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Fusion 360 Sheet Metal - for acrylic, cardboard, wood and other bent materials

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  • Fusion 360 Sheet Metal - for acrylic, cardboard, wood and other bent materials

    A feature in Fusion 360 that I haven't yet used until now is the Sheet Metal tools.
    The sheet metal tools allow you to create bent or formed objects from flat sheets. This is usually used for sheet metal, but it can also be used for other materials like wood, cardboard, and acrylic.

    I had a chance to really try it out, and started with a design I created to work with the new acrylic bender. Wow did it ever work well. I created a design for an iPad holder on my exercise bike (I'll do a full build post later) where a laser cut sheet of acrylic is bent into shape.

    The software lets you create "flanges" or bends, and look at the "flat pattern" of the shape before it is unfolded. Thickness can be changed and bend radius adjusted. Being a true 3D software some VERY creative objects can be created.


    Here is a render of the model, flat pattern, and finished product:

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    If working in wood is more your thing then you have to use "living hinges" where the wood is cut slightly to make it bendable. There is some really good information out there on how to modify the flat pattern to accommodate those features like these videos here.

    Wood living hinges in fusion, LONG tutorial:


    Shorter video on living hinges and a really unique object:





    If there is high demand for a workshop on this I can put one together. Ask and you shall receive...

  • #2
    This tutorial is really legit.

    It's all about creating a square to round transition like an HVAC part, built out of a single flat panel. Dust collector fittings? You bet. Wind tunnel feature? Yup, easy peasy. A whole world of options is available with this tool and the acrylic bender!


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