Breaking a sheet metal loft so it shows bend lines

Lofted bends are great way to create specialized sheet metal parts where you need a high degree of transition from one profile to another – think square to a circle duct work.

The lofted bend requires two open contour profiles for it to work, with no guide curves or sharp corners, so there are limitations.

Lofted Bend Lines Image 1

The problem comes when you want to see the bend lines. SolidWorks has rules for the sketches in order to see bend lines.

  • The sketches must be parallel
  • The sketches must have the same number of corresponding
    lines and curves

Looking at the previous image, we’re going from one sketch entity (an arc) to three (straight line – arc – straight line) = no bend lines.

Lofted Bend Lines Image 2

How can you get around this problem?

Easy–drop everything down to a single sketch entity via the Fit Spline and the straight line – arc – straight line are now a single spline entity.

Lofted Bend Lines Image 3

Go back and edit the Lofted Bend feature and you now have the option to control the number of bend lines or Maximum Deviation.

Lofted Bend Lines Image 4

And your flat pattern will now show the bend lines.

Lofted Bend Lines Image 5



Steve Ostrovsky is an Applications Engineer at TPM, a SolidWorks reseller with locations in North and South Carolina.

Want to try out the sheet metal capabilities in SolidWorks Premium? You can request a free trial on our website.

Want to see how SolidWorks can help you win new business and get to market faster? Request a  SolidWorks demo today.

steve ostrovsky

Latest posts by steve ostrovsky (see all)