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Drainage pans for sheet metal

Status: Under Review
by Valued Contributor marshallw ‎12-31-2012 07:58 AM - edited ‎12-31-2012 08:07 AM

It would be nice to have a dimpling procedure in sheet metal (similar to sheet metal punch tools that create "feet" or other punched forms that do not actually cut a hole in the sheet metal face. Given a starting face, a dimple point and a dimple depth, crease  the face along the four crease lines to create a drainige pan or strengthening ribs.


Drain Pan 1.jpg


 Drain Pan 2.jpg


The result is a piece of sheet metal with a depressed point at the "dimple" depth, slightly bent along the creasing lines.

Creasing sheet metal along 4 lines from a dimple point is a very common procedure for creating drain pans and strengthening sheet metal assemblies such as heating & air conditioning system conduits.

Status: Under Review
All "humble opinions" are considered on the Inventor Idea Station. Therefore I am modifying this status from "Solution Provided" to "Under Review". Thanks - Dan
by Employee on ‎01-28-2013 03:02 PM
Status changed to: Future Consideration
This is something that the team has brought up in the past
by Employee on ‎01-29-2013 12:35 PM

Hello Marshall,


  One possible way that may work for you now is to use a Lofted Flange.  To model it, create one sketch that defines the outside perimeter.  Then create an offset workplane that describes the depth of the pressing operation.  At that location, create another sketch that is just a 1/32" square.  Use the Lofted Flange feature with the Press Brake output selected.


  Now this will not work for modeling ducting due to the hole in the side, but it could suffice as a drainage pan.  A hole/punch could be placed afterward.





Bryan Kelley

Sr. Software QA Engineer


by Employee on ‎01-29-2013 12:50 PM

One side note, you could then use a few Boundary Patches and Sculpt them together.




It will be closed after that if it is participating within some ductwork.




Bryan Kelley

Sr. Software QA Engineer

by Employee on ‎02-27-2013 12:41 PM
Status changed to: Solution Provided
Mashall, We would be curious to hear if the workaroud Bryan suggested currently satisfies your request. Thanks, Dan
by Valued Contributor marshallw on ‎03-01-2013 08:22 AM

Lofted flange solution does not work. it rounds the corners of the original rectangles. This negates adding additional flanges to the model (that are correct). Thanks for the suggestion, though.

by *Expert Elite* on ‎03-01-2013 03:00 PM

Hi  marshallw,


I wonder if the Cosmetic Centerline tool would help you.


To create cross-break lines, follow these general steps:

  1. Click the Create Flat Pattern button (or the Go To Flat Pattern button if it’s already created) found on the Sheet Metal tab.
  2. Create a new 2D sketch on the appropriate face of the flat pattern (click OK if warned about the sketches on the flat pattern not carrying over to the folded model).
  3. Use the Line tool to create the cross-break line(s) as needed.
  4. Click the Finish Sketch button on the Sketch tab.
  5. Click the Cosmetic Centerline button (found on the Create panel in the Flat Pattern tab) and select the previously sketched line(s).
  6. Adjust the manufacturing information using the controls in the Cosmetic Centerline dialog box, and then click OK.


A Cosmetic Centerline feature will be created in the browser, and it will consume the sketch you created. You can edit it as you would any other feature if needed.


This cosmetic information is then availble in the drawing environemt allowing you to detail the flat pattern as needed.






by rptandy on ‎04-19-2013 02:22 PM

I see this marked as "solution provided,' but that is not the case IMHO. Another common term for what marshall is trying to do is a "crossbreak". The cosmetic centerline on the flat pattern works great for showing your manufacturer where to hit the metal, but it doesn't show the end result in the model. That causes problems with our press brake software too.

by Employee on ‎05-14-2013 09:09 AM
Status changed to: Under Review
All "humble opinions" are considered on the Inventor Idea Station. Therefore I am modifying this status from "Solution Provided" to "Under Review". Thanks - Dan
by jakeericht on ‎08-29-2013 01:33 AM

Hi Marshellw, I was wondering if you have managed to find a workable solution to the 'Drainage pans for sheet metal' which allows you to add flanges to it too? I am also trying to create what is a 'creased shower tray' and have tried Bryan's suggestion of a lofted flange, yet I am unable to add flanges to this without creating errors. I have added a 'Rip', then added a flange, yet their corners overlap and it will not flatten.

I am using Inventor 2013.

Really appreciate some help please.



by Valued Contributor marshallw on ‎08-29-2013 07:13 AM

I ran into the same problem, which is why I started the thread in the first place. I have attached the original test file (which does fold out into a flat pattern) for your inspection.

Good Luck,

Marshall Wilson
Applications Engineer
Total CAD Systems
480 N. Sam Houston Pkwy. E
Suite 234
Houston, TX 77060
(281) 445-6161
Autodesk(r) Platinum Partner
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