Flatten a Sheetmetal part model


I have a model of a metal sheet metal part and I want to flatten it to get an accurate flat pattern with Bend allowance

Maybe Unwrap and Flatten Faces will do what you need. Depends on how you made the model.

Hi DaveR,

Thanks for your reply. Can I add my model to this post so you can see what I am working with? I am relatively new to the forum

This is a snip of the model

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I’m not at my computer right now but you can share the model the same way you did with the snip. When I get home I’ll look. Or someone may beat me to it.

CBBD000-DUOGUARD Bridge Connector (Bracket).skp (84.6 KB)

Here is the model

Besides what @DaveR mentioned, I’ve also used a plugin called Flattery to unfold the faces of a model, but that doesn’t take material thickness into account like I see here. With real world material thickness like this, I know just enough to know that deformation of the material is an issue to be addressed without knowing how you address that. Good question.

Real material will compress on the inside of the bend and stretch on the outside. An an engineering analysis of the material and shape is needed to get a precise answer, though I suppose there are rules of thumb in machinist handbooks.

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I’m not likely to get back to my computer for awhile. As the others have indicated, there are things you need to take into consideration such as the amount of stretch and compression in the bends. Probably the best thing in SketchUp would be to create a surface that represents the center of the thickness of the material and unfold that.

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Hi, everyone, thanks for your input.

I have reasonable knowledge around sheet metal in particular K factor, Bend allowance etc

I come from a SolidWorks background which has a great sheet metal capability

My new employer uses Sketchup Pro which is great for the sales stuff we do and is pretty good for most engineering requirements we have.

I can work out what I have to manually but was looking to see if there was an extension that could achieve the same result with less work

Try searching Google with “bending allowance in sheet metal” without the quotes.

Thanks Jean, This led me down the same rabbit hole I have been down for 2 days now. It is looking like there is no extension or capability in SketchUp for this yet

CBBD000.skp (353.0 KB)

This is the latest model of the part

MACHINERY’S HANDBOOK (Machinery's Handbook - Industrial Press) will have the calculations. Expensive, so look for an older edition. Bending hasn’t changed much.

Finally back to my computer.

So a few options have been presented for unfolding or unwrapping. No matter which one you use, they will only unwrap a surface so you can’t flatten out the bent part with thickness as in your model. For something as simple as this piece I wouldn’t bother to unfold it. I figured out the centerline of the edge, found its length–Entity Info will tell you that-- and drew a rectangle to which I added the radiused corners and hole. I also added some softened edges to show where the bends are. I expect they aren’t really needed, though.

CBBD000.skp (106.8 KB)