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Materials Specifications - Process Capabilities - Design for Manufacturing


Design for Manufacturing : Laser Cutting Sheet Metal

Some of the critical points you need to bear in mind when choosing laser cut as your production process

Cutting :

  • Maximum hole diameters : Area = (π (diameter)2 ) / Thickness
  • Corner Radius : Minimum R0.2
  • Standard Sheet Size : 1.2 meters x 2.4 meters OR 1.5 meters x 3.0 meters

Tolerances Sheet Metal Laser Cutting :

  • Linear Tolerances : X.XX : +/- 0.20mm
  • Holes Dia. Tolerances : +/- 0.08mm

Material Thickness Nominal Value :

  • Material Thickness < 1.0mm : +/- 0.05mm
  • 2.0mm > Material Thickness > 1.0mm : +/- 0.05mm
  • 5.0mm > Material Thickness > 2.0mm : +/- 0.07mm
  • 20.0mm > Material Thickness > 5.0mm : +/- 0.20mm

CNC Sheet Metal Bending DFM Tips

Some of the critical points you need to bear in mind when choosing CNC bending as your production process

  • Angle : Any angle are possible
  • Radius : from 1.0 mm to 16.0 mm
  • Materials : some material(example aluminium 6061), will start cracking at 120 degrees
  • Multiple Bending : anything can be bended, but you shall always consider the origin location

High Precision Sheet Metal Bending :

Angular Tolerances : +/- 0.5 degree

XYZ Tolerances Sheet Bending  : 0.30mm



Material specifications

Considerations you should make, when deciding material for your design

  • *Different application requires different material.

             Performance requirements : Specific yield / tensile, hardness, corrosion resistance

  • Functionality : fatigue test requirements, visual
  • Cost : Different material, different costs. Stainless steel costs up to 5 times the price of regular steel.
  • Aluminium costs up to 4 times the price of regular mild steel.


  • Yield Strenght (MPA):Yield : point where a material start to deform plastically
  • Tensile Strenght (MPA):Tensile strength : resistance of a material to breaking under tension
  • Hardness (HB, HRC, HV ...etc):How resistant a material is to identation from another material

Surface Finish

What shall you consider when you pick a surface finish for your sheet metal parts?

  • Visual Requirements : Visual parts or non-visual parts ?
  • Corrosion requirements : Environment where the parts will be used - indoor / outdoor / corrosive environment?
  • Functionality of the parts : Part subject to friction and tight tolerances ?
  • Usage of the parts : Mechanical usage ? Surface finish friction test requirements ?

Surface Finish Cost Rules of Thumb :

  • White Zinc(Clear Zinc) and Yellow Zinc have similar Cost;
  • Dacromet costs up to 3 times the price of  Yellow and White Zinc;
  • ElectroCoating Costs is similar to Yellow and White Zinc Cost;

Cost Reduction DFM - Sheet Metal Manufacturing Tips

Some considerations which can help you to reduce your product cost while keeping its full functionality

Sheet Metal Material Choice and it's impact on cost :

  • Material Type : Stainless vs Aluminium vs Mild Steel Vs Specialty Steel
  • Material Yield : Net Weight vs Gross Weight
  • Sheet efficiency : Standard metal sheet size are 1.2 by 2.4 meters & 1.5 by 3.0 meters

* For the purpose of material cost evaluation, material density is different for each material

** Raw Material are commodities, they fluctuate daily base on the commodity market

Material Cost Rules of Thumb :

  • Stainless Steel Costs 3 times (SS301) to 5 times(SS316) compare Mild Steel
  • Aluminium Costs 3 to 4 times Mild Steel
  • Specialty Steel Costs 10% to 100% more than Mild Steel

Laser Cutting & CNC Folding Process Cost Driver :

  • Laser Cutting Process : Cutting perimeter + Number and size of holes(piercing) + Cutting edge quality requirements + Precision Requirements
  • CNC Sheet Bending Process : Bending Length + Bending complexity+ Bending Precision
  • Material Type & Thickness : every process cost are dependant of the material type & thickness

*The above parameters are also impacted base on the material type & material thickness.



How to avoid your sheet metal to rust during transport ?

3 different scenarios how to prevent your sheet metal to start rusting during transport :

Scenario 1: your parts are fully finished and don't require any additional manufacturing

We can add a permanent surface finish(Zinc or Dacromet or ecoating)

Scenario 2: your parts still require additional manufacturing at your site (i.e. welding)

We add a process called "Pickled & Oiled" prior to pack the parts. This is convenient to remove while performing a surface finish at a later stage.

Scenario 3: your parts are produced from stainless steel or aluminium

Don't worry, those wont rust