Should I use the Flange or Bend tool in Fusion?

When you’re working on a bent design in Fusion 360, it seems there wouldn’t be a difference between the Flange and Bend sheet metal tools. 

In Fusion 360, navigate to the Sheet Metal tab and click CREATE. Find the Flange and Bend tools in the dropdown menu.

Believe it or not, there is a significant difference between the two! The tool of choice depends on your preferred workflow and design goals. 

Please note, both tools require that you create sheet metal rules using the bend specifications provided for each material and thickness in SendCutSend’s Bending Calculator page. We have instructions for creating sheet metal rules in Fusion here.

Using the Bend tool in Fusion

This tool applies the sheet metal rule you choose to a flat part when you add a bend. Therefore the 3D design will be slightly longer to reflect the stretching that will occur when your part is bent. When the design is exported to a 2D file, the DXF will be the same dimensions as your initial sketch. We have detailed step-by-step instructions for using the Bend tool here.

Using the Flange tool in Fusion

After you’ve drawn the base of your part and converted it to sheet metal, the Flange tool allows you to add flanges to the base. 

Flange vs. base on bent parts. The flange is the area that will be bent away from the stationary base. The Flange tool allows you to add flanges onto a base.

With the Flange tool, you dictate how long you want the finished flange and base to be in the 3D space. When the design is exported, the flat pattern will be slightly shorter to compensate for stretching of the material per the sheet metal rule you applied. Your finished bent part should be the same dimensions as the 3D part you designed. We have detailed step-by-step instructions for using the Flange tool here.

Always use the Bending Calculator

For either tool, use SendCutSend’s Bending Calculator to confirm that the flat design’s dimensions will result in the bent dimensions required. Your flat pattern will always need to be a little shorter than the desired finished part since the bending process stretches the material. We have more information about this here: Guide to Calculating Bend Allowance and Bend Deduction 

When your design is ready, export a 2D DXF by following the steps in our guide here: How To Export a DXF from Fusion 360 – SendCutSend 

In Summary:

Should I use the Flange or Bend tool in Fusion 360?

The tool of choice depends on your preferred workflow and design goals. Take a look at our Flange tool and Bend tool use guides to learn how each one works. Then, determine the best option for your project. Always use the Bending Calculator to check that your flat pattern will result in the formed dimensions you need.

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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″