Modeling wire baskets
Does anyone know if it's possible to model a wire basket and then flatten it into a mesh?
If you want to simulate "expanded metal" and unfold it in the "compressed form" it's not possible with SW.
If the mesh you will be using comes in the "expanded form" simply do a "Sheet metal loft" between two open circle sketches. You can then apply a mesh texture.
William, You can see my files which I uploaded. Make a sheetmetal plate, cut it in a form of pattern which you wish. Then make a sketch line which will be constrained in the middle. It is important that you know a inside radius of cylnder beacuse when you use a "sketched bend" put that value in right place and do not forget to put a value to "angle" 359 degees, Its demand a little playing. IMPORTANT NOTE, In SW 2007 algoritm which is builded inside for "sketched bend" do not allow holes on end lines radii - it's visible so that you can limited numbers of radii and corresponding angles. See "bucket" part, you can play with it.
About the flattening: not in SolidWorks, unless you play some magic with sheetmetal. In Rhino, there are some options that could do that, although I haven;t used those extendedly yet.
You may want to cut the basket somewhereso it will not be circular, but has a start and end. I would suggest using Insert>Curve>Split line, perhaps that will split your basket up. You could also make a very tiny cut extrude along its radius-direction. After that, you might be able to use Insert>Features>Flex to bend your basket in such a way that it would at least look flat...
I wish you good luck figuring it all out!