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Friday, April 17, 2015

What's New in Inventor 2016 - Sheet Metal

Sheet metal has had some nice improvements in Inventor.  Speaking for myself, I think there are some pretty exciting features.

So what are some of these new features?

1) Multi-body is now supported in sheet metal.  Now you can create multiple sheet metal bodies in a single part file.  This gives an opportunity for whole new ways of laying out components in Inventor!  Create geometry in both solids, then create separate components from the solids!

Notice the two bodies in the browser

2) Zero bend radius.  I've heard this one requested from time to time, and when I say "time to time", I mean "all the time". Quite simply, it's the ability to create a bend with zero radius.  No more red in the bend radius field when you want to make that sharp corner!

No red text in the Bend Radius field

3) Auto detect material thickness.  When using imported components into the sheet metal environment, Inventor now has the ability to detect the material thickness.  One manual step saved!

Thickness is automatically detected on import

4) Punch tool shows number of instances. The punch tool will show the number of instances in the dialog box when placing them.  It's a simple thing, but a nice thing to know before you commit the command.

So there are four quick bullet points on what's new in Autodesk Inventor 2016 sheet metal.  I'm planning on creating some more posts that will go into a little more detail on how to use these tools, and I'm hoping to do that soon.

Stay tuned!


  1. I'm pretty new to sheet metal, but when would you want a zero bend radius? I can only think that you get one if you're welding two sheets perpendicular to each other with a fillet weld.

    1. I've not used it much myself. I've always had a radius when I've used sheet metal. But I do know that certain materials, particularly thin materials and materials of "O" heat treat can for all intents and purposes, get to a zero radius bend.

      For example, the article on Engineers edge states:

      "Commercial sheet metal radius are created with less concern for stress created during forming and radii can approach zero (sharp internal corner) for many thin sheet metal gages"