General best practices still apply, like when making a portion of the part out of multiple features make them by each other in the model tree and give those logical self-descriptive names always helps. Good luck!
I have 5 main sheetmetal rules that I stick to...
1) The best advice I can give for sheetmetal is... Put it off as
long as possible.
The most difficult part of sheetmetal is trying to control your overall
If you start with a plate and add walls, you are going to be wrestling
with your overall dimensions.
Did it add a wall thickness? Did it not add a wall thickness? Did I
remember to add room for the bend radius?
Instead of wrestling with these time-consuming issues, start with a
block that is your final shape.
Add rounds where ever the bends will create them. Then shell your block
and cut some bend relief where you need it.
Then import into sheetmetal. The result is an extremely easy to
manipulate sheetmetal part.
2) Flat patterns are for friends only!
You can add an undimensioned flat pattern for reference only. However
flat patterns are NOT your friend.
Every sheetmetal shop has a table for their k-values. (tension and
compression effects on size change of bending areas)
Pro/E's k-values are typically different from most sheetmetal shops.
This means that your flat pattern will NOT look like theirs.
Also, if your sheetmetal shop makes a mistake, they can blame it on your
flat pattern! Sheetmetal shops are flat pattern
experts... It is far better to leave the flattening up to them and only
dimension the final product. Then there is never a
question as to who is responsible for errors in the end product.
Honestly, you can't inspect the flat pattern anyways.
3) 3 place dimensions are for holes only ... 2 places everywhere
This sounds really simple to experienced sheetmetal designers, but it is
a big deal that beginners miss all the time. The tightest
Wall to wall dimension that can be held is about +/- .03". Otherwise the
sheetmetal shop is going to throw away many parts
that miss the tolerances and this will be reflected in the price quote.
Usually, 3-place dimensions are Pro/E's default. Letting that
default through check will push your sheetmetal parts way out of the
affordable range with no value added.
4) Rounds all around
Another simple one that designers miss until they assemble their own
stuff and carve themselves up with their own parts.
Sheetmetal is freakin sharp and an excellent way to draw blood. Adding
rounds wherever possible takes very little effort and
Makes your technicians love you instead of hate you...
5) Standardize parts whenever possible
It is great to have an arsenal of sheetmetal "L brackets" for every
occasion. Cables frequently need disconnects. A family table
Full of the full gamut of D-hole-with-a-lockwire-hole-L-brackets save a
huge amount of time, energy and grief. Also, "L brackets"
And "S brackets" with 2 rivet holes on one side and a nutplate on the
other makes mounting new "P-clamps" for cable routing easy.
If you have a cabling reference guide with your company's family tables
for all of these parts, it doubles as a cabling training guide.
Let me know if they make the best practices.