How To Bending Sheet Metal

How To Bending Sheet Metal

How to get higher accuracy of bending parts.

How Does  Sheet Metal Fabrication Work?

Sheet metal fabrication is the process of forming parts from a metal sheet by punching, cutting, stamping, and/or bending. 3D CAD files are converted into machine code, which controls a machine to precisely cut and form the sheets into the final part. 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.


Pressbrake Bending is a common sheet metal operation used to create flanges, curls, and seems. Additionally, sheets with bending are stiffer than their flat counterparts. For example, a flat sheet of aluminum is less stiff than that same sheet of aluminum bent into a V cross section. 

For all metals, however, there is a minimum bend radius at which the outer edge of the bend will crack. Minimum bend radii are typically specified in terms of sheet thickness (t) such as 1t, 2t, 3t, etc... We recommend a minimum bend radius of 1t for all sheet metal parts. Thus the smallest radius of any bend in a sheet should be at least equal to the thickness of the sheet. For example, if the thickness of the sheet is 1 mm, the minimum bend radius should be 1 mm. 


Another important consideration when designing sheet metal bending&forming parts is bend orientation. Bending originating from the same plane should be oriented in the same direction to avoid the need of reorienting the part. This will save both money and time. Keeping a consistent bending radius across all bends will also make designs more cost effective. Finally, it is important to note that sheet metal bending accuracy increases as sheet metal thickness decreases. If bending precision is a critical requirement for your part, we recommend minimizing sheet thickness.