFERREIRAPINTO)
8126.1 
Hello Michael,

Is sheet metal functionality in V4 road map?

Thanks,

Carlos
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 From:  Michael Gibson
8126.2 In reply to 8126.1 
Hi Carlos, sorry no, no plans for sheet metal in MoI V4. That's a big area and the workflow is a much better fit with a more structured feature based MCAD program like SolidWorks, Solid Edge, etc... It's just overall not likely to be a good fit with the sort of flexible and less regimented workflow that MoI is pretty fundamentally oriented around so it's probably not too likely to happen in MoI in future versions at all. If you need those types of functions I'd definitely recommend using a CAD program that has a dedicated sheet metal module in it. MoI is just not the best tool for that area.

- Michael
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 From:  AlexPolo
8126.3 
Hi Michael and Carlos,

I have used Solidworks Sheetmetal for years and a fantastic module but sometimes all the sketch handling bogs down the design process. I have been using MOI for sheetmetal for some time only problem is you need to know the rules for unfolding your shape. In fact you can use any cad program to generate your part files as long as they comply to the unfolding process. The crucial part is keeping constant part thickness across bends - placing breaks where needed.

Here is a simple process I use with MOI involves using PLANER surfs to create the base shape then apply radius's to required edges this gets tricky as you need to know your inside or outside radius something like if your material is 5mm thick you would apply a 3mm inside radius or an 8mm outside radius. Once you know the rules pretty easy to apply.

MOI is great for its ability to get base shapes moving quick - also in manufacture of SHEETMETAL many manufactures are using software like AUTOPOL to output parts - mostly STEP these days. I can put together an assembly in MOI of various sheetmetal parts and send a single STEP file with all parts named and contained no need to unfold at my end. But need to be confident that the parts will comply and unfold at the other end.

Anyways more possibilities for the nimble!










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 From:  Mik (MIKULAS)
8126.4 In reply to 8126.3 
Hi Carlos,

as Alex mentioned, metal sheet parts can be modeled in MoI as well with respect to bending rules.

Some simple objects you can unfold even inside MoI, please try to have a look:

http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=7406.1

... of course, specialized sw would be always better.

Mik
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 From:  AlexPolo
8126.5 
Thanks for that post - interesting approach to flattening.

The thing with Sheetmetal every shop will have different capabilities with the tools on the factory floor. Even in a set CAD sheetmetal design environment just because you design a part that you can flatten doesnt mean it can be manufactured. Many factors like bend sequence tightness of bends all contribute to what a manufacturer can handle and produce. But the main thing that I have seen change last few years was 2 years ago I was producing sheetmetal parts then flattening to a 2d DXF and sending a PDF with bend sequence dictated by me.

Its been ages since I have done that with most shops these days wanting assembly 3d STEP files it gives them the part quantities and they flatten on their end with software like AUTOPOL which has their machines and tool library setup within. Much better than generic flattening from something like Solidworks or Inventor Sheetmetal which are still great.

Many new brakepress machines are starting to handle direct loading of 3d STEP files on the controller this gives the operator visual guides on bend sequence with which way a up or down bend is to be positioned.

Sheetmetal manufacture is changing fast but the best is to team up with a sheetmetal manufacturer that has the capabilities for the parts your after. They will tell you very quickly what you can and cant design learn from trial and error - in the end hopefully not too many errors.
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 From:  MajorGrubert (CARLOSFERREIRAPINTO)
8126.6 
Hello Guys,

Thanks for taking the time for respond.

@Michael: Ok, i understand and expected that it is out of Moi's scope.

@AlexPolo and Mik: Yes, i agree. I have SpaceClaim and the Sheet Metal module is too complicated for this need.

I was looking for a much simpler way (inside of Moi) of doing. I do it 100 time per day / project, and it is click, click, click, again and again...

The workflow is like this: Select a solid face > Copy to clipboard > Paste > Rotate (usually 90ª) > Extrude. That's it.

Maybe this can be scriptable. I've attached an image.

Carlos




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 From:  Mik (MIKULAS)
8126.7 In reply to 8126.5 
Hi Alex,

I have absolutelly same experiences regarding metal sheets manufaturing - STEP file + dimension drawing with tolerances as a primary data sources for manufacturing, then it is chosen adequate bending tool for CNC machine, because for example holes near to bending radius, thickness and density of metal sheet material can affect choosing of right tool to avoid any unwanted deformation. Based on these information Autopol does the correction of flatten shape dimension during unfolding.

...therefore I stopped attempt unfold metal sheets parts inside MoI :-)

Mik
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 From:  Mik (MIKULAS)
8126.8 In reply to 8126.7 
Hi Carlos.

Alex's workflow could be more effective and maybe more correspond to SpaceClaim workflow, i.e. to start with basic plane / extrude required edges / make thickness via offset - shell.

I use similar worflow...only difference is making radius via filleting after modelling basic shape.

Mik
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 From:  christian (CHRI)
8126.9 In reply to 8126.6 
hi

i agree , it's not easy to unfold a bending part automaticly
However , it can be easier to draw sheetmetal with 2 fonctions:
1 - bending fonction
2 - part adjust fonction

please , have a look on my SKETCHUP workflow .
( FredoScale bar is a Fredo6 SKETCHUP plugin )

Perhaps , these 2 fonctions can be add on the V4 ?

