There are a few different machines that can be used to bend sheet metal. The most common is a press brake machine which itself can be mechanical and fully manual (usually used in small machine shops), or it can be computer numerically controlled (CNC) and uses a hydraulic system. The principles used in both machines are the same, but the way the operator interacts is different. This process below will focus on the operation of a CNC press brake machine: 

1. Calculate the Design Parameters

Before using the press brake, calculate the design parameters including: force required, bend line (the point where the force is exerted), and the order of bends (if there are multiple). The die used to create the bends must also be decided. 

2. Set Up the Press Brake

To set up the press brake, input the information calculated into the CNC machine, so it knows how much force to exert on the metal to create the right bend and in which order these bends will be carried out. The right tool and die must be attached to the press and brake, ready for bending. 

3. Align the Part

Align the metal between the tool and die. When the machine is operated, it will bend the sheet of metal at the bend line. 

4. Engage the Press Brake

Engage the press brake so that the force parameters—inputted into the CNC press brake at step 2—are applied. Once the press brake has bent the metal, the part can be removed and made ready for the next stage of production. 

Let's Get Started