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    By Peter Maxwell-Stewart

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    This blog will show you how you can create different types of flat patterns using the rip command in Inventor 2018.pic2.gifI have made a lofted part using lofted flange in sheet metal, but the problem is I need to create a flat pattern of it so it can be manufactured. However, if we just hit flat pattern then the model just moves to look at one of the faceted faces but doesn’t actually flatten the part. Why? Well because it’s all one continuous piece of material. 

    So, we need to use the rip command to add a rip or split line into the material.  Watch the video to see how to insert a rip into your parts and also how you can divide your flat pattern into small patterns by adding multiple rips. This is especially useful when the whole parts single flat pattern may be bigger than a sheet size.

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    Mike Runager

    Actually, in the video, the instructor says it's useful that the software only shows one of the 4 flat patterns?  That's not really useful because not every part is going to be symmetrical. In fact, the part in the video is a rectangle-to-round transition; therefore, the software didn't generate the two necessary flat patterns from what was drawn.  Why did it only show one, and which one did the software choose to show?  And, how does one get it to show all flat patterns generated from the multiple rips?  Thanks.

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    Peter Maxwell-Stewart

    For non-symmetrical parts a multi-bodied solid approach would be taken. Instead of lofting the complete top and bottom profile you would split it into the necessary divisions. For example you would draw the complete rectangle as construction lines then draw a quarter of it on top as normal lines. Repeat this for all for corners and the same for the circle. Loft only quarter to quarter each time and ensure they are made as a new solid every time. These can then be turned from solids into individual parts and then flat patterned individually. So if the circle was off centre this would give you four individual patterns without the need for ripping. The benefit of this approach would also mean you can apply different thickness or rules to each solid as this was a new feature in 2018.

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