New Onshape Sheet Metal Design Tools Announced

Full-cloud “Simultaneous Sheet Metal” technology lets users work concurrently on flat, folded and bend table representations.
Onshape says it will offer sheet metal designers and manufacturers simultaneous and synchronized flat, folded and tabular views. Image courtesy of Onshape. Onshape says it will offer sheet metal designers and manufacturers simultaneous and synchronized flat, folded and tabular views. Image courtesy of Onshape.

Onshape will be previewing new sheet metal design capabilities at the Pacific Design & Manufacturing 2017 conference. The company says the cloud-based design tools will enable faster creation and refinement of sheet metal parts with simultaneous generation of editable, synchronized flat, folded and tabular views.

“This has been one of the most highly anticipated enhancements requested by our customers,” said Scott Harris, Onshape’s VP of Product Definition and User Experience via a press release. “We’re proud to be delivering new tools that you can’t find anywhere else in the CAD industry. Our team has completely rethought and re-engineered the way sheet metal parts are designed and prepared for manufacturing.”

Onshape sheet metal

The Onshape team will be demonstrating its soon-to-be-released sheet metal capabilities at the Onshape Agile Design Pavilion (Booth 3401) on February 7-9 at the Anaheim Convention Center. In addition to highlighting the full Onshape ecosystem, including the recently released In-Context Editing, the live demos will explore how sheet metal professionals can speed up their design process in the following ways:

  1. Simultaneous Sheet Metal Views: Onshape shows all representations in one simultaneous view, according to the company. When designers edit one view, the other two are synchronized automatically using Onshape’s full-cloud database architecture. Seeing the flat and folded views side-by-side can help you visualize errors and interferences immediately, consider alternatives and ultimately, reduce scrap and wasted time.
  2. Editing Sheet Metal from a Bend Table View: The manufacturer can quickly change the parameters of a model in a bend table view—such as the radius or order of individual bends—while preserving the original design intent and seeing the impact immediately on the flat and folded views.

“Instead of having to bounce back and forth between separate sheet metal views, Onshape users can deliver faster design iterations and higher quality parts at a glance,” said principal software engineer Lana Saksonov, project leader on Onshape’s Sheet Metal team. “Having the flat view available simultaneously with the folded view lets the designer see the manufacturing impact while he or she is still modeling.

“So if you pick bends in the wrong place, it will show you why the flat pattern won’t work or why it is not optimal,” she continued. “Onshape won’t block geometry creation when causing an incorrect flat view, but will give you an immediate visual warning that there’s something wrong and provide the tools to fix it.”

Onshpae sheet metal bracket

Onshape’s Simultaneous Sheet Metal Views allow you to start down one path and then change it without having to start over again, said Harris.

“This is going to prevent a lot of headaches between designers and manufacturers, because almost all sheet metal work is done collaboratively,” he said. “We created the system to allow designers to build in design intent and allow fabricators to adjust the model based on specific tooling, without violating the design intent.”

The new sheet metal features, now concluding early visibility testing, will be made available to all Onshape users in a near-term release, according to the company.

For more information, visit Onshape.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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