Flattening Cone-Shaped Sheet Metal in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS users sometimes experience issues that prevent the software from creating flat patterns with cones and cylinders.

SOLIDWORKS users sometimes experience issues that prevent the software from creating flat patterns with a cone and cylinder.

In the tutorial video, we’re presented with a cone designed with the “Revolve,” “Shell” and “Cut-Extrude” features.

When applying the “Insert Bends” feature, located on the Sheet Metal toolbar or from the Insert dropdown menu under Sheet Metal, SOLIDWORKS tells us a non-linear edge at the seam of this cone is invalid.

This error is a common one and can be easily fixed.

Analyzing the Cut-Extrude feature reveals that the cut was not exactly centered at the center point of the cone. This results in a curved seam edge.

To fix this issue, all that needs to be done is to adjust the cut-extrude so that the edge of the seam is located exactly along the center of the cone.

Delete the symmetric relation, which keeps the cut centered about the construction line. Then, add a collinear relation between one side of the rectangle and construction line.

The Insert Bends feature should now operate without a problem.

Remember that only edges that run exactly down the center of the cone are linear. Other edges, no matter how small the seam is, will always be parabolic.

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About the Author


Sam Sanchez is an Applications Engineer with SolidProfessor and a CSWP. Sanchez is an alumni of UC San Diego, and in her free time enjoys 3D printing and hanging out with her dog Ruby. You can see more training videos on a wide range of CAD, CAM & BIM topics at www.solidprofessor.com.