DFM Tips for Sheet Metal Fabrication

Views: 4     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-02-28      Origin: Site

Nothing is more disappointing than submitting an order request for a sheet metal fabrication project and getting no quote. Most metal fabrication companies will no-quote projects that seem to offer manufacturing challenges.

If your project has holes very close to the edges or bends too tight, many shops will no-quote your project. The best way to help engineers produce your desired results is to integrate a realistic Design for Manufacturability (DFM).

At VASUCC Sheet Metal, we are happy to provide you with Design for Manufacturability (DFM) tips to guarantee functional designs ready for manufacturing.

Here are five DFM tips for sheet metal fabrication to help you get your calculations right before submitting an RFQ for a project.

Holes and Bends

This is the most critical factor to consider when designing a sheet metal fabrication project. You should ensure that your holes are not too close to a bend. They can pull, affect the aesthetics of your design, or interfere with hardware insertion. You should also keep the bend lines further away from the cutout feature.

Note that the most recommended spacing for holes is at least two times that of sheet thickness (2T). The distance prevents the holes from deforming during forming or bending process. It also maintains the strength of the sheet metal.

sheet metal dfm

Consider Bend Relief and Tolerance

Some common modeling mistakes regarding fillets and bends are because of bend relief and tolerance. It leads to torn metals or parts that look different from the original models. Bend relief helps reduce the spring-back effect, which is the unwanted tendency of sheet metal to revert to its original shape after forming process.

Engineers understand that features like flanges, beads, and collars serve critical purposes when it comes to strengthening metal to withstand higher loads. Besides, if you want to add more strength and durability, it is necessary to consider the metal's grain structure. It helps avoid cracks, especially in parts bent in or out or cut on three sides.

Consider Your Material Needs

Understanding your material needs is another critical factor when designing your sheet metal fabrication project. You need to get measurements of parts that will fit perfectly onto a standard-sized sheet. The average sheet size is 48" x 120" with an edge buffer of 125" between the nested parts and on the exterior of the sheet.

The required parameters will help you prevent waste and achieve optimal sheet utilization. It is also recommended to maintain uniform metal thickness to improve dynamic nesting. You should also avoid using different material types in a project.

Indicate Precise Hardware Needs

To achieve optimal results, you should eliminate any room for error. Even small hardware, such as a fastener, can hugely impact your project's manufacturability. For instance, if you are using PEM brand hardware, it is recommended to indicate the PEM part number of the list of materials.

If you indicate specific PEM part numbers, ensure you send the manufacturer the PEM CAD file to help them get the best idea about your needs. Besides, if your parts require press-in hardware, ensure the holes are of different sizes to fit perfectly into the desired hole.

Finishing Requirements

Now that you have your desired project, it is critical to be flexible with your finishing requirements. Certain finishing specifications can lead to increased costs and inefficiencies. For instance, it is recommended to avoid using multi-colored silk screens. You can save a considerable amount of time and money by using one color.

Additionally, you should also avoid using chem film for powder coating. Many engineers indicate you need to use the method in preparation for powder coating, but it unnecessarily adds costs. Instead, it would be best if you opted for a cheaper phosphate cleaning procedure.

Final Thoughts

Engineers tend to spend more time fixing or repairing errors related to manufacturability than producing new projects. The above tips help you get your calculations right before submitting an RFQ for a project. It will help you get your desired metal sheet project exactly as you ordered with little or no error.

Are you looking for a sheet metal fabrication company to help you with your project? Contact us via email or call our dedicated line, and let us provide you with sustainable sheet metal solutions.