Sheet metal fabrication can be a very cost-effective means of production – assuming you do it right.
If you're sourcing sheet metal parts or thinking about it in the future, read on to see how to optimize costs from design to production.
Streamline Design for Manufacturability (DFM)
Ever heard of the saying, "Less is more"? Well, it's a golden rule in sheet metal design.
The more straightforward your design, the smoother the fabrication process goes. Before you get too carried away with intricate twists and curves, upload your part to our platform and let our engineering experts have a look. Their insights could reduce unnecessary costs, ensuring a seamless design-to-product transition.
Limit Custom Specifications
Standard sheet sizes, thicknesses, and grades are your friends. While making a unique piece with custom dimensions is tempting, remember that every custom spec can increase the price tag. Stick to the basics whenever possible.
Efficient Nesting and Layout
Maximizing the use of material through efficient nesting reduces waste.
By considering this during the design phase, you ensure that material utilization is optimized, leading to cost-effective quotations and production.
Utilize Standardized Hole Sizes and Corners
Utilizing standard tool sizes for features like holes and corners can expedite production and reduce costs. Designing with these standardized sizes ensures efficiency without unnecessary tool changes or setups.
Minimize Unnecessary Features
Every additional feature in sheet metal design introduces potential cost. Evaluate the necessity of each feature, ensuring that they are essential to the product's function or aesthetics.
Opt for Common Materials and Finishes
Selecting widely available materials and finishes can be a significant cost-saving measure. While unique materials offer distinct advantages, they often come with a premium. Ensure that the chosen materials align with the product's requirements and budget considerations.
Aluminum is especially popular on the MakerVerse platform for many applications, as it offers a good balance of low cost and excellent properties.
Factor in Tolerances
Precision is critical in sheet metal fabrication, but over-specifying tolerances can escalate costs. Familiarize yourself with the standard tolerances and design with these parameters to balance precision and cost. At MakerVerse, the standard minimum wall thickness is 0.5 mm, but it depends on the material and geometry.
Collaborate and Seek Feedback
We’re ready to help. Our engineering experts have a combined decades worth of experience. They can help you uncover opportunities for further cost savings and design improvements.
Consolidate Parts and Orders
Ordering multiple components simultaneously or merging several designs can reduce both setup and shipping costs. Consolidation can lead to economies of scale, ensuring cost-effectiveness throughout production.
Start Saving on Sheet Metal Fabrication
By being mindful of these strategies, designers can ensure that the transition from a design file to production is seamless and economically optimized.
When paired with an on-demand manufacturing platform like MakerVerse, sheet metal fabrication presents unique cost savings and efficiency opportunities.