Bending Metal to Form Realistic Edge

I have tried and failed to model the joint edges of this metal assembly. I used a two point arc, then the follow me tool, but the results are not realistic (see image below). The opposite side is a plain edge. I also tried and failed to use Fredo Scale. The result I am trying to produce is below (see image). I have attached the SU file.

H1Tie.skp (100.9 KB)

I need help in developing a workflow (bending metal to form joints) using native tools if possible. And, if not possible, then an extension.

I also have no idea how to create the stiffeners and the bottom oval cut out.

Thank you in advance for your ideas and help.


stiffner I would do with one of fredo’s round corner tools.


Cannot seem to duplicate your process. Are you using Fredocorner or Roundcorner?

I was using round corner, but either should work the same?

Thanks, the animation is a little too fast, and I cannot see the menu selections. Is there a step-by-step guide? Also, you selected an offset of 9", how big is your model?

here’s another, the gifs seem to play faster than the actual modelling !

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I keep getting this error when I select 9".

Screen Shot 2020-03-29 at 1.14.45 PM

What are the dimensions of the face?

I was modelling it much bigger to avoid issues of tiny faces ( see “dave method” )
Make a component of your item then make a copy and scale it up, apply the round corner to the larger component and the process will be applied to your smaller/scale version. So in my model the width of the groove was 30".

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I get lost when you click on the edge of the face. Is the face a group? When I click, I get a message that there are no good edges.

No, nothing is grouped in this example. What parts are you selecting when you get that error?

I keep getting stuck with this:

My slot is 3’ x 10’, should be large enough

I am now thinking that there is a difference in Fredocorner and Roundcorner. The process breaks down almost immediately. Guess I will try Roundcorner and see if that makes a difference.

You can make the rounded hollows easily enough with native tools.

Draw the rectangle with rounded ends - say with the length along the red axis. Draw a line down the middle, and delete one half.

Draw a circle round the red axis. Rotate it half a segment (7.5 for the default 24 sided circle), and draw a diameter along the green axis. Delete the upper half and the diameter itself, to get this:

Select the semicircle, then the FollowMe tool, and then the half-face. That produces the rounded hollow you want, once you delete the original flat half face. Reverse faces to get the front faces up.

If you then want the edges rolled over, use Round Corner.

And give it all thickness with Joint PushPull, using the Round option.

Joint Push Pull goes a bit mad, and produces a lot of external jagged edges, even with a very modest extrusion: I deleted them to get this result.

Or you could do it all with FollowMe round the perimeter of the rounded rectangle.


Hi John,

Thanks for this. My first attempt was close, but I must have missed a step.

Screen Shot 2020-03-29 at 4.17.17 PM

you need to rotate by 1/2 a segment so the follow me begins perpendicular.

Looks to me as if you used the Arc tool to make the semi circle, or didn’t rotate a circle by half a segment. FollowMe starts perpendicular to the first segment of the path.

I used the circle tool. I rotated 7.5 clockwise. Is this right?

Another try, think I got this part ! WOW !

Making a whole object and intersect can be a simpler method.
Also as great as Fredo’s round corner etc are, sometimes it’s better to just smooth an edge. This makes further editing simpler.
Here I weld the curve, just to save time selecting, then offset. I smooth the inner edge (ctrl + eraser) and hide the offset (shift + eraser), this restricts the smoothing distortion to the ‘ring’ rather than the whole face.


I love seeing how everyone has a different approach.

I was going to say there’s an alternative to the half segment rotation trick which is to make the full circle, and then select the unwanted half and delete it, and that is in fact what @box is doing in his process. Here’s what the different geometry looks like in hidden geometry.

Any thoughts on the virtues of the end results of one versus the other?