Sheet metal fabrication is an important process in many industries. To ensure the best design, you must be clear about your goals and strategies. Many sheet metal companies deploy different techniques and technologies in sheet metal fabrication. The best sheet metal design tips simplify your fabrication process.
Consistent Hole SizeAny holes in the metal structure should have a diameter equal to the material thickness. Adhering to these specifications will reduce tool changes, speeding up production. Additionally, you should design the holes away from the curls.
Smaller Bend RadiusWhen designing a sheet metal part, maintain a smaller bend radius as it reduces the strain on the metal. As a general rule, the internal radius of the bend should be equal to the thickness of the sheet metal.
Bend OrientationBending is a common technique for shaping sheet metal into the desired geometry. To speed up production, ensure that the bends have the same orientation. This tip will eliminate the need to reorient the parts during any stage of the manufacturing process. As a result, you can save time, money, and resources.
Work the HemsMost sheet metal companies that deal with fabrication avoid flat hems. When designing the hem around the edges, an open or tear-dropped hem can reduce the risk of injuries. You should also maintain the inside diameter, ensuring it stays equal to the sheet metal thickness. Additionally, the hem’s length should be at least four times the thickness.
Specify Measurement RatiosWhen designing, tabs should not be longer than five times the width. Notches should be as wide as the material thickness. When placing tabs and notches away from a bend, they should be at a distance three times the material thickness. Without doing so, the sheet metal may warp or deform.
Make Tighter TolerancesAnother tip when optimising sheet metal design is to limit your tolerance levels. Many sheet metal companies build their prototypes with unnecessary tolerance limitations. But the tighter tolerance you include in your design, the more expensive it’ll be to produce it. For this reason, you should only focus on surfaces and features critical to functionality. Material Selection When choosing a suitable material for sheet metal fabrication, factor in these points to meet design specifications:
- Hardness or ability to obstruct compression
- Tensile strength or maximum load capacity
- Maximum temperature to sustain its shape
- Elongation ratio and malleability properties