Fabrication Drawings

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When you start creating drawings of the manufacture draw them as if you were the manufacturer that created the part. Think of the machinist machining the part, the sheet-metalist cutting and bending the part, or the operator of the injection mold pouring the plastic into the mold you design.The definition of a part with dimensions, tolerances, materials, and finishes requires a detailed part drawing. The drawing will be used to generate manufacturing quotes for vendors.

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Machined Part Drawings

In the past, the machine drawings I created ranged from heavily detailed piece parts with GD&T, Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing, to simple pieces without any tolerance at all.Over the years, I have learned to interface directly with machine vendors, first seeing how they are equipped and the extent of their CNC capabilities.There are the small mom & pop machine shops in Silicon Valley that specialize in fast turn around time for R&D parts and can make it cheaper than the larger quantity of shops that produce.After the part was tried and tested to work during R&D, I use the larger shops for mass production.

I create machine drawings as if I were making the part myself and measuring the part as if I were going through multiple machines. In order to define the part and machining process thoroughly, multiple auxiliary and section views may be added.

Sheet Metal Drawings

I draw sheet metal parts with minimal to no GD&T symbols in a finished folded form, unless the pattern locations of the mating hole are critical to another part.In sheet metal, the three most common grades of stainless steel are 304, 316 and 410. The four most common sheet aluminum grades available are 1100-H14, 3003-H14, 5052-H32, and 6061-T6, respectively.Although 6061-T6 is not as formable as the others, it is stronger and can be treated with heat. It may not be good for tight bends on the radius and crack lines. I use 6061-T6 for sheet metal only when it is absolutely necessary for strength other than that I reserve 6061-T6 for machined peices.Metal thicknesses greater than 6 guage (.1943′′/ 4.94 mm) are no longer considered sheet metal.

In order to locate multiple hole patterns I use a combination of conventional dimensioning for feature size and ordinate dimensioning. A hole schedule will most likely be added to identify the holes and a list of self-clinching fasteners as shown in the drawing on the right.

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