Suppose we have a plastic part modeled as bent around a cylinder with an x-axis. Because the material is plastic and the manufacturing method is injection molding, part stretch is not a concern.
Suppose further that the part is a solid part that will be converted to a straight spring. The part needs to be flattened to obtain the correct spring dimensions--the part may have variable width in the x direction.
What is the best way to flatten this part?
Follow the steps for the first two "Folds" but use 179.9 degrees (can't have it intersecting/colliding with itself) for each fold.
You will need to work out the material length that you require.
This was just an exercise to have the holes in a flat pattern before bending, but the "Fold" principle is the same.
You really could increase the length of the base item and create a clamp with holes on the end flanges.
I can't open the attachment:
Database schema for file C:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\Temp\Flange.ipt is (17.0 (Build 170095000, 95)), which is newer than this version (16.0 SP2 (Build 160219200, 219)) of the software
It is done in IV2013, as noted in my post signature. The only way to get this into IV2012 is to export to a neutral format which would loose all the detail in the model tree.
Install the SP1.1 as well.
Now that I can see the part you posted, I think there is some miscommunication. I'm not trying to bend a part. Instead, I have a part modeled as bent around a constant curve -- cylinder around x-axis. What I need to do is straighten the part or unwrap surfaces so I can model the part as straight. I've read that others have had some success with using the sheet metal environment, but I'm hoping for a more direct and less klunky approach. The part has spline curves (as mentioned in the original description) that lead to variable width in the x direction and make ripping a shelled version of the part laborious.
I've attached two pictures. One shows the part shelled and gives a good example of the variable width I mentioned. The other is a side view showing the curves I want to straighten. Projecting from the curved surface to a 2D plane does not produce the desired result.
Not as you have modeled it is it within the scope of Inventor. It could be done as Sheet-Metal in four pieces and then joined together to form an assembly (weldment) for the singe tube piece.
I was able to get the desired result as a flat pattern (see image with strategic use of SHELL. I've yet to find a way to convert the flat pattern into a 3D editable solid.