It often gets overlooked or forgotten about but there are many factors which could be effecting the cost of your project, your design being one of them.
If you’re looking to reduce production costs, it’s time to take a look at your profile design, there could be a number of features on your design which are costly and add very little value for end users.
Evaluating your design and eliminating unimportant features is one of the best ways to reduce production costs, we have looked at our top 5 suggestions for reducing your production costs with product design.
Simplify your design
If your design is complicated, your tool is going to be complicated too, the more complicated, the more expensive. It’s as simple as that. Look at ways of simplifying your design to remove the need of having unnecessary features.
The shape of your profile also influences the cost of your extrusion, generally semi-hollow and hollow extrusions work out about the same in cost, however shapes which are symmetrical and solid are more economical than shapes which are unsymmetrical and hollow.
Solid profiles are ultimately easier to extrude which makes them cost less than hollow profiles.
Things to consider:
If you design your profile with a thick wall, it’s likely you will be wasting money on additional material and cooling times. If you have your wall thickness too thin, you compromise the structural integrity of the profile.
The thickness will ultimately determine the cost and the strength of your profile, you will find that most extrusion die profiles have a uniform wall thickness in common.
If you require an extrusion die to be produced with a variety of wall thicknesses the cost will inevitably be higher however there are certain advantages that come with taking this approach, such as increasing the strength of the profile by concentrating the thickness away from the centre of gravity and moving it toward the outside of the profile.
Try to avoid designs which have corners that are overly sharp. Rounded corners are preferred with a minimum radius of 0.5 – 1mm. There are alternative ways of creating a sharp edge effect, such as using fabrication.
If your extrusion is produced to industry standard tolerances it will be more cost efficient than a profile designed using custom or special tolerances.
Channels and Cavities
Using multiple cavities and channels can add to the cost of your extrusion, sometimes you will find there are often alternative methods for achieving the desired effect. Another thing to consider with cavities is that they can weaken your extrusion, it’s important to follow some of the basic rules and recommended ratios.
Choosing the right alloy for your extrusion can be tricky, most people tend to use the 6000 series, it’s by far the most versatile and commonly used alloy in the extrusion industry. If you’re stuck and don’t know which alloy to use, check out our Aluminium Academy for more information on choosing the right alloy.
Getting a prototype before committing to tooling
You would be surprised how many people go straight to tooling before seeing a prototype of their product. Having a prototype can verify your product design or highlight any potential design flaws. There might be aspects you want to improve or change before you go full steam ahead with the manufacturing process.
Work with professionals
As there are several things to take into consideration when designing your Aluminium Extrusion, it’s often best to work with a professional for advice and guidance.
Our in-house designer can assist you with your profile design should you require any guidance or have any questions regarding your design, use the contact form here to get in touch.
If you have a profile which you need to verify before taking it through the extrusion process, you can upload your design here for a free 3d printed prototype.