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This article explains how to use ArtiosCAD Mate features to accurately fold a 4-sided tube with a glue flap.                                                        

Example 4-sided tube

Here are example 4-sided tubes with glue flaps that are supported by the Mate tools:

Adding the Mate in 2D

  1. Add the Mate in the glue flap, then copy it and change it to be a target in the opposite panel.
  2. Click the Define Mate Area tool. Click the button in the tool to set the properties for the glue area.
  3. Envision the glue flap as the component to be mated or glued. Then, a target area, where the glue flap will be attached to needs to be defined.
  4. In particular, make it type Glue or Mate and the side Outside.
  5. Then, click in the glue flap. Makes a glue area as follows:
  6. For the Mate to work in 3D, the glue area needs to have a Target with the same shape and name and usually the opposite side. The shape and name help identify which Mate/ glue area will be attached to its target area. Envision how the glue tab will attach to the target area, usually the outside of the glue flap attaches to the inside of the panel.
  7. Copy the glue area to make the target with a pickup/ putdown like this: 
  8. You may want to move this Mate you created sideways slightly, so that the glue flap aligns in the right place. Select the Mate you copied and change its properties to be a Target and the side to be Inside.

    A glue area is automatically created in a Glue layer and a Mate area is created in a 3D assist layer. The target area is created in a 3D assist layer. This allows you to include the Glue layer on a report if you want without showing the Target area which is only needed for 3D.
  9. The Mates in 3D are paired Mate/ Target or Glue/ Target with the same shape and name.
  10. The Mate tool only works across 4 panels. The Mate tools doesn't immediately recognize this as a 4-panel tube because it also has knock-down creases, which makes it look like 6 panels instead of 4.
  11. If your design has knock-down creases, select them and change their 3D property to be Knock-down crease (so they will be ignored in 3D) or Indent only (they will be drawn in 3D but don't fold).
  12. You can now convert the design to 3D.

Applying the mate in 3D

  1. In 3D, click the Mate tool. The glue area will be drawn as a blue outline and the target area as a red outline. Click either of the two areas.
  2. The fold angles of the main panels will be set to align the glue and the target, like this:
  3. The joined glue and target is now drawn as a green outline (you can also use the Mate All tool). To turn off the Mate outline use View mode > Show mate areas.

Folding the Panels in 3D

For a design with straight creases, it's easy to change all the fold angles to 90 degrees. But for a curved crease design, when the required fold angle is not known, use the Fold 1 to Meet tool.

  1. Click the tool > a line on the flap > the fold line for the flap and then the line it should align with:
  2. The flap is folded to the correct angle like this:
  3. Repeat for the other flap and the tuck. Now, the flaps are at the correct angle but the wrong flap may appear on the outside.
  4. Click the Flap Priority tool and click on a flap. This should raise the flap and lower the tuck, so the flap is inside the tuck where it's supposed to be:
  5. You can fold the top in the same way.


Article information
Applies toArtiosCAD 7.4
Last revised 
C/W number