Achieving the Desired Tolerance Through Sheet Metal Blank Development

Before modern simulating technologies emerged, sheet metal blank development took days or weeks to complete. Now, simulation software allows StampingSimulation to accurately calculate blank development in a matter of hours (sometimes minutes!), which can be used for first laser trial of tooling.

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Sheet metal blank development for any type of process; transfer, progression, etc.

The concept for developing a blank shape is the same both in reality and in simulation. A sheet metal forming process that requires a developed blank shape (or partially developed blank) starts off with an initial blank shape and then is formed through each forming tool in the process.

At the end, the resulting part is placed on a gauge (or checking fixture) and compared to the required target shape. Measurements are taken either by hand or machine (CMM or laser scanner) to determine the error in the developed blank shape. The initial blank shape is adjusted accordingly, and then the part is formed again, measured again, repeat, repeat, repeat until the desired tolerance is achieved.

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Developed sheet metal blanks are formed, then measured in checking fixtures.

In reality, this method is an expensive and time-consuming activity which ties down valuable resources to achieve the required result. In many cases, simulation can calculate the required blank shape more accurately compared to manual measurement and adjustments, due to the complex nature of today’s sheet metal product shapes. It some cases, it’s impossible to find the correct blank shape without simulation (or at least real-world constraints prevent a good result!)

Using the power of AutoForm-Trim, StampingSimulation clients benefit financially by receiving the correct blank shape for their tooling project in a matter of hours (not days or weeks), and save a ton of shop floor time and effort. AutoForm simulation software allows the user to set a trim target and desired tolerance, and then continues to simulate over and over again, adjusting the blank development until the trim target tolerance is achieved.

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“This job went very well and the main challenge was the blank development. We were very impressed with the 1st hit of the tool. The result was very close to the required development.”

Jeremy Dutkiewicz – Tool Designer
Williams Tooling & Manufacturing, Inc.

Using the AutoForm-Trim module, Stamping Simulation reduces tryout time and cost by optimizing the required cutting profiles via AutoForm-Incremental simulations. This means that every step of the forming process is considered, unlike inverse one-step solutions and therefore, the resulting accuracy is much higher.

AutoForm-Trim is an iterative process (used in either SimulateLite or SimulateComplete service options), similar to the shop floor method but entirely in the simulation environment and without the cost of manual labor and press time. Blank or trim developments are usually solved accurately within a few hours, a saving of many days on the shop floor.

Would you like to save time on your shop floor, ease your tooling process, and increase your production output? Contact our team to get a free project quote today, and that’s exactly what we can help you do.