Since the dawn of my CAD modeling career, I have tried to learn every method, checkbox, and secret hand shake to make my designs as parametric as possible. Even if it took me longer to design, I wanted to be able to drive the entire model with a few parameters to make my designs dance to the size, shape, and configuration I needed for various jobs.
When I first found out we couldn’t define the length of a flange by using parametric end conditions, I was flabbergasted. After smashing my head into the keyboard, it dawned on me: Fusion 360 fuses multiple modeling techniques (parametric, sheetmetal, freeform, direct, mesh, and surface). I just had to get creative with my approach.
Sheet metal bodies in Fusion 360 are just like any other body except they can be unfolded, bent, and flattened. So I thought to myself, “maybe we can extrude on the flanges.” I gave it a try and it instantly produced parametric flanges that would update when design changes are made to the referencing geometry. Check out this video to see the workflow in action:
Extrude isn’t the only tool in the toolkit that will improve your sheet metal skillz. Try using other parametric features (move face, rectangular/circular pattern, mirror, etc.) combined with your sheetmetal workflows to become a Fusion 360 master.
Make sure to check Sheet Metal Gems Part 1 and Part 2 to learn a few of these workflows. Remember: Fusion 360 updates come out on a continuous cycle, not just once a year ;]. We prioritize features based off of your feedback on the Ideastation. I even found this idea on the Ideastation that would streamline this exact workflow.