Creating Conical Sheet Metal Components in Autodesk Fusion 360

IMAGINiT Technologies

Autodesk Fusion 360 does not have a specific command that will allow the creation of conical sheet metal components, but with a little creativity, the process is easy!

The first step is to create a constrained sketch of the desired conical component wall.  I have used a base radius and an angle, or you could use the a top radius instead.

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The next step is to use the Flange tool to turn the sketch into a sheet metal component.  Selecting the conical side sketch, set the distance to a very small value.  In my example, I am using -0.001 in because I would like the flange to be on the outside of my sketch line.  Select the desired sheet metal rule and select OK to finish. 

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Below is a close-up view showing the sheet metal flange and the sketch line at the top edge.

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At this point note the model parameter assigned to the sheet metal thickness (rename for easy recall).  Select the “Change Parameters” command on the Solid > Modify tool panel and expand the sheet metal parameter for the sheet “Thickness”.  In my example it is “d4”.  I have made it a Favorite for easy to access.

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Next, make sure that you have made the original sketch of the conical component visible so it can be used in the next step.  Change the Fusion 360 environment to either “Patch” or “Surface” depending on which user interface you are using (I am using the new UI Preview user interface).

Using the Revolve (surface) command, select the visible sketch and either the vertical construction line or the origin axis as the revolve rotational axis, and rotate to create a surface body of the required number of degrees.  IT IS VERY IMPORTANT not to rotate a full 360 degrees so a gap will be available in the conical sheet metal body to unfold it later.

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The last step in the process is to use the Thicken command in either the Surface or Solid environment to thicken the previously revolved surface body to the same value as the sheet metal flange created earlier using the parameter value I just made a Favorite. Two important things to remember are:

  1. Make sure the thickness is a negative value, so it is created on the same side of the surface as the sheet metal flange created earlier and
  2. To make sure the “Operation” is set to “Join”. What this does is make the thickness become a part of the sheet metal flange thus making the entire conical body a sheet metal component.

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All done!  Now you may select the Create Flat Pattern command in the Sheet Metal environment, select the inside surface of the conical sheet metal component as the Stationary Face and finish by picking OK.

1 2Using variations on this modeling technique, you can create truncated conical sheet metal components with intersections such as the one below.  The one thing to remember is to do all body cutting to the surface body BEFORE using the Thicken command.  This will give you clean square edges to your flat pattern layouts.

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