Ordering Bent Metal Parts from OSH Cut
You can order bent sheet metal parts from OSH Cut in two ways:
Upload a flat pattern with punch lines showing where you want the bends to be placed, or
Upload a 3D model produced in sheet-metal capable CAD software, like Fusion 360 or SolidWorks
A "flat pattern" is usually created by modeling your finished part in 3D and then using your CAD software to unfold it. This produces the sheet metal "blank" that we'll cut out of sheet metal or plate, before folding.
The flat pattern should contain punch lines to show us where to place the punch to fold your parts. After uploading, you can select the punch lines in our online system and set up the bend angles we should use. Then our system will fold the part for you and show you how it should look:
IMPORTANT: If you use a flat pattern instead of uploading a 3D model, the finished size of your part will depend on correct placement of the punch lines based on the bend radius, material thickness, and k-factor parameters we describe in our material catalog. We have no way to infer your end design from the flat pattern alone, and we will place the punch exactly where you put the punch line in your drawing.
If you are laying out your part in CAD, be sure to set up the sheet metal parameters to match our processes to obtain the correct part size. You can also double-check the finished size of the 3D model reported by our system after it creates the 3D model from your flat pattern.
You can alternatively use a 3D model to order a sheet metal part. This is the recommended method, because it saves you a step (no need for you to create the flat pattern), and our system can automatically adjust your bend radii and punch placement to match your part size, if you designed around radii that we can't produce with our tooling.
After you upload your sheet metal part and choose the material, you can see both your original model, AND a model showing how it will look as manufactured by OSH Cut. Use the slider at the top of the part's 3D view to toggle between the two.
Below is an example of a part that was uploaded with a large radius that we can't make with our tooling.
Bend Radii Too Large...
The original model calls for 1" bend radii, which we cannot produce with our tooling:
... and Automatically Corrected by Our System
Toggling the view, you can see how the part will look when produced by our tooling:
Notice that our system identified the bends with an incompatible radius and automatically adjusted them to match our tooling, without changing the size of the finished part.
This automatic correction of bend parameters is one of many factors that allow us to offer great pricing on sheet metal parts. Your model is adjusted automatically by our system before it goes to production, and you can see exactly what we'll be making for you.
Compare this to the back and forth you might have come to expect from other shops. A part like this, with bends that can't be produced, might result in days or weeks of back-and-forth and re-engineering with your shop, before you settle on a design that can be produced. That's time-consuming for you and the shop, and expensive.
If you need very specific bend radii, that might be the process you'll need to use. But for the vast majority of parts, our automated workflow makes the process easier for everyone!