Tech Tips, SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD

Using SOLIDWORKS to Wrap Presents

By Chris Joren on December 20, 2018

Wrapping presents can be a lot of fun or a huge burden – it all depends on your outlook. Sometimes you end up with a piece of paper that isn't big enough, or the wrapping paper roll isn't wide enough, or you have a stack of boxes to the ceiling and would like to assembly-line the whole process. That’s where leveraging SOLIDWORKS can come in handy. In this Video Tech Tip, we will show you how to use the flattening and measuring tools in SOLIDWORKS to wrap your presents.

First, we’ll start with a simple extruded block with a line on either end face. These lines will act as rip sketches for our sheet metal flat pattern so we don’t end up with too much paper on the sides – having to somehow tuck it away or roll it up into a tootsie-roll twist (we’ve all been there). 

Next, we’ll convert to sheet metal. For our thickness, most wrapping paper is in the 0.005-0.007” range, depending on the quality. This doesn’t matter much, as with our 0.001” bend radius the material we add for bends is negligible. You’ll start bending the part, making sure to insert those rip sketches and bend the ends in from the sides, and make sure the Keep Body box is checked so we can update the body’s dimensions! You’ll notice I didn’t check to see if the paper was outside of the body or inside – this is due to the thickness of the material having really no bearing on the final dimensions. I also couldn’t see .006” and which side it was on. 

Finally, flatten your sheet metal part, expand the cut list on your Feature Tree, right click the sheet metal item, and select properties. The Bounding Box Length and Width will be your driving factors here, and they’ll show up at the top of the list. Add an extra half inch (or ¾ inch if you don’t trust me) to each of these for some overlap, and you’re good to go! The dimensions on the original “box” part can be changed at will, and the sheet metal will update – as will the length and width. Happy wrapping!

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