The 3D ISF (Incremental Sheet Forming) technology developed by the Eurecat technology centre makes it possible to manufacture complex sheet metal parts for prototypes or short runs for the automotive industry. This breakthrough removes the need for high levels of investment in costly moulds to form sheet metal using stamping or deep drawing processes.

ISF technology is based on 3D sheet forming using incremental, numerically controlled deformations. There is no need to make costly moulds: only a counterpunch or simple mould is required for more complex designs. These can be made from wood, resin or metal, and some parts can even be produced without using tools.

Until now, creating complex designs from sheet metal was restricted to certain products whose lengthy production runs could absorb the high levels of investment in costly dies for stamping or deep drawing. Companies producing shorter runs were forced to use simpler processes, such as bending, which meant their products lacked the ability to stand out without the technical characteristics or design features of products made from more complex sheet metal parts. Eurecat’s new technology now addresses this imbalance.