Rhino polysurfaces to solidworks sheet metal

I’m trying to get a rhino model of sheetmetal parts to play nicely with solidworks sheetmetal features because a fabricator wants to use flatten in solidworks.

Here is an example file - to make stuff extra hard, the parts have rolls in addition to bends.

I’ve tried exporting single surfaces and thickening in solidworks, but I can’t get solidworks to identify the bends.

Any ideas?


base test.3dm (3.5 MB)

Hi Alec - I’d separate out the bends, I think, and see how that plays. Does SW recognize bends that are not arcs?


Eh I guess this is a while ago but when I’ve dealt with fabricators I’ve just sent them 3D of the result I want and their engineers rebuild it in whatever they’re using to flatten it–maybe they used a “convert” ability but it’s a black box to me. This steel fabrication stuff is a bit of a black art so they would want to control the whole thing, not try to work with someone else’s geometry.

I’m not even sure Solidworks’ conversion features can convert that if you made it in Soldiworks, it’s a bit “freeform,” there are no distinct crisp perfect arc bend surfaces. If it’s supposed to be freeform, that’s not really in the purview of “sheetmetal features,” that’s a different sort of process…


Yes, it’s a roll bent part that has a variable radius roll, and a brake-formed bend. The roll bend I think solidworks can handle - if I export the profile from rhino and use “lofted bend” in solidworks, it makes the shape and will flatten it. But it facets it as though it were a bump-formed part instead of rolled…

Agreed completely - usually I send either a finished solid geometry for them to rebuild or a drawing and flat pattern to laser cut and then form manually. This is a new shop I haven’t worked with before and they really want it in solidworks.

Solidworks will indeed work with bends that aren’t arcs, but will facet them (and I’m guessing that’s fine for now.)

How did you divide up the surface in your screenshot? Maybe I’ll see what solidworks thinks of that surface? I tried dividealongcreases but it would not give a result.

Thank you both!