Chri










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 From:  AlexPolo
8126.10 
That workflow looks great but would be resource intensive to put together. What about adopting what is already in MOI.
Use the Shell Command but with an adaptation where it automatically creates the corner radiuses based on the material thickness.
Various rules would need to be followed in the initial skin construction allowing for corner breaks and bends inside or outside the material.

Shell for SHEETMETAL adapation.
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 From:  AlexPolo
8126.11 
Here is method using current MOI tools.

SKIN > SHELL > Apply Radius

Shell and Radius Step could be rolled into one.





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 From:  MajorGrubert (CARLOSFERREIRAPINTO)
8126.12 
Hi Michael,

Looks that my request is harder to code than i tought : ) or probably only me will benefit from it.

Ok, and this: (after selecting 1 face of a solid) Copy to clipboard > Paste (same layer or new layer) > Rotate (90º along largest lenght) > Extrude (mouse pointer).

Copy/Paste/Rotate/Extrude are functions already present, nothing new. Its feasible to align this 4 tools in a sequence.

Or a toolbox were the user can (re)place the tools and sequence needed.

Be aware that i've no idea of the work involve on this sugestions.

Thanks.

Carlos
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 From:  Michael Gibson
8126.13 In reply to 8126.12 
Hi Carlos, the difficult part currently would be in getting the axis directions from the surface for which way to rotate, there aren't really any functions currently for a script to interrogate a surface and retrieve directions from it, I guess unless a world axis aligned bounding box gives you all that you need.

I do want to add more functions in V4 to enable scripts to retrieve more shape information from surfaces and curves and that's what would probably be required in order to automate what you described above.

> Or a toolbox were the user can (re)place the tools and sequence needed.

A toolbox where you would interact with tools and reorder them would involve a huge amount of work, I mean you could check out Max's nodes library which is basically an environment to do that type of stuff.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
8126.14 In reply to 8126.12 
Hi Carlos, you know maybe for the particular case of a plane it would be easier than I had thought since it's possible to get the corner points of the plane from the endpoints of the boundary edges...

What about if instead of choosing X / Y / Z in UI controls like you showed, if you would click on one of its edges to define the pivot axis?

- Michael
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 From:  MajorGrubert (CARLOSFERREIRAPINTO)
8126.15 
Hi Michael,

'if you would click on one of its edges to define the pivot axis'

Yes, i thing so... the rotation is (always) on/along the middle point of the smallest edge... so a extra click there will define the pivot axis.

Or maybe the World Axis could do, i don't know.

About Max's Nodes: Is completely out of my reach : )

Thanks.

Carlos
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 From:  Mik (MIKULAS)
8126.16 In reply to 8126.15 
Hi Carlos,

Only fo information: Sweep: profile (required rectangle) + rail (required radius) = quite quick bending workflow. After solid arc modelling it is possible to continue via extrude/face only.

Maybe new tool in V4 - Draw Solid / Arc would be useful.




Mik
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 From:  AlexPolo
8126.17 
Draw Solid ARC is basically same function in Solidworks CREATE EDGE FLANGE this could certainly be an easy workflow to create most sheet metal parts with radius and projection angle as an input would be great.

Maybe with a head count for backers with some $$$ this function could be coded.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
8126.18 In reply to 8126.15 
Hi Carlos, so let me ask a little more detail about your current workflow.

You wrote:
> The workflow is like this: Select a solid face > Copy to clipboard > Paste > Rotate (usually 90ª) > Extrude. That's it.

For the "select a solid face" is this a single surface like one you made with Construct > Planar or is it a face that is joined to other faces in a solid? Or sometimes either?

Do you use the "Both sides" option in the Extrude step?

You could probably streamline your current steps with the regular MoI toolset by using the Transform > Rotate > Rotate axis command (set RotateAxis on a shortcut key). You'd want to enable the checkbox for "Make copies" so that you'd automatically drop a copy when doing the rotation. You only have to manually enable the "Make copies" checkbox the first time you use it, it will then stay on for the remainder of that program session. Then you'd pick 4 points to do the rotation, first 2 points define the rotation axis, then the next point defines the 0 angle point, then the final point gives the rotation angle. Have Straight Snap turned on so the final point automatically snaps at 90 degree increments. Then right click to end, if you continue to left click it will drop more copies.

It looks like this and should work with a plane of any orientation (here I've just set up a shortcut key for RotateAxis and run it one time previously to enable the "Make copies" checkbox):



Is that any better than your current steps?

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
8126.19 
And no need Manipulator! ;)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
My Gallery
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 From:  Michael Gibson
8126.20 In reply to 8126.19 
Hi Pilou, yes RotateAxis can give you a lot of flexibility to do a rotation relative to specific points which tends to be difficult to do with manipulators. Manipulators tend to be good at rotating objects around some arbitrary central point, it's a pretty different thing. In CAD the primary focus is on accuracy.

- Michael
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