A mainstay of today’s metal fabrication industry, computer numerical control, or CNC technology, goes back to the 1940s when the first machines emerged. Early CNC machines used punched tape, which was then commonly used in telecommunications and data storage, to direct the machines’ actions. Today, CNC machines have multiple built-in tools, including drills, taps, and… Read More »
When considering the use of extruded aluminum to solve a design problem, you should be familiar with aluminum alloys and tempers. Aluminum alloys are identified primarily by a series number— a four-digit code describing its metallurgical composition. For extruded aluminum, the most common series are 6000’s and 7000’s. The 6000 (Al-Mg-Si) series is the most… Read More »
Extruded aluminum allows manufacturers to produce complex profiles with fewer parts and can save companies production and overall product lifecycle costs.
Whether you’re new to aluminum extrusions or a seasoned extrusion designer, it’s important to understand how an extrusion die is designed to create different profile shapes and why those differences impact the die manufacturing cost.
If you are working with aluminum extrusion profiles, here are four things to always include in your CAD file when sending to a manufacturer that will save you time and money.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 that aluminum can be recycled indefinitely without losing any of its high quality… Read More »