The Basics of Bending Sheet Metal
An overview of minimum bend radii and bend orientation
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Sheet metal fabrication is the process of forming parts from a metal sheet. 3D CAD files are converted into machine code, which controls a machine to precisely cut and form the sheets into the final part. Typical forming tools are brakes, punches, and dies which can form angular bends and features. Installing inserts, such as PEM inserts, is standard practice along with welding and finishing services. Sheet metal parts are known for their durability, which makes them great for end-use applications (e.g. chassis). Parts used for low volume prototypes and high volume production runs are most cost-effective due to large initial setup and material costs.
Our custom sheet metal services offer a cost-effective and on-demand solution for your manufacturing needs. Fabrication services range from low-volume prototype to high-volume production runs with significant cost savings. We can now quote 2D mechanical drawings through our 2D technical drawing marketplace.
Similar to CNC machining, sheet metal processes produce highly durable parts well-suited for both functional prototypes and end-use production.
All sheet metal parts are built on-demand and with lower setup costs compared to CNC Machining. Depending on your needs, order as little as a single prototype up to 10,000 production parts.
Choose from a variety of sheet metals across a wide range of strength, conductivity, weight, and corrosion-resistance.
Select from a variety of finishes, including anodizing, plating, powder coating, and painting.
Combining the latest cutting, bending and punching with automated technologies, Xometry provides instant sheet quotes and completed parts in as little 12 business days.
Minimal post-processing or treatment on parts is done.
The part surface is left with a smooth, matte appearance.
Type II creates a corrosion-resistant finish. Parts can be anodized in different colors—clear, black, red, and gold are most common—and is usually associated with aluminum. Type III is thicker and creates a wear-resistant layer in addition to the corrosion resistance seen with Type II.
This is a process where powdered paint is sprayed onto a part which is then baked in an oven. This creates a strong, wear- and corrosion-resistant layer that is more durable than standard painting methods. A wide variety of colors are available to create the desired aesthetic.
Provides corrosion resistance and good conductivity properties. Can be used as a base for paint. Can leave surface yellow/gold.
Don’t see the finish you need? Submit an RFQ and we’ll look into a finishing process for you.
Sheet metal offers a cost-effective way to fabricate product device panels, boxes and cases for a variety of applications. We build enclosures of all styles, including rackmounts, “U” and “L” shapes, as well as consoles and consolets.
The chassis we fabricate are typically used to house electromechanical controls, from small handheld devices to large industrial testing equipment. All chassis are built to critical dimensions to ensure hole pattern alignment between different parts.
Xometry builds custom brackets and miscellaneous sheet metal components, well-suited for either lightweight applications or when a high degree of corrosion-resistance is needed. All hardware and fasteners that are needed can be fully built in.
Sheet metal is a common form of raw metal stock, usually 0.006 and 0.25 inches thick. Fabrication is a collection of processes used to shape raw metal stock into a usable product. Sheet metal fabrication includes many machining processes meant to assemble, cut, or form a sheet metal workpiece. After fabrication, a product often needs to undergo finishing processes before it’s suitable for commercial use.
There are 3 common stages in the sheet metal fabrication process, all of which can be completed with various types of fabrication tools.
Many facilities offer finishing services as well. Finishing processes are usually necessary before a sheet metal-derived product is ready for market.
Xometry's custom sheet metal fabrication services offer a cost-effective and on-demand solution for your manufacturing needs. Fabrication services range from low-volume prototype to high-volume production runs in a variety of sheet metal fabrication processes including waterjet, laser and plasma cutting, hydraulic and magnetic brakes, punching, and welding. Xometry’s extensive partner network provides access to the latest sheet metal fabrication services, while our instant quoting tool ensures that you’ll receive fast and accurate quoting feedback.
Xometry can provide 3 tiers of tolerance offerings based on the design of the desired part.
Sheet metal parts that utilize stock material gauge thicknesses and require no bending or milled features. All flat sheet metal parts can meet a +/-0.005” (+/- 0.127mm).
Simple Bend / One Surface
When designing parts with some type of bend with a standard bend radius, sheet metal tolerances are required to open. For simple bent parts, Xometry can offer a +/- 0.010” (+/- 0.254mm) tolerance for dimensions across a single bend. The bend radius itself is constrained to a +/- 1.0°
Multiple Surface Bends
For dimensions measured over multiple bends, Xometry can offer a +/- 0.030 (0.762mm).
Certain sheet metal designs require custom tooling and will be flagged for a manual quote: hems, curled flanges and rolled sheets, stamped parts, and welded assemblies. If your part includes these features, please allow our manual quote team to review and provide you with an accurate cost and lead time.
Curls / Rolls
Parts created through the Sheet Metal Fabrication process can be found in industries like aviation/aerospace, automotive, construction, railroad, shipbuilding, HVAC, industrial automation, machinery, oil, and gas.
Sheet metal fabrication is a process by which parts are cut and bent from a roll of stock metal material. It can be a very cost-effective way to make straightforward metal parts. Check out our design for tips on how to optimize your files for sheet metal!
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An overview of minimum bend radii and bend orientation
Sheet metal fabrication is a process by which metal parts are cut and bent from a roll of stock material that is typically less than 0.25” thick.
These 5 tips will help you optimize your next Sheet Metal project to reduce costs and maximize your efficiency.
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