I am trying to unroll a beam, but explaining is easier with a picture:
More accurately, I am trying to "unroll" the grey spiral so that its plane stays coincident with the plane of the brown beam, to which it is mated. So eventually I would want the grey spiral to be completely expanded, and horizontal in the same plane as the brown beam. I have been looking around to see if anyone has done something similar, but cannot find it. I am unsure of whether to make the grey part a sheet metal part (which allowed me to make the spiral in the first place) or to make a flat beam, and then use the bend feature, which seems a bit more difficult considering how many time I would need to bend it to create a spiral. Any suggestions would be very appreciated!
Convert to sheetmetal will be able to unfold it to a flat part. Bending it from a flat bar would be a lot of work with a constantly varying bend radius.
"Convert to sheetmetal will be able to unfold it to a flat part. Bending it from a flat bar would be a lot of work with a constantly varying bend radius."
is there any way to more easily perform this task? Considering sheetmetal is scraped, I do not know how to make a constantly varying bend radius for the flat bar idea.
"Considering sheetmetal is scraped" How so?
You could do it the way i used to design scrolls for centrifugal fans. It is an approximation of a constantly varying involute with 4 (in that case) arcs of reducing radius. Arcs are tangent and their centres are controlled by a symmetrical offset in the centre. Basically if you looked at the flat pattern of this part you would see the series of tangent edges getting closer and closer together (see attached) - you can then bend up at these locations with your radius from your formed model.
See attached for bend part option. I have just selected random dimensions, you should measure or link the developed length and radius from your formed part. I assume you want to do it this way so you can show it at various stages of unfolding? Did you know you can also use the unflod option in sheet metal parts to unflow one radius at a time?
Wow, thank you! I completely misread your first post as sheetmetal being UNable to unfold it to a flat part. I do want to show it at various stages of unfolding. I didn't know I could use the unfold option in sheet metal parts, but when I tried to create a Contour Flange with the spiral I drew, Inventor came up with an error and suggested decreasing the bend radius. I attached a picture. Any suggestions? I wasn't quite sure how you applied a symmetrical offset in the center..
It turns out, once I fully defined the spiral sketch, I could create a contour flange. From there, I created an assembly between the spiral and the brown beam from the first image on this thread. Now I am trying to figure out how to animate the bending of the grey part in an assembly!
You are welcome, I am glad it helped! I think animation might be a bit more difficult but good luck.