How to convert a sketch to sheet metal in Fusion 360?

There are a couple ways to convert a sketch to sheet metal in Fusion 360. The most common methods are the Flange tool and Extrude, then Convert Body to Sheet Metal. Learn how to use them!

If you start your design by drawing a solid rather than a sketch, then the shape will already be a Body by default and you won’t need to extrude it. Please note, Bodies must have a uniform thickness to be converted to sheet metal, so rounded objects won’t work.

Convert a sketch to sheet metal using the Flange tool

The Flange tool saves time by automatically converting a sketch to sheet metal using a selected sheet metal rule and setting the material thickness correctly in one step. We recommend using this method even if you don’t need flanges or bending services since it results in a better STEP/STP file.

1. From the Sheet Metal tab, click the CREATE dropdown menu and then select Flange.

2. Select the Profile, choose the desired Sheet Metal Rule from the dropdown menu, and click OK.

This will create a Sheet Metal Body and automatically hide your Sketch.

Extrude sketch, then convert body to sheet metal

This method extrudes your sketch to a specified thickness and creates a Body that you can then convert to sheet metal. Please note: if you will be uploading a STEP/STP file to our website, it’s important that your part is a sheet metal body set up with a thickness offered by SendCutSend.

1. First, extrude the face of your sketch to create a Body.

To do this, you can either right-click on the face of your sketch and choose Extrude from the menu, or simply press E.

This will open the Extrude window where you can adjust settings as needed.
Specify a distance to extrude and click OK.

This will create a Body.

2. Now that you have a Body, navigate to the Sheet Metal tab.
Then click the CREATE dropdown menu and choose Convert to Sheet Metal.

In Fusion, once you have created a body of uniform thickness from your sketch, navigate to the Sheet Metal tab. Then click CREATE and select Convert to Sheet Metal.

This will open the Convert to Sheet Metal window.

Fusion will have Show Matching Rules ticked by default and show sheet metal rules that match the thickness you extruded to.

Sheet metal rules that match the thickness you specified when extruding will be shown if the Show Matching Rules box is ticked.

If desired, you can uncheck the Show Matching Rules box and choose any sheet metal rule in your library.

Once you choose a rule and click OK, the rule will show in your Document Settings on the left.

After choosing a rule and clicking OK, the rule will show in your document settings and the body will now be a sheet metal body.

Start bending with the Bend or Flange tools!

Now that your sketch has been converted to sheet metal, you can start bending with the Bend or Flange tools! Learn about differences between the tools here.

Once your sketch is converted to sheet metal, you can start adding flanges in Fusion.

Export a STEP/STP file (3D) or a DXF file (2D)

When your design is ready, you can either export a 3D .step format file or a 2D .dxf format vector file.

To export a .step file, follow our guidance here: How to export a STEP file from Fusion 360?

To export a .dxf file via flat pattern mode, follow the steps in our guide here: How To Export a DXF from Fusion 360 – SendCutSend 

For more Fusion 360 tips, explore our Fusion tutorials

In Summary:

How to convert a sketch to sheet metal in Fusion 360?

You can convert a sketch to sheet metal in Fusion 360 using either the Flange tool or the Extrude command, then Convert Body to Sheet Metal.

Start your first SendCutSend project today!

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We proudly use hardware by PEM

Flush Standoff, 4-40, .250" Zinc plus Clear Chromate

Aluminum: 5052, 6061, 7075 Steel: Mild, G30

SKUSO-440-8
Thread Size4-40 x .250″
Hole size in sheet (+0.003/-.0.000).168″
Minimum sheet thickness0.040″
Maximum sheet thickness.125″
Fastener materialSteel
Minimum distance hole C/L to edge0.230″
When determining the distance between two or more fasteners, you can calculate the distance by the formula, C/L to edge + 1/2 the diameter of the second mounting hole..345″
Recommended panel materialSteel/Aluminum
Coating typeZinc
Length.250″
Aluminum material ranges (5052, 6061, 7075)0.040″-0.125″
Steel material ranges (CRS, HRPO, HR)0.048″-0.119″

We proudly use hardware by PEM

Flush Standoff, 4-40, .250" Passivated

Stainless Steel: 304, 316

SKUSO4-440-8
Thread Size440
Hole size in sheet (+0.003/-.0.000).166″
Minimum sheet thickness0.04″
Maximum sheet thickness.125″
Fastener material400 Stainless Steel
Minimum distance hole C/L to edge0.230″
When determining the distance between two or more fasteners, you can calculate the distance by the formula, C/L to edge + 1/2 the diameter of the second mounting hole. Example shown with x2 of the same hardware..313″
Recommended panel materialStainless Steel
Coating typePassivated
Length.250″
304 Stainless Steel material ranges0.048″-0.125″
316 Stainless Steel material ranges0.060″-0.125″