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How to Create Cost-Effective Sheet Metal Part Designs

Posted by Scott Shuppert on Wed, Mar 29, 2017 @ 04:35 PM

How to Create Cost-Effective Sheet Metal Part Designs

Sheet metal is versatile, durable and strong. It can be easily shaped and fitted for both visual and functional benefits, which gives it great advantage for use in manufacturing and building.   It is the visual and functional uses that determine both the design and the fabrication. 

While design and fabrication are two separate and distinct operations, the sheet metal designer must understand fabrication processes and requirements to provide workable designs.  The fabrication process requires many complicated and sometimes dangerous processes.  Proper attention to design can help to eliminate complications and reduce dangerous processes. SheetMetalDesign1.jpg

Your company may need to perform tasks such as:

  • design solid sheet metal parts and assemblies;
  • convert CAD models or 3D models to sheet metal models
  • design around a group of parts in an assembly
  • create original parts
  • estimate sheet metal fabrication costs as part of the design

You can gain the flexibility required to quickly and cost-effectively create sheet metal part designs by relying on an experienced team of sheet metal designers.  When the team you need is not part of your permanent staff, you may need to rely on an outsource sheet metal design service.  Outsourcing can accelerate the design process, save time and development costs, and increase productivity.

Sheet Metal Design Outsource Overview

Since many industries require a wide range of sheet metal parts to house or enclose their designs, you should make certain that the outsource team you rely upon uses a flexible design approach that will work for your industry, and a software that is compatible with your in-house requirements. 

One of our favorite software packages for sheet metal design is SolidWorks.  That’s because SolidWorks allows us to accurately perform many of the typical tasks that our clients require:

  • Convert SOLIDWORKS or imported CAD models, create original parts, or design around a group of parts
  • Generate Base, Edge, Miter, and Swept Flanges
  • Generate bends, including Lofted Bends, Sketched Bends, and more
  • Use Bend Tables for bend allowance/bend deduction
  • Use Forming Tools to create features like ribs, louvers, lances, embosses, and extruded flanges
  • Add weld details to sheet metal parts on models or drawings
  • Automatically flatten parts to generate flat patterns for manufacturing with bend compensation
  • Automatically estimate sheet metal part manufacturing cost as you design

Many products are made from sheet metal, which is nothing more than metal which is rolled into very thin sheets.  Sheet metal can be made from any number of metals, including aluminum, titanium, copper and brass. The thickness of sheet metal is called “gauge,” with a higher gauge number equivalent to thinner thickness.  The gauge required depends upon the use the sheet metal will be put to.  Each use for sheet metal requires a specific thickness, or gauge. A higher gauge number indicates a thinner piece of sheet metal.

Some products which use sheet metal include:

  • Automobile bodies
  • Wings and fuselage coverings on airplanes
  • Roofing, gutters, ductwork other building materials
  • Furnaces, air conditioners and other appliances

Sheet metal is versatile, durable and strong. It can be easily shaped and fitted for both visual and functional benefits, which gives it great advantage for use in manufacturing and building.   It is the visual and functional uses that determine both the design and the fabrication. 

When you need help with sheet metal design, rely on our team to help your team. 

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Tags: Sheet Metal Design