Using sheet metals in Product Design seems a little out of fashion compared with Injection Moulded parts. This is a pity because sheet metal, designed and used properly, is a very good material for sturdy parts that can be quickly manufactured with no up front tooling costs. Sheet Metal Product Design is one of the core skills of Neil Taylor at Devon 3D CAD.
Sheet Metal Designs.
Sheet metal is especially good where clients want a particular style and material finish. I have designed many Retail Display Systems where a steel structure is paired with attractive woods and fabrics. High end, luxurious clothing looks great when displayed on a polished chrome fixture. Polished or brushed stainless steel gives an up-to-the-minute feel, whereas powder coating complements nearly all styles without making a statement. I have even been asked to use hot rolled steel for Industrial Chic resonance. Pierced and patterned sheet steel is fantastic as a backdrop for spot placing shoes and small fashion garments and accessories.
I have used aluminium sheet where weight is an issue and structural strength is not needed. It has a good range of coloured anodised finishes.
Brass is a lovely material where a traditional look and feel is required. Polish it as standard but think about other coloured and antique finishes.
Laser cutting does not work well with brass, use water jet cutting instead.
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Sheet Steel – a reliable material with many uses.
Many of the sheet steel parts I have designed will never be seen by end users and so can use less expensive mild steel or Zintec sheet (a cold rolled mild steel electrolytically coated with a thin layer of zinc), either left in its raw finish or powder coated.