DFM Tips for Sheet Metal Fabrication

Views: 10     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-08-23      Origin: Site

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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.

sheet metal dfm

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 the forming or bending process. It also maintains the strength of the sheet metal.

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. The spring back effect of sheet metal is the tendency of sheet metal that you don't need. It causes the product to take back its original shape after it is formed.  That said, the bend relief helps you get rid of this unwanted effect.

Sheet metal engineers factor in features like flanges, beads, and collars which have an important role in ensuring that the sheet metal is sturdy and can withstand heavy loads .Additionally, the metal gain structure can assist you in enhancing the strength and durability of sheet metal; it prevents occurring of cracks , especially in intricate parts like those bent in/ out or have three sided cuts.

Consider Your Material Needs

One way you can ensure optimum designs is by understanding all the parameters of your sheet metal materials. This also allows for an efficient sheet metal fabrication project. Ensure you have all correct measurements so that your parts fit perfectly on any standard-sized sheet. Sheets come at an average sheet size of 48" x 120" and an edge buffer of 125" between the inside and outside of the sheet. These parameters help you to properly use the resources by reducing waste during the process. You can also achieve dynamic nesting by maintaining a uniform metal thickness and avoiding the use of varying materials in your project.

Indicate Precise Hardware Needs

Eliminating any room for error can help you in achieving optimal results. Interestingly small hardware accessories like fasteners can affect the manufacturing process during your project. For instance, it would help to indicate the PEM part number of the material list while you are using PEM brand hardware.

Doing this allows you to send your manufacturer the PEM CAD file, which in turn helps them get a better idea of your needs. If your parts require press-in hardware, ensure the holes are of different sizes so they 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!