This is a really simplistic idea that I'm not sure why its not been implemented yet.
Sometimes, I'll create a flat sheet, and bend it to the desired finished product, then parameter my length and width into Custom I-Properties. If I change the flat sheet overall sizes, my iProperties change along with it. Easy peasy!
However, if I start with a drawn profile, extrude, convert to sheet metal, add flanges etc, then flat pattern, I'll have to type out manually the overall length and width, which are given from the sheet metal extents.
The only way I can vaguly get the second approach parametric, is to place a sketch onto the flat pattern, and add overall dimensions. Then go into the parameters, and export the length and width from there. However, I'm not 100% confident that when I alter the flanges, or profile, and re-flat pattern, that the sketch will retain the overall sizes.
Is there any tools, or can it be implemented in future releases of Inventor, where you can export the Overall Length and Width of a flat shape, since these dimensions pop up within the Sheet Metal Extents. Or am I missing a trick somewhere??
This is already available in Inventor. See the following links:
You can also customize your use of the Sheet Metal Width and Sheet Metal Length to meet your own needs.
Hope this helps, Paul
I didn't realise you can have a "Length = <sheet metal length>" in as the iProperty!
Will save me sketching out on the flat pattern.
Still seems daft though that when a flat pattern is made, parameters appear showing your bend relief, thickness etc, yet not an overall Length/Width which could then be exported directly to iProperties.
Actually there is a Sheet Metal Add-In that exposes those parameters and I have used it with some success. It does not work correctly with iParts and iAssemblies so I quit using it and am using a work around that does what we need.