A Quicker Way to Switch between Flat to Bent Sheet Metal States
Written By: Mike Gayette

For sheet metal parts, it can be important to understand how your 3D model appears in a flattened state in order to precisely understand material needs and dimensions.


Flat pattern representations allow you to create a simplified representation of a sheet metal part in the flattened state. The master representation can remain in the formed, bent state, while the flat pattern representation resides in a combined view. Then when you display Combined Views, you can toggle between views and see how the flat piece is affected by modifications to the master (bent) representation.

Here’s what you need to know to get started:


Version: Creo 5.0

Extension: No extension needed

To switch between a flat and bent view of a sheet metal part in Creo

First, create a flat representation:

  1. Click the Create Representation icon in the flat pattern Preview Window.


    Create Representation icon

  2. Type a name for the new representation in the Representation name field. Then click Create.

The flat representation appears in the Simp Rep tab of the View Manager. To create a combined view with the flat representation, click All and create a new combined view. Select the Display combined views check box to display combined views.

To toggle between flat and 3D representations of a sheet metal part

Follow these steps:

  1. In the View Manager, define a combined state of orientation and flat rep, by clicking New and typing in a name for the flat view.
  2. Choose the flat representation of your sheet metal part, and click Edit.
  3. Choose Redefine in the drop-down menu.
  4. In the Options window, change the simplified rep to flat, and click OK

Now, while modeling, you can use the View Manager to easily click either the default appearance (3D) or the flat representation you created. Switch back and forth as you model for easier reference.  

Watch our video to see the visual guide:

Pro Tip

  • You can only create one flat representation per model.
  • When using Creo 5.0, no additional Windchill business object is created or required.

To try this and other features in Creo, download the free trial. Available now!

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Tags: CAD Retail and Consumer Products Connected Devices
About the Author Mike Gayette

Mike Gayette is a marketing professional and freelance writer based in North Dakota. He writes about engineering software, marketing technology, customer service, and team building. He also spends time at the local humane society as a dog walker and cat entertainer.