I just can't seem to get this thing modeled in a way that it can bend flat successfully. Is there an obvious way to achieve this that I am missing?
Inventor will not flatten this part (there is no technique to get it to work in Inventor without 3rd party add-in).
So the first model I sent was a rough approximation for what I was failing to do. The loft was the best I could come up with at the time, but I spent some more time to try to demo exactly how this part needs to work and I think I might have figured it out. (At the very least the piece flattens out nicely now)
Looking at this attached version can you suggest if there is a cleaner way to achieve the same part? Is there a way to trim the little bits of the bend that push out from the square shape when viewed from above? Perhaps there a flange trick to take care of those?
It is unclear to me what you are really after.
I suspect you want this square looking from Front view.
You are missing a dimension in Sketch1.
Can you model the exact part you want using the standard tools and then worry about sheet metal later?
(but with respect to the sheet metal - how will this be manufactured. Will the flat be cut with the sides parallel to the flat or will the sides be angled (this would be unusual)?)
"Can you model the exact part you want using the standard tools and then worry about sheet metal later?"
I've attached an example of how this could be done. There are many ways to make any given part with standard tools and I'm certainly not pretending this is the best (the first Draft command is definitely a cheat) but in general I try and model anything complicated by sculpting a block and then use Thicken as the final command, rather than using Sheet Metal tools
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