Forming Technologies (FTI) announced the worldwide release of BlankWorks v5.0. BlankWorks provides SolidWorks 2013 users with a fully integrated add-in application for developing optimal flat patterns from complex 3D designs.
BlankWorks is most commonly used for flattening complex 3D sheet metal components but has also been employed for flattening other SolidWorks designs ranging from vinyl decals, canvas tents, swimming pool liners, upholstery, boat hulls, aircraft and helicopter parts, insulation, thermoform packaging, electronic, and consumer product components, the company says.
"Over the past 13 years, a wide variety of industries that design complex 3D parts manufactured from 2D raw material have adopted BlankWorks for flat pattern development," said Dan Marinac, director of business development at FTI. "However, the most common industry served is progressive die tooling design. BlankWorks 5.0 gives SolidWorks 2013 users a competitive advantage during the die tryout stage of tooling development. Trial and error methods traditionally used to develop complex flanges and flat pattern shapes can take days to weeks to develop. Using BlankWorks, users are able to develop flanges and blank shapes for their stampings in less than a minute."
New features in BlankWorks 5.0 include feature line mapping, which allows users to map lines and edges from part to flat pattern or curved surface. FTI has also added a sketch showing the minimum rectangular blank encompassing the flat pattern. In addition to flat pattern development and flange unfolding, the solution also provides a contour plot indicating the thickening and thinning resulting from the forming process. It accounts for material stretch and deformation, as well as bending, and can flatten any SolidWorks geometry including imported data. This tool can also be used to assess the feasibility of a part for manufacturing.
For more information, visit FTI.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company's website.