Forming – the bending and shaping of parts.
In addition to manufacturing your parts we are able to offer a variety of forming solutions to suit your individual needs. Whilst our area of expertise falls in Prototyping and low volume production runs we can offer competitive rates for larger runs.
Current Forming Tolerances.
For parts formed using hard tooling a tolerance of +/- 0.1mm is generally required (this is dependent of the complexity of the forming and the thickness of the part).
Note: If you can relax your tolerances this may save you money!
Methods of Forming
Half Etch Fold Lines
No Tooling Cost – this method requires a half etch line to be etched into the part at manufacturing stage to enable simple angled bends to be carried out, without the need for unique tooling. This can either be done by our engineering department or parts can be supplied flat for you to form as required.
This is the least accurate method of forming and more generous tolerances are required if this method is to be used.
No Tooling Cost – to enable us to keep costs low Photofabrication have designed a series of tooling ‘uni-tools’ which are adaptable pieces of hard tooling. Using this tooling enables faster turnaround. This tooling is designed for prototype runs and parts requiring simple forming operations. It can be used for orders up to 200 parts and is good degrees of accuracy are obtained.
Knife & Fork Prototyping
No Tooling Cost – This is a hard tooling method, which uses several pieces of ‘existing’ multi function universal tooling. This method is ideal for prototypes and runs of up to 200 parts. Suitable for more intricate forming operations and good accuracy can be expected.
Hard Form Tooling
Tooling Charge applies – Forming is carried out using hard tooling made specifically for the part – this offers Very high Accuracy (generally between +/- 0.1mm – subject to drawings). It is ideal for larger quantities and intricate forming operations. Generally parts up to 150mm long can be comfortably formed this way. Tooling is used in conjunction with either a fly press or toggle press. Tooling costs from £50 upwards, depending on complexity of part.
Screening Can Tooling
No Tooling Cost – Photofab have designed a series of tools which are adaptable pieces of hard tooling designed specifically for screening cans. Providing low costs option for spring Fingered lids. Suitable for parts up to 200mm in length and width, however the spring fingered legs need to be a minimum developed length of 3mm and rectangular for this method to be suitable.
More Engineering Services offered – contact our sales team for further info.
To find out more about the Photo Etching Process please either contact us on 01480 226699, or take “The Process Tour”.