Getting an Instant Quote on a Bent Part

To obtain an instant price from our online quoting system, you'll need a DXF outline of your part, with straight lines in your drawing where you'd like us to bend the part.  When bending your part, we'll place the punch directly on the bend line.

The best way to generate a DXF with bend lines is to use CAD software, like Fusion 360, SolidWorks, or any other CAD software that supports sheet-metal design.  If the exact size of your bent part isn't critical, then you can manually add bend lines to your flat pattern in any vector editor or lightweight CAD software (Illustrator, Inkscape, QCAD, etc.)

1. Creating a flat pattern with bend lines

If you don't own CAD software already, we recommend that you get started with Fusion 360.  It's free for hobbyists and small businesses with low revenue, and licenses are very inexpensive if you do need to purchase it.

This quick tutorial on YouTube describes how to use Fusion 360 to create a sheet metal part, and how to export the 2D flat pattern with bend lines.

2. Defining bend lines after uploading your flat pattern

2. We will review your order for manufacturability after it is submitted

Our system does not (yet!) perform manufacturability checks on your part, so it is possible for you to submit a design that we can't make for you.  After you submit your order, we will review it.  We'll contact you if there are any problems, so if you don't hear from us, you are good to go! 

To ensure that your part can be manufactured, follow the design rules under the "Bend Parameters" section for your material in our material catalog, as shown in the highlighted area below:

bend parameters.png

See the graphic below for an illustration of the meaning of the bend parameters listed in our catalog:

bend params 3d.png

3. Bend lines must be parallel to a flat part edge

We are working on tools to remove this requirement, but for now, all bend lines must be parallel to a straight part edge, so that we have a reference surface to position the part for bending.

For example, the following part works because every bend line is parallel to a part edge:

valid bends2 (1).png
valid bends (1).png

However, the part below does not work, because it lacks a reference edge for the press brake backgauge:

bad bends1.png
bad bends2.png

To fix this, you can add a tabbed bend-surface to the edge of your part, like the one below:

fixed bends1.png
fixed bends2.png

We are working on tools to make bends like this easier for you to request, but for now, bends lines must have a parallel gauging surface.

4. We currently only offer air bending

We currently do not offer any operations beyond air bending.  This means we cannot create seams, hems, hinges, etc. on your fabricated part.  We are also currently unable to perform finishing operations on your flat before bending, including edge rounding or surface graining.

As a result, your part may contain shallow, cosmetic scratching and small edge burrs, particularly on the bottom side of the cut edge.  We are working on expanding our finishing capabilities, but for now, this is not something we are capable of doing for you.  If your part needs to be ready to paint or ready to ship to a customer when you receive it, we recommend for now that you find a full-service fabrication shop that has the equipment to finish your parts as needed.

5. Lead-times and shipping prices are provided during checkout

Our system is smart about figuring out how to package and ship your parts, whether via parcel or freight.  Sign in and click "Checkout" button to enter your address to get shipping prices and lead-time options.

3d box packing

3D box packing shown above.  You won't see this during checkout, but this is what our system is doing under the hood to figure out how to package and ship your parts.