Sheet metal boxes, their design and manufacture
3D models helping to create sheet metal boxes
Nearly all our sheet metal work projects start with a 3D model or series of models if an assembly is required and sheet metal boxes are no different. The box and cover pictured here have been created in Radan sheet metal development software to enable us to check the sizes of the box and cover, their fit to each other, hole alignment, material and thicknesses. Once the model has been approved it can be used to create the correct flat pattern and then assign CNC punch tooling or laser cutting paths to the inner holes, cut outs and outer profile. Production features such as corner assembly tabs can also be added to the model where needed.
Corner preparation for welding fabrication
Sometimes thin gauge sheet metal boxes need to be held in place when being welded. Thicker materials when bent hold their correct position and don’t need tagging unless the box is being fabricated from several separate sheets of metal. With thinner materials such as this mild steel box show here although the corners can be bent correctly they will move around when being welded up. The corners can be clamped together with individual clamps or production jigs but these can be time consuming to position correctly. By building the tabs into the design the welder can push the 2 sides together and produce the correct box shape and size every time simply and quickly.
Fabricated aluminium box
Here is a nice example of an aluminium box that has been CNC punched out from sheet, CNC bent up to form all the sides and then TiG welded together in the corners. The welds have then been cleaned off by grinding and orbital sanding to create a smooth outer surface which once powder coated will produce a perfect finish. If you want to see more examples of the stages of design and manufacturing involved in producing sheet metal boxes please take a look at our web page sheet metal box manufacturing to see what goes on here in Fareham, Hampshire.