6 Top Tips for Designing Your Own Custom Aluminum Extrusion

top-design-tipsHave you ever wanted to design your own custom aluminum extrusion shapes with all of the specialty features and functions that you desire? Standard extruded aluminum can be used and manipulated in so many ways to achieve a specific goal, but if you need something even more unique in order to create a specific part, piece or product, then custom aluminum extrusion is the way to go. From unique aluminum doors and windows to automotive parts, aluminum extrusion design can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be.

However, before you can create your own unique custom extruded aluminum designs, you will need to start at the drawing board – the literal drawing board, when you create the design that will be used to make the custom steel die or profile. This is where all of the elements for your custom aluminum extrusion will take shape, and where all of the features that you want to be built into the design will be added. The unique process of creating extruded aluminum helps designers and manufacturers alike, to take advantage of the additional benefits associated with this metal shaping method.

Tip #1 – Cost-Effective Design
When you begin to create the profile for your aluminum extrusion design, it is important to think about how thick you want the walls of the extruded aluminum to be. The two things that will influence this decision are cost and the desired level of strength. The easiest type of profile to create is one that has walls that feature a uniform thickness all the way around. To reduce cost, design your profiles to have uniformity in wall thickness, feature soft and simple lines, have a symmetrical shape and refrain from creating narrow or deep channels.

Tip #2 – Create “Soft” Lines
What does it mean to create an aluminum extrusion design that has “soft” lines? Avoid designs that have corners that are overly sharp. While many things can be done with custom aluminum extrusion, this process cannot provide results that feature razor sharp corners. Rounded corners are preferred with a minimum radius of 0.5 – 1mm. Sharper angles can be created with additional fabrication. Sharp tips should also be avoided, as they can have a somewhat wavy or uneven appearance.

Tip #3 – Solid Profiles Are Easier
Another type of aluminum extrusion design that is cost-effective because it is easy to make, is the solid profile. Hollow profiles can cost more to produce and, in some instances, can be more difficult to create. The less cavities that are present in the design of the profile for the extruded aluminum, the more stable the die will be and the easier it will be to create the desired aluminum extrusion design.

Tip #4 – Avoid Heat Sinks
When custom aluminum extrusion designs are created by the manufacturer, it is important to avoid heat sinks, which can cause the finished piece to have a wavy surface. Speak with the company regarding your custom aluminum extrusion, to ensure that all of the proper precautions are in place to help you avoid heat sinks.

Tip #5 – Consider Decorative Additions
When creating the design for your extruded aluminum, consider adding in some decorative parts. While they are for looks, these decorative additions can also add some extra function to your aluminum extrusion design. For example, decorative additions can help to hide any mistakes or imperfections in the design and they can also help to protect the core part against any damage that could occur during the process of handling and machining the part. The design can also make the particular part more easy to identify, which can be a huge benefit, especially if you are designing multiple parts or components.

Tip #6 – Work With a Professional
The company that you choose to work with for your aluminum extrusion design will make all the difference in your finished product. Silver City Aluminum specializes in helping clients create products that are designed to work at their very best. We will work with you directly throughout our custom aluminum extrusion process, to ensