Creating a Custom Punch in Inventor Sheet Metal
Posted on June 17, 2014 by Dave Breiner, Synergis Manufacturing Solutions Engineer:
You may find yourself in the position of needing a Custom Punch for an upcoming sheet metal project, to make your life a little easier. Maybe you either have never tried to make a punch, or it has been a long time since your last attempt. This will help you clear it up.
To begin, we will start a sheet metal part and add the features that we want to use for our punch. I’ll start a simple face with the current sheet metal settings. I will add a new sketch to the face and sketch my punch outline.
I have created my custom punch sketch and added all relevant parameter names and values. These parameters will help you adjust the size of the punch when placing the geometry, so make the parameter names descriptive enough so you know what dimension you are changing.
The sketch MUST also include a point (I have placed mine at the origin of this punch) that is used to position the Punch geometry when the feature is placed using the Punch Tool.
Complete the part by cutting the shape.
From the Manage Tab and the Author Panel, select Extract iFeature.
When the Extract iFeature window opens, you will first select the Cut that we just performed, located in the model browser. The Selected Features should populate with your model parameters.
In our case, we want to select the Sheet Metal Punch Feature at the top of the window. We also want our punch Height and Width. Any parameters that were renamed are automatically added to the Size Parameters area as shown above. We can send the Thickness back to the left pane since it will be the sheet metal thickness used in the current sheet metal rule.
- The Name field controls the name of the parameter.
- The Value field controls the default value of the parameter.
- The Limit field controls the acceptable values for the parameter. None allows any numeric value for the parameter. Range (see example below) places an upper and lower limit for the value of the parameter. List (see example below) limits the values to a user-specified list of values.
When you are satisfied with all of your edits and selections, click the button in the lower right of the Extract iFeatures dialog box. Browse to which folder you would like to locate the Punch file, enter a name for the file, and click .
That is it! You can begin to use your custom punch. It’s just that easy!
Dave Breiner joined Synergis in 2013 as a Solutions Engineer on our Manufacturing team with an amazing amount of experience. Coming directly from being a CAD Manager with SPX/Ecolaire, Dave is well versed in implementing and using Autodesk software having transitioned the department from 2D to 3D modeling by developing a 3D modeling program, implementing modeling standards, and creating automated models using iLogic programming. Dave began his career with SPX as a preliminary designer of steam condensers before being promoted to Manager of Drafting. Prior to this, Dave was with Bethlehem Steel for over 20 years, performing many tasks including millwright, rigger and fitter. During this time he also completed his degree in Engineering Design.