Improve Product Design by Understanding Accuracy, Precision and Tolerance

CAD software is just about every designer’s go to tool for product design. These programs enable simpler and more accurate design iterations, and comprehensive documentation for the manufacturer to make the actual part. They are also capable of drawing dimensions that are far more accurate and exacting than can be actually manufactured. This results in… Read More »

Six Tips for Aluminum Extrusion Dimensioning and Tolerance

Many products must be manufactured to precise standards. Questions like: How straight is straight enough? How flat is flat enough? How uniform must a wall thickness be to be acceptable? are not abstract. The specified, acceptable range of deviation from a given dimension is known as a tolerance. For many applications, in which an aluminum… Read More »

Designing for Simplicity with Aluminum Extrusions

For product designers, KISS— “keep it simple, stupid”—is a well-known rule of thumb. As a design principal, it’s about making products simple and easy to understand to appeal to users. When it comes to designing for manufacturability, the simplicity principal still applies, particularly when designing aluminum extrusion profiles. Complicated product designs and configurations produce complex… Read More »

Keeping Costs in Check: Designing Aluminum Extrusions with Proper Tolerances

Designers must keep an eye on the bottom line in every project. Finding creative and practical solutions to accomplish cost control while also maintaining the integrity of the design is important, but it can consume engineering resources. One often overlooked way to keep costs down is to examine tolerance requirements. With unnecessarily tight tolerances parts… Read More »

Use of Aluminum in Product Design in the Sustainable Era

Sustainability is increasingly prioritized by product designers. Making sustainable and environmentally conscious choices during the design process has multiple benefits including reductions in waste, energy use, and production costs. Designing with aluminum is an excellent choice for sustainability. The primary reason is because aluminum can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its high quality… Read More »

Why Poor Aluminum Extrusion Handling Drives Up Your Product Cost

As a designer, if you’re working with aluminum extrusions you’re spending considerable time choosing the appropriate alloy, reviewing the profile and making sure the final product is as cost effective as possible. However, there are other areas of a manufacturer’s fulfillment process, outside a designer’s control, that can impact product quality and time-to-market, as well… Read More »

Choosing the Right Finish for Your Aluminum Extrusion Profile

Aluminum is a remarkable material. Its unique combination of properties makes it suitable for many different applications. When exposed to air aluminum instantly forms a natural, thin, and transparent oxide film on the metal’s surface. This film provides a corrosion resistant barrier. The film will instantly re-form whenever the metal is cut or abraded. For… Read More »

Why Design with Aluminum Extrusions

With its low price point and numerous benefits, aluminum has quickly gained favor among manufacturers across a number of industries.  Here are ten reasons why designers and manufacturers are increasing their use of aluminum. Strength. While aluminum alone is not as strong as steel, higher strengths can be obtained by adding manganese, silicon, copper, magnesium, or zinc… Read More »

Why Designers Are Using More Aluminum Than Ever

Aluminum is the metal of the future.  Not only is it environmentally-friendly, it’s lightweight, naturally corrosive resistant and, thanks to new heating, cooling and aging treatments, stronger than ever. The Aluminum Association and the Aluminum Extruders Council report that domestic use of aluminum extrusions has grown for the sixth consecutive year and now represents nearly… Read More »

Why Your Parts Inventory May be Costing You More Than You Think

Oftentimes, some of the most obvious ways for a company to save money aren’t so obvious. Inventory is one of those areas. Even among well-run businesses, quite often the actual costs of inventory are inaccurate, underestimated and incomplete. It can be pretty easy to overlook piles of boxes or parts tucked away in the back… Read More »