Flattener Navigation

Flattener Navigation

The Mesh Edge Highlights  toggle, hide or show the mesh edges of both the 2D and 3D flattening meshes.

Mesh Shading

Strain Highlights toggle, allow the  user to adjust strain rendering on the model. Turning the strain highlights on will shade the mesh according to  strain.
For example, if 20% strain is set to red,   the pattern mesh will be rendered in red where the 2D  pattern piece must stretch 20% in order to fit onto the 3D pattern piece.

Flattener Cancel can be used to stop remeshing and optimization algorithms.    A single piece or a range or pieces can be selected for cancellation.

Flattener 3D Window allows the user to visualize the 3D  analysis mesh.  Strain is rendered on the 3D mesh according to legend settings  in the ExactFlat 3D options.   Flattener visualization options can be adjusted here.

Flattener Zoom Dynamic command can be used to zoom in both the 3D and 2D views.   If Zoom Dynamic  is active,  left clicking and dragging vertically in both windows  will zoom the current view.
Alternatively,  the model can be zoomed  by holding Shift + middle mouse button down and dragging vertically in both views.

Flattener Pan command can be used to pan in both the 3D and 2D views.   If Pan  is active,  left clicking and dragging in both windows will pan the current view.
Alternatively,  the view can be panned  by holding CTRL +  middle mouse button  and dragging in the windows.

Wrinkle highlights alert the user that the current 2D mesh pattern has triangles that are flipped.   If these are visible,  a  stretch  algorithm should be run on that piece in order to eliminate wrinkles.

Flattener 2D Window allows the user to visualize the 2D  mesh patterns.    Strain is rendered on the 2D mesh according to legend settings  in the ExactFlat  options.

Surface Type
ExactFlat will determine an algorithm to perform initial flattening based on  the ExactFlat surface type.

Mesh Status indicates the quality of a flattening mesh.  A good mesh will allow the optimizer to run quickly,  and will  be unlikely to produce wrinkles in the initial 2D result.
Characteristics of a good mesh:

  • Uniform triangle size.
  • 6 triangles share each vertex.
  • Low aspect ratio triangles (each edge should have edges that are close to the same length).
  • Low vertex count (Shape should be represented well without using too many triangles).
Pattern Status
The pattern status indicated the amount of progress the optimization algorithm has made removing strain from the 2D pattern.
Piece List
The Piece List in the flattener contains a list of all the non-planar pieces in the model (if a piece is already flat,  it will not appear in this list).  The piece ID is system assigned,  however the piece name can be user defined.
Normals indicate the “up” direction of a surface.    When surfaces are flattened,  pieces are oriented in pattern view such that all piece normals are pointing in the positive Z axis direction.
In SolidWorks,  all face normal directions will be unified when the faces are knitted into a surface.  Solid bodies will always have face normals unified facing toward the outside of a Solid body.  A good way to ensure that all pieces have normals facing the same direction, is to Create Pieces  from knitted surface or solid bodies.
Zoom Extents  command can be used to zoom extents in both the 3D and 2D view windows.   If  is clicked,  both windows will be zoomed to show all model and pattern pieces.
Flattener Rotate command can be used to rotate the model  in the 3D view window.   If Rotate  is active,  left clicking and dragging in the rotate window will rotate the model about the model centroid.  Alternatively,  the model can be rotated by holding the middle mouse button down and dragging in the 3D view window.