I know, I know… Sheet metal isn’t very sexy for an industrial designer… But it can be…
And whether you’re designing an enclosure made completely from sheet metal or using it as an internal structure to support your bitchin’ covers, from time to time, you’ll be confronted with the need to know about this stuff. The better you understand what you can and can’t do with sheet metal, the more effective a designer you’ll be. Right, huh?
I came across the site for DSM Manufacturing Company, a precision sheet metal shop in Denver. DSM was kind enough to assemble a pretty decent and easy-to-read collection of information and design guidelines that I thought you might find useful:
In their Technical Resources section, you’ll find a nice design guide for sheet metal bending, a plating guide and a cosmetic inspection standard for plating. All of these are PDFs. The also have a very nice FAQ page that talks a good bit about precision sheet metal parts and what kind of tolerances you can expect and why.
All definitely worth a read and if you do have some sheet metal work coming up, you should give these folks a try.