View Full Version : Flanged lighting holes

02-26-2017, 07:22 PM
I am brand new to SW and I can barely get it around the patch. I have a friend that is halfway decent with it and he is giving me some dual but, I must admit it is a struggle. Any way, does anybody out there know a way to make flanged lighting holes for a spar shear web? I can make a hole alright but it sure would be nice to put a flange on it. Anyone???Buehler....Buehler....

Kyle Boatright
02-26-2017, 09:31 PM
Try the "Bob Stick". Here's a video:


Jeffrey Meyer
02-27-2017, 02:19 AM
Do you mean making flanged holes in your SW digital model, or actually making flanges?:eek:

Kyle Boatright
02-27-2017, 06:32 AM
Do you mean making flanged holes in your SW digital model, or actually making flanges?:eek:

Ha! I didn't even notice the sub-forum...

02-27-2017, 08:11 AM
The easiest way, if you have a number of different parts that need this feature, would be to use a forming tool. The part would have to be a sheet metal part and you would have to create the forming tool (or tools if there is more than one size). Another way would be to use a Revolved Boss which would not require the part to be a sheet metal part but you will need to determine how big to make the hole because the flange will be inside the original hole when you're done.

Below is a Swept Boss used to create a bead. The Revolved Boss works essentially the same way.

I cut the hole first and this hole is the outline of the bead with the radii.

This is the profile of the feature.

The finished bead with the sketches shown.

02-27-2017, 08:47 AM
Whoa up here boys...I'm not much of a blogger or social media kind of guy so maybe I made a mistake. I posted this under SolidWorks forum I thought. SW short for SolidWorks. I am glad to see all of the quick responses though. As for making flanged holes in sheet metal, that's pretty easy. I think I made my first one about 35 years ago. Designing them in SW is another story. That requires a skill set I am struggling to master. Kinda like flying a taildragger for the first time, only much worse. So I have been able to draw my spar flange and I need to put a 1/4 inch flange on the 3 inch lightning holes I have in my SW sketch. How does one do this? A step by step procedure would be good for me. And by the way, on making holes with flanges on them in the real world, do yourself a favor. Buy a flanging hole punch. You will be glad you did.

02-27-2017, 08:48 AM
see my response below...

02-27-2017, 09:04 AM
Here's the equivalent of a flanging hole punch in SWx;

This is the punch (forming tool). It makes the hole and flages it in one step.

Applying the tool to the metal.

The resulting feature.

02-27-2017, 11:35 AM
Mr. Pitts, excellent! So I take it I need to build virtual tool to perform this task? I will have my friend take a look at this...thanks.

02-27-2017, 12:37 PM
Yes, there are some rules and methods to making the tools but once you do it a couple of times it will become easy. It's all in the help documents. Good luck.........

Jeffrey Meyer
02-28-2017, 05:55 AM
.... It's all in the help documents.

Go to Help>Search, enter Swept Flange, and then List Topics.

02-28-2017, 08:11 AM
And to add to Jeffery's post you can look up 'Using Forming Tools with Sheet Metal' in a help search. That page has links to show how to create the tools and how to use them.

05-18-2017, 02:35 PM
I know this is an old thread but thought of something to point out. Features made with forming tools in solid works cannot be flattened. In other words you cannot make a flat pattern with the features. Especially if your part has different radiuses for different features. I am currently working on making tooling for a P-51 wing for a company and I can say this much about solidworks. It is good for designing tooling but not great for making sheet parts. My approach is somewhat different from what most people use but if people are interested, I would be more than happy to elaborate.

05-18-2017, 03:07 PM
SWx works fine for many sheet metal designs (like making boxes) but compound curves aren't well supported -- even simple stuff like a beveled-edge hole. As for getting flat patterns from parts with forming tool features, I'm not sure that's a big deal for me and it's certainly not an issue for tooling design. Maybe you can elaborate in your use and how this is a problem for you, I'd love to understand it. Thanks!

05-18-2017, 04:20 PM
I am at work right now so I can post screenshots of what I have done but with the Mustang lightening holes are not just your typical flanged hole. In SW I had tried a swept flange but that doesn't work on a circular hole. The profile must be 90 to the edge of the hole. That combined with the beads, dimples, cutouts, etc., the best way i have found is to create the entire rib as a forming tool. i start with my basic loft. Add sketch planes at the various wing stations. Use an intersection curve to get the wing profile at that station. Referring to the engineering drawings I add the front and rear spar face ref and WRL. Offset the profile of the airfoil by the outer skin thickness. At this point, I extrude out about an inch or so the profile. This is now the start of our form block Which i start adding the features to. Once all of the features have been added to the form, i use move face option and offset the outer edge of the form inward to match the material thickness. Add a fillet to the edge for the bend radius. Save as a forming tool. With this part you now have a starting point to guesstimate a blank for your part as well as a form block. I now create a new part and draw a large rectangle and create a sheet of aluminum. Using the form tool we just made, we can create a wing rib. Trim the flanges to length, extrude cut the tooling holes, and voila... I place these ribs into an assembly to verify everything fits like it should. So modifying of the form tool needs to take place if you are wanting to actually cut out a form block on a cnc machine but that is a different story.