Skip to main content

SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal: Avoid some of the most common mistakes


Does SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal also give you a headache? You are certainly not alone. Sheet Metal is one of the areas that generates the most SR tracks at SOLIDWORKS. This has been the case ever since the entire Sheet Metal section had to be reprogrammed in 2012-2014.

In SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal, there is a lot of new functionality that does not work when files are made with Sheet Metal's old architecture.

This is an issue many of our customers can nod in recognition of.

The problem can be illustrated as follows:

It's a bit like imagining two rooms with a wall in between.
Here, the wall between the two rooms (The old code) has been removed, so that it is a large room (The new code).
If you now have an old Sheet Metal file - a picture that has been posted on the wall that has now been removed - it will go wrong.

How to check if Sheet Metal files are made with the old architecture, you ask?
There are several options for that.

Solution 1: Check the Feature tree

What you need to check is whether you have templates for Sheet Metal parties made with the old architecture. It is best seen in the Feature tree in SOLIDWORKS.

In the old Sheet Metal file you can see that there is a Sheet Metal feature and a Flat Pattern for each body that is in the file at the main level.

In the new file, Sheet Metal features and Flat Pattern are gathered in folders.

The difference looks like this:

Solution 2: Check Feature Properties

Another way to see where the file is from, is by checking the date in Feature Properties.

You can find it here:

One error fixed - but what about all the others?

We still see places where there are old templates for Sheet Metal that contain the old architecture. This means that even if you work in SW2017, you can start a file that works with the old architecture, with the risk of errors and a lot of wasted time both for you and for us in the support.

I could write a very long blog about all the mistakes that can occur, but I will (after all) spare you that.

This time I will just encourage you to check your templates, and if there are old Sheet Metal templates, get them fixed and saved - it will fix some bugs and help you along the way.

It also gives you the opportunity to see if the file that have errors, maybe is just made before SW got its new Sheet Metal architecture made.

Error mirroring Sheet Metal part

One last tip I want to give is in regards to mirroring Sheet Metal parties.

There may be old Sheet Metal parts that are made with the old architecture, where the new functionality will not work if you want to continue working with it.

For example, it can be "Bent" under Lofted Bends and Corner relief.

Where the mistake most often happens is when you want to mirror an old Sheet Metal that is made in the old architecture. Then you can not get your Sheet Metal information and properties into the new mirrored part.

The menu items are gray and cannot be accessed as shown below.

The best thing here would be to redraw the old one and mirror afterwards.

More tips and tricks for Sheet Metal

I hope the above solutions and tips help you a little to a better understanding of Sheet Metal and the mistakes you may encounter.

If you need assistance with fixing errors, we are, as always, ready for support.


The best greetings,
Michael Thomson

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful



Please sign in to leave a comment.