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Import sheet metal step file


New member
I was able to open, in Wildfire, a step file from UG that was a sheetmetal part and then I converted it to a sheetmetal Pro/E part and then I created a flat pattern from that. Pretty cool, I thought, until I tried a more complex design and it didn't work. Is this a good way to create flat patterns using step files. I'm sort of trying to find a way for a vendor of mine to create flat patterns from step files.

Steve C
please define what : a more complex design means

can you give us a pic from what you have done in UG and you cannot do the same (or better) in proe ?

I'm not after doing it better in Pro/E. I'm pretty sure, with my limited usage of Pro/E, that I can do that. What I'm after, is a way for some of my sheet metal vendors to import a step or parasolid file and un-fold them. I was able to take a simple Z shaped sheet metal piece, export it in UG to create a parasolid and then un-fold it (after the sheet metal conversion) in Wildfire. I then tried it on a multi directional flanged piece of sheet metal (which I deemed as 'more complex') and it didn't work.

Steve C
Try unbending individual flanges to see where the hick-up is. My guess is a bend relief (or lack of) that causes an illegal geometry.

Out of curiosity, why are you debugging a method for a vendor? If the vendor is a sheetmetal fabricator I'd expect they have CAM software that unbends and programs the NC machine. Some CAM packages may not be able to deal with solids but be able to import IGES wireframe models.

On the conversion to sheetmetal you have to add at least 1 sheetmetal specific function, a radius or rip or relief for the conversion to work.

Specifically, how are you converting the part to sheetmetal?

Bernie is right about the sheetmetal vendors. The ones I use prefer that I send them the model for them to extract the geometry. I have to be sure the part unbends but they prefer to make the flat panel geometry. Each axis of bend is different due to the grain of the sheet going into the machines. Different developed length along the X and Y axis of the sheet.

Bernie, I'm not really trying to debug for a vendor, I'm just after simple ways to get data translated from us to them. Some of our vendors are still in the Autocad days when it comes to design work and some have SW and some (the better ones ) have Pro/E. I'm excited to learn a sheet metal package that can actually work as planned. I had no problems designing in UG sheet metal, it's just that sometimes it wouldn't flatten out.

jperkins, I'm converting to sheet metal by selecting Application -> Sheet Metal after an import and then when it asks for a 'Driving Srf' I pick one of the faces. Simple as that.

Steve C


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