Variable Number of Bends


A user posted the following message in the rec.crafts.metalworking newsgroup: "If you don't have a slip roller to roll up your cone, set the resolution down to something like 16-36 in the preferences window. That makes it draw visibly straight lines instead of smooth arcs on the ends. Now tape the paper down to your sheetmetal, set your brake to the angle corresponding to the resolution you chose (resolution of 8 needs 3 bends of 90 degrees each; don't ask me to explain his math :-)) and make a bend on the line connecting the ends of each line segment at the top and bottom of the cone. You get your cone with lots of flat sides, but at least the angles are all the same and to me it's still better than trying to roll it around a random piece of pipe :-). The more patience you have the more subdivisions you can use and the smoother the result."


The user refers to version 1.3 of the Cone Layout program, where the number of bends was not yet available. The resolution setting he refers to actually determines the complexity of the internal Finite Element Model (FEM). Nevertheless, choosing a low number of elements results indeed in a cone made out of several flat sides.

The resolution setting has been available since the first version of Cone Layout in 1999 and was intended to speed up calculation speed on slow computers. Current computers calculate a complex FEM in near "real-time". The setting has therefore become superfluous, and has been hardcoded to 1024 elements starting from Cone Layout version 2.0.

To address those users who "abused" the resolution setting to affect the number of bends, a new control has been added to the dimensions window to directly control the smoothness of the cone model.