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Key design tips for working with sheet metal

To get the most out of your sheet metal design, keep a few key tips in mind.

Managing tolerances

Precision sheet metal has many variables that effect tolerance, shape, size, and features. For example, sheet thickness tolerances from a mill can vary from +/-.0035 on the most used gages, which are 14-20 gage (.074” – .036”) to +/-.0075 on the thicker gages.

A common issue to watch is designs with zero clearance between parts. This can create a tolerance stack up, resulting in parts that will not fit during assembly. When assemblies are modeled, the tolerance of the parts should be accounted for in the spacing of the parts to be sure they will fit together when assembled.

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