Design Tips

Tips to Creating a Successful Design

Things to avoid:

  • Exceeding maximum thickness for common materials
  • Over-designing corners & edge conrequires
  • Embossing / Partial Shear
  • Bend Radii minimums & preference
  • Tolerance preferred & Achievable

Flat Pattern Interference

  • Post operations (Milling & Drilling) add $$
  • Plating of flat parts
  • Features close to bends 2-3x material thickness min.
  • Parts that don’t nest well (Wasted material)

Corner Style Tips

  • Corner style is a factor of cost and process, radii are the most economical for
  • most processes, standard fractional values apply well.
  • Edge conditions are derived from process.
  • Stamped parts have die break
  • Laser cut parts have heat affected zone.
  • Laser can use specific assist gas to produce unique edge quality.


  • Adds strength and/or clearance.
  • Can add stress or warping to material.

Partial Shear

  • Good for locating features.
  • Material is displaced from surface to surface.


  • Feature definition and clearance.
  • Material is displaced from one surface.

Bend Radii

  • Modern tooling techniques allow for minimum bend radii with production tooling. Most parts can be formed with .010” bend radii. (adds Stress).
  • Prototyping and short run production requires the use for standardized tooling typical inside radii of .01”, .03” or .06” reduce cost.

Bend Relief Minimums & Preference

  • Bend reliefs are a function of allowing detachment of material to allow the material to bend freely.
  • Punching & Stamping of material requires bend relief of 1-1.5x material thickness.
  • Laser beam widths vary from .010”-.025”.
  • Waterjet cut width is .030” minimum.

Tolerance Preferred and Achievable

  • #1 cost adder to most parts.
  • Industry standards allow +/-.005-.007” across each bend.
  • Most default print tolerances are +/-.005”. By setting standard .xxx tolerance to .010”, savings will be realized.


  • Flat part 1-50 pcs, 2 days, 50-1000 3-4 days
  • Formed prototype part 1-50 pcs, 5-7 days
  • Drawn part 1-50 pcs, 10-15 days
  • 4 Slide Tooled part, 4-6 weeks
  • Expedite options are available $$$$