Thursday, 11 December 2014

FreeCAD: Sheet metal tool "Add Wall"

 Thought not seen here, I work in the sheet metal workbench from time to time (last update), being my greater effort coding the unfold algorithm (related post). But I also work at the surrounding tools that this workbench needs, one of them is almost usable and is the reason of this post.

Add wall tool:

When I create the "dummy" shapes for testing the unfolding algorithm, the process is somewhat tedious. So I created this tool and developed it a bit to be easily integrated in the workbench in a future.

The utility of the tool is explained with this video:

Code can be found here

How to use it:

The script contains the function  "addWall", when calling it this are the possible input parameters:

thk = float:           Sheet thickness, 1.0 is the default value
bendR =  float:     Bend radius, default value is 3.0
alpha = float:       Angle of the new wall plane in reference to previous shape plane. 0 will give error (infinite bending radius needed ). By default 90º

L1 and L2 are better explained with a picture:

L1 and L2 values (float) modify the lengths noted by the white dimension marks. By default 0.0

Relief = boolean:  Create or not square relief slots (I think this is the correct name, but tell me if not) like this:

Relief slots have two parameters:

rlfWidth = float: The width of the relief, by default 0.5
rlfDepth = float: The depth of the relif, by default 1.0

Other parameters are:

inverted = boolean: Reverse bend direction, false by default
create = boolean:  This is to merge new wall with current object, true by default. Workbench utility
sketch = boolean: Automatically places a new sketch on new wall, false by default.

To use it, copy-paste the code at FreeCAD's  python console, select one suitable face to place a new wall and then type "addWall( arguments )".

It should work.