Folding Metal

July 9, 2007 on 10:05 pm | In Oribotics, Robo Tech |

I’m modelling the current generation of oribots, and have prototyped a new design and am going to make the parts from aluminium with some folds.

Ok. so I haven’t folded much metal before, and while I was modelling with my favorite modeller blender I was struck by the idea that metal has a thickness that needs to be considered when folding! Of course it does! My modelling prior to this point was all about aesthetics not about accurate measurements for laser cutting.

I’m trying to determine where to mark the fold on the aluminium so that the outside edge of the fold ends up at a precise location. By outside edge I mean if you have a sheet of paper on the table, and you make a valley (concave) fold then the outside egde is the bottom side of the paper.

So how do you calculate the radius of a fold (or bend radius)??? Well thanks to this Sheet Metal Bending Calculator I found some answers, which I am yet to test…

The following are my illustrations to help educate my train of thought on the matter.

I’m going to use the following values calculated using the Sheet Metal Bending Calculator.

1mm Aluminium
bend radius 1.591mm
outer radius 2.566mm
length of fold 4.037mm
length before 90º outside egde of fold 2.566mm (same as outer radius)

Measurements for folding 1mm aluminum

2mm Aluminium
bend radius 5.132mm
outer radius 3.183mm
length of fold 8.061mm
length before 90º outside egde of fold 5.132mm (same as outer radius)

Measurements for folding 1mm aluminum

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