Can this part be fabricated on a Brake? (or is there another way to bend it?)
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    Default Can this part be fabricated on a Brake? (or is there another way to bend it?)

    Hey guys,
    So I designed a part intended to be fabricated from laser-cut steel and bent into final shape. I don't own a Brake yet and I've never specced out a design to be bent to final shape.

    My concern is that the way the bend is intended to be made, if any Brake is even capable of doing the bend due to clearance issues since the metal is only bent at certain places (I know finger Brakes can do this) but the sections intended to be left unbent are on both sides of the bend line. It's hard to describe this problem and that last sentence was probably confusing, so I'll include a render that should explain it a lot better:

    bend1.jpg

    bend1-flat.jpg

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    You talking a press brake or folding brake

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    You talking a press brake or folding brake
    Hi Limy, can either one of them do the specific fold geometry I showed?

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    Not my field, but I would say neither without special tooling.

    How many ya gotta make?

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    I don't think one would need very special tooling for this to be done on a press brake (well, the most basic setup won't do), first do the tabs, then use a 2 separate top and bottom dies for the other bends, this should work if the "bridge" section isn't too tall, if it is, then there are tall bottom dies for these situations as well

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    Press brake can do this. Easy peasy.

    All you'd need is a set of sectional punch and die in an appropriate punch radius/die opening for the material being bent. Not what I'd call special tooling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish On View Post
    Press brake can do this. Easy peasy.

    All you'd need is a set of sectional punch and die in an appropriate punch radius/die opening for the material being bent. Not what I'd call special tooling.
    I need to make about 100 of these. Was hoping to do it in my own shop, purchasing a reasonably cheap Folding Brake (<$1000) and adding slots to the bend area. The more I look at Folding Brakes online, even fingered ones.. the more I think this part isn't possible to do with one. I'm out of my wheelhouse a bit on this though...

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    HOw long is it?

    Press brake will do it, careful setup you can do it on one as long as either the end bend or maybe the 3 tabs length.

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    send it out- it will be cheaper than doing it yourself.
    Even a manual brake that might be able to do this, depending on dimensions, is a LOT more than a grand.
    Somebody with a 20 or 40 grand of press brake is going to knock this out faster, cheaper, and more accurately than you can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    HOw long is it?

    Press brake will do it, careful setup you can do it on one as long as either the end bend or maybe the 3 tabs length.
    The part is about 24" long. Sorry, I should have added some dims to that drawing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    send it out- it will be cheaper than doing it yourself.
    Even a manual brake that might be able to do this, depending on dimensions, is a LOT more than a grand.
    Somebody with a 20 or 40 grand of press brake is going to knock this out faster, cheaper, and more accurately than you can.
    Wow.. thanks for the reality check. I'm now considering redesigning it so it "folds" normally so a bending brake can do it without any special jigs or modifications. This bend just saved me a few extra parts and used less sheet steel since it folded into itself in a way.

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    Yup my little 24 inch press brake would do it, just have to figure which to do first, tabs or ends to keep things out of the way, but no big deal on a press brake

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    Actually can't a finger brake wider than 24 do it, big bend first, tabs second

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    Quote Originally Posted by chicagomoon View Post
    Wow.. thanks for the reality check. I'm now considering redesigning it so it "folds" normally so a bending brake can do it without any special jigs or modifications. This bend just saved me a few extra parts and used less sheet steel since it folded into itself in a way.
    Before redesigning the part, you should really get an outside quote for bending them. For 100 parts, you're probably looking at 2-300 bucks for the entire batch, and you'll get much better repeatability than you'll ever get on a hand brake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Actually can't a finger brake wider than 24 do it, big bend first, tabs second
    It could if it had removable lower fingers on the leaf, not just removable upper fingers. They'd also need to be deep enough to clear the truss. Not many brakes out there like that. The ones that are will probably be limited to 16 gauge. No idea how thick the part needs to be.

    Something like this would probably do it, as long as the truss wasn't deeper than the lower fingers (2" from bend to bottom of truss), but I have no idea as to the quality of the unit.

    Ultimate 24" 16ga Box & Pan Brake with Radius Fingers by Mittler Bros.

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    A 24 or 30 inch finger brake may do it or may not, depending on the individual brake. Yes, tabs first and then the ends. You will need two set-ups for the fingers. The two ends are a single bend with fingers at the two ends but open in the middle. The three tabs are one bend on each side.

    The question comes on the two end bends where the unbent part is right up against the end of the bend. You need a brake where there is clearance for that. Some finger brakes may allow this and others may not.

    For 100 I would really consider sending it out. And work with that shop to optimize the design.



    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Actually can't a finger brake wider than 24 do it, big bend first, tabs second

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    Here would be your second option. It doesn't list the clearance of the lower fingers, but I'd imagine is also only 2", as that's the clearance of it's upper fingers. Still limited to 16 gauge. I've never seen a heavier rated machine with removable fingers on the leaf.

    You can get the pretty much the same thing from grizzly, jet or other purveyors of cheap import garbage.

    Sheet Metal Bending Brake | 16 Gauge Box and Pan Brake | Baileigh Industrial

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    What thickness ?

    And just mild steel ?

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    An alternate fabrication method would be to make the rectangular parts separately, rig jigs to hold the parts in place, and weld everything together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    What thickness ?

    And just mild steel ?
    18GA Mild Steel. The issue isn't bending the 18GA steel, the issue is that at the bends, there are parts that don't get bent that go up and down in both directions at the same time..


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