We consider material specification and part geometry to analyse if it is possible to produce the part to the required geometry using the specified material and material thickness.

Metal Thinning Analysis

This provides the complete analysis of the entire part showing both Thinning and Thickening and at any chosen area.

It goes without saying that the primary purpose of the forming simulation step is to check how the material behaves prior to machining of any tool steel.

The results produced in the forming simulation step illustrate very clearly the calculated areas of material yielding (splitting), amounts of necking (thinning or changes in thickness) and areas of material compression (wrinkles and folds). The Forming Limit Diagram (FLD) is key to analysing this data as it plots each element’s strain (in major and minor axis) on a graph and compares it to the material’s limits to determine if any of these defects will be present. With this information in hand, countermeasures and adjustments are made to the die face design and then the forming simulation is re-run, until each defect is removed or an acceptable result is achieved.

Developed Blank Details

This provides a complete geometry details of developed blank.

Incremental sheet metal forming simulation not only predicts common defects such as wrinkles, splits or springback but is also regularly used to accurately calculate blank shape and trim developments.

In many cases, a sheet metal forming process starts with a 100% developed blank OR requires mid process trimming before final forming. In either case, manually developing the blank or trimming profile is a source of costly try out time, typically taking more than a few days

By using the AutoForm-Trim modul, we reduce tryout time and cost by optimizing the required cutting profiles via AutoForm-Incremental simulations. This means that every step of the forming process is considered, unlike inverse one-step solutions and therefore, the resulting accuracy is much higher.

AutoForm-Trim is an iterative process (used in either SimulateLite or SimulateComplete service options), similar to the shop floor method but entirely in the simulation environment and without the cost of manual labour and press time. Blank or trim developments are usually solved accurately within a few hours, a saving of many days on the shop floor.

Strip Layout

Strip layout to provide optimal material usage, minimising wastage and cost.

All sheet metal forming simulation software is capable of multi stage simulations. The usual procedure is to setup and simulate the first process, and then feed the resulting information in to a second, but separate simulation file.

AutoForm-Incremental simulation software makes it possible to setup and simulate infinite process steps in a single simulation. The benefit is that the output is a single file showing the entire process, from start to finish, including cutting operations. In this way, complete progression strips can easily be simulated.

At the end of the job, this data is exported from AutoForm and cleaned up in Solidworks.  The complete strip layout is then available for use in your actual tool design.

Everything that is needed for a full tool design is present and is the basis for a tool designer to design a complete and detailed tool.

Of course, the data has already been proven and developed in simulation, so the design becomes much more confident of success in the press, at first tryout.

This output includes:

  1. Basic strip with carrier (single side surfaces)
  2. Correctly developed blank (as part of the strip)
  3. Correctly developed re-trim profile (part of the strip data)
  4. Lower side form tools (solids)

(Note: this data is created LAST after the simulation has proven the process will work.)

Spring Back Analysis and Compensation

Provides the predicted deflection of the material, including compensation.

A springback check can be performed after any stage, for example, after the first draw stage or after the final stage. The end result is not just a number on paper of the amount of springback, but a full 3D CAD model of the part in the sprung back state (that can be exported in any CAD format). This means it is very easy to use this data to counteract the springback or decide if the amount of springback is acceptable or not.  If unacceptable, and option is available where AutoForm will attempt to correct the springback to within a tolerance that is acceptable, by applying a compensation factor, then running multiple simulation iterations until that tolerance level is reached.


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