How Do We Choose a Suitable Design Software for Our Sheet Metal Fabrication?

Label:CAD Software, Sheet Metal Design, 3D Models

Mar 9, 202120800

How Do We Choose a Suitable Design Software for Our Sheet Metal Fabrication?

You can use various tools and software to design the expected sheet metal parts, but they may not be a one-stop solution.

We have found some of the most useful and commonly used CAD (computer-aided design) software for sheet metal processing today. In addition, before the end of this chapter, we will provide you with 5 leading sheet metal processing design software brands currently available on the market.

Why do sheet metal parts manufacture need ideal CAD software?

There are several products that can provide procedures related to sheet metal manufacturing design and similar business. Engineers and expert manufacturers have been using special drawing tools that can generate design data.

Compared with real objects (solid form), sheet metal parts are mostly made by 2D models using operations such as bending, stamping, and welding.

Because sheet metal design is very different from solid modeling, design engineers using software must integrate certain regulations into the design. This will enable the manufacturer to properly convert the programmed model into sheet metal elements.

In addition, with the right design and modeling tools, you can minimize or eliminate errors and bring the design to the workshop quickly. Delays and design flaws usually result in time loss, material waste and loss of profitability, which will greatly harm the business.

For a company that is struggling to cope with shrinking, choosing the ideal CAD software is actually a matter of life and death. The use of such modern tools can minimize engineering change orders (ECO), redesign errors, and other errors commonly made by designers.

In addition, choosing a CAD system that suits your needs may bring more business opportunities and increase sales.

5 things to consider when choosing the right CAD software

Here are 5 tips to consider when choosing the right CAD software when designing sheet metal:

1. Sheet Metal Design Ability

Engineers and designers with sheet metal design capabilities must ensure that the CAD system they purchase should be compatible with the current program.

If not, they may start from scratch. The initial requirement was to determine the sheet metal compatibility in the CAD setup of the planned purchase. However, no single CAD system can meet all your design needs. This is the fact that all of us must accept.

In addition, some of the most advanced CAD systems available today may not be compatible with your current tools. There are now more available CAD modeling platforms with sheet metal design functions, which can easily be used to develop 3D models. There are various CAD systems that can convert solid models into sheet metal elements, and then supplement plane patterns from them.

2. DFM Regulations

A CAD system designed with manufacturability (DFM) functionality will increase productivity while minimizing wasted time. It is strongly recommended to use the DFM function in the design of sheet metal products, because the system can guarantee the operability of the pattern before sending it to the workshop.

The new generation of CAD tools allows designers to re-examine the design and perform final verification before actual manufacturing.

3. Ability to Handle Different File Formats

Designers and engineers must remember that one of the basic reasons for choosing a CAD system for sheet metal design is that the software has the ability to store and process different file formats. Even the largest companies engaged in this type of business should abide by this practice, because they may have a large number of vendors of such software that can help them develop so many projects.

Some design information may come from other CAD systems of other vendors. When you use multiple files, transferring these models or images to a local program may lose their significant functions. But always remember that this is part of an evolving system and the entire team must learn to adapt easily.

4. More Effective and Lasting Tools

Choosing software specifically designed for sheet metal processing is the obvious reason. Although the program is detailed in 3D, most sheet metal designs usually include 2D engineering drawings. However, the 3D model cannot fully reflect other specifications and dimensions (such as tolerances, surface finish, etc.), and more details are needed after the foundation is laid.

In this regard, the 3D CAD system you should choose must have the ability to design drawings according to the basic procedures you follow. Standard functions such as BOM (bill of materials) lists, dimensions, letters and tolerances must be compatible with the new system.

Also, please note that your illustrations and other designs can be easily exported in basic formats such as DWG, PDF and DXF. This will bring up subtle questions about your newly adopted software.

5. Shorter Program Learning Time

Choose a software that users can learn easily in the shortest time (also known as "short learning curve"). When the user cannot learn how to implement it correctly in the local system, even the most advanced CAD system in the world may not be powerful enough.

Consider a system with a short learning curve and the most familiar user interface. From concept establishment to production site, choose an easy-to-understand procedure.

5 Best CAD Software for Sheet Metal Manufacturing

1. Solidworks

2. Rhinoceros CAD

3. Solid Edge

4. AutoCAD

5. AutoDesk Inventor


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