Convert Imported Part to Sheetmetal using Inventor

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When creating a part file (.ipt) Inventor, we know that we can easily switch back and forth between sheet metal and standard part by using the “convert to sheet metal” switch.

This allows us to access the contextual sheet metal ribbon and related toolsets.

However, this only works with files created natively in Inventor. What happens when we use 3rd party created data?

3rd Party Data

The dialog box below shows your import options when opening a non-Autodesk format in Inventor

Import STP file

We want to ensure that the convert options are selected as shown above and also that only solids are selected for conversion this will allow us to make it useable as a sheet metal part.

As can be see above, my sheet metal bracket is imported from a stp file.

There is our convert to sheet metal switch on the top right of the 3D model tab, and while it is tempting to use it, it won’t solve out problem.

Clicking this button will ask for a flat reference plain.

How to we convert this STEP file to sheet metal?

If you navigate to the environments tab, you will find another “convert to sheet metal” tool there. Using that one, will ask for a reference plain, and immediately create a sheet metal version from the solid selected.

Note. in order for it to detect the thickness, you must choose a face that is perpendicular to the thickness required.

And that will create a sheet metal part out of your 3rd party data, without having to redraw the part in Inventor.

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