The Eurecat technology centre (a member of Tecnio) has developed a new technology known as Incremental Sheet Forming (3D ISF), which makes it possible to manufacture complex parts from sheet metal for prototypes or short runs using incremental, numerically controlled deformations. It is an ideal technological approach for the automotive, aviation and rail industries.

“This innovation is also extremely well-suited to companies in the fields of architecture, interior design and civil engineering, as well as the manufacturers of machinery, capital goods and domestic appliances”, explained Miquel Rey, the managing director of Eurecat’s Business Unit, during the unveiling of the technological innovation at Hannover Messe, Europe’s largest industrial trade fair.

“This breakthrough removes the need for high levels of investment in costly moulds to form sheet metal using stamping or deep drawing processes. ISF can be applied to any product that requires complex sheet metal parts for prototypes or short runs”, he added.

According to Eurecat, up until now the creation of complex designs from sheet metal was restricted to certain products whose lengthy production runs could absorb the high levels of investment in 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.