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How to use the Flange tool in Fusion 360?

Using the Flange tool to create bends in Fusion 360 is a great way to ensure your bent parts have the formed dimensions you need. Once your sheet metal rules are set up you shouldn’t have to worry about the math! Just let Fusion calculate for you. 

Using the Flange tool to add flanges

1. Create a sheet metal rule if needed

If you haven’t already, create a sheet metal rule in Fusion for the material and thickness you intend your part to be cut from.

2. Draw a 2D sketch of the base of your part

You want only the base of your part to be present in your 2D sketch since you will add the flanges later.

3. Extrude your sketch with the Flange tool

Then, extrude your sketch to the desired material thickness. We recommend using the Flange tool for this since it will automatically convert the part to sheet metal using the desired sheet metal rule.

From the Sheet Metal tab, click the CREATE dropdown menu and then select Flange.

In Fusion 360, navigate to the Sheet Metal tab, click CREATE, then select Flange from the dropdown menu.

Select the Profile, choose the desired Sheet Metal Rule from the dropdown menu, and click OK.

Use the Flange tool to extrude your part's base and set the correct sheet metal rule.

This will create a Sheet Metal Body and automatically hide your Sketch.

4. Use the Flange tool to add flanges

Now you can use the Flange tool again to add flanges to your part. When you design with the Flange tool, you are dictating what the final formed dimensions should be.

Use the Flange tool to add flanges to your sheet metal base. Set the dimensions to the desired finished outcome.

The Flange tool will automatically apply the information from the sheet metal rule when creating the flange. This will ensure that the flat file you export later will have the correct dimensions in order to result in the formed dimensions you want. 

5. Measure your 3D part

Use the Measure tool to confirm your 3D design has the dimensions you want your finished, bent part to have.

Export a 2D DXF File

When all flanges have been added and your design is ready, export a 2D DXF by following the steps in our guide here: How To Export a DXF from Fusion 360 – SendCutSend

As an example of applied sheet metal rules, you can see in the flat pattern for this design that the flange is slightly shorter than in the 3D preview. This is because the metal will stretch when it is bent, and the sheet metal rule is compensating for that.

It is consistent with the SendCutSend Bending Calculator since the sheet metal rule was set using the calculator’s specifications.

When you export your flat pattern and submit the DXF file to SendCutSend, we’ll cut the part at those exact dimensions. After the part is bent and stretched in the process, the final formed part will have the dimensions you designed in the 3D workspace.

For more Fusion 360 guidance, explore our Fusion tutorials

In Summary:

How to use the Flange tool in Fusion 360?

1. Draw a sketch showing the base of your part only.
2. Convert to sheet metal and apply a sheet metal rule using the Flange tool.
3. Use the Flange tool to add flanges to the base of your part. Set the flanges to the final, formed lengths you want them to be.

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