Understanding bend allowance – part 1

Now it is time to discuss Generative Sheet Metal. It all starts with k-factor. Many years ago, my task was to develop the entire truck of some railroad vehicle – only models were performed in  CATIA V4, in its Part Design equivalent. The initial idea was to teach “bright graduates” how to work with CATIA V4 within two days and unfold these models in V4.

For obvious reasons, this idea quickly collapsed, especially that our trainer was an old-fashioned CATIA user who did not want to share his experience for tactical reasons…:-) The decision to switch to V5 was taken after exhaustive attempts to develop  envelope stamp.



Our client was „the worst” possible in case of development of metal sheet structures, because it was a CATIA user with his machine park. And the question was asked: what k-factor to set in CATIA.


The following file was created, which illustrates the idea of k-factor as well as the behavior and movement of neutral fiber depending on the thickness of the metal sheet and bending radius:


Here for download:


And what is the correct answer to this question? This time I will describe an example of „super engineering” we committed caused by lack of practical (production) knowledge in the scope of bent elements  🙂


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