Parts with bends

I would love to be able to do this in Shapr3D, which it can understand the material and its bending properties.

Also, I need to be able to export a DXF and add different color bend lines:


My hopes in the not-so-long term, with parametric history now, that Shapr will have sheet metal functionality.

Set material thickness, bend radius, K-factor, bend relief, etc and let the software handle the rest.

I have done quite a few sheet metal projects, but still need to ultimately use other software to generate the flat patterns.

I still use Shapr to conceptually design the parts, and in some cases (if designed properly) the other software will convert the STEP file from Shapr into a sheet metal component and create a flat pattern. This is hit or miss though.

I recently finished a quick-release sheet metal rack for my motorcycle, made of aluminum and stainless steel, laser cut and CNC bent. All parts had to fit precisely to work, and it fit perfectly.

I did most of the concept of it around a 3D scan mesh reference of my motorcycle in Shapr, but ultimately had to use other software to complete the project. I would have loved to do it all in Shapr3d…

Even though the functionality is called sheet metal, it can also be used to create product packaging that is folded together, cut from flat stock.

Laser cutting/bending services are popping up more and more due to the popularity of using laser cutting and bending to easily and accurately make parts.

Everything from a phone stand, to tab-and-slot assembled and welded suspension components, the laser cutting/bending services are democratizing that manufacturing technology.

So I heavily second this capability in Shapr3D. :+1:t2:


Here’s another one.

I wanted shovel holders on my truck. Nobody made a holder that fit the configuration of my bed setup, so I made a model of my truck bed and designed the shovel holding brackets in Shapr, and used another software to convert the flat pattern.


Inspiring projects.

Until now I’ve tried to stay in Shapr3D and post process the 2D drawings in another tool. I’ve tried to draw the thing in 3D and then mentally decompose it into a “flat” extruded drawing that I use to project the SVG or DXF. This is not ideal if there are tools that can “understand” and do a lot of the “flattening” work for you.

1 Like

That’s the thing about sheet metal. If you want the part to accurately match the design, you need to account for the compression/shrinkage of the material in the bends.

Simple bent parts that don’t need to have a tight tolerance can be done by manually “flattening” the part like you mentioned, especially with thin material that has a tight bend radius. This also applies when the part has just a very slight bend.

Where this method gets tricky is when there are features like holes/slots/etc that need to be positioned accurately from the bends. That’s where those material parameters can be calculated when generating the pattern.

You may already be aware of all this, but I’m just throwing this info in the conversation for others interested in the topic. I’m by no means a sheet metal master, still learning, and hope others that are familiar with the process chime in.

1 Like

Nice work Nathan, very impressive.

1 Like

This is some good explanation of some bending terms and calculations.

1 Like

Thanks! @Stephen

It’s fun using Shapr3d for designing parts for laser cutting.
I’ve been in the shop with my iPad, sketched up parts, and had an order placed in 30 minutes.
From idea to design order placed.
All from my iPad.

One time we designed a seat pan for a friend’s motorcycle. Took measurements of the motorcycle frame, sketched the part, used AR to preview it on the bike, and placed the order. Once the part showed up I had about 15min in bending/rolling the pan to fit the frame and fender. Total hands on time from concept to finished part was about an hour.
In the past this was an all day affair.


Thanks for that great info and pointing us to the resource videos Nathan.

1 Like

I love that I can use Shapr3D in the shop on iPad. I’ve been using XTool Creative Suite lately because I can go directly from Shapr3D to my laser setup and run the job straight from my iPad too. It is not nearly as good as LightBurn but is good enough for a bunch of tasks.

I am very novice at lasers yet.

1 Like

Are there any other workarounds besides using another program? I’m also trying to upload a simple file to sendcutsend, and the inability to change a simple line color is impeding the whole workflow. I second the request for sheet metal / bend lines functionality, as well as a more efficient workflow for exporting multiple DXF files at the same time.
What are the other programs you use to change the line type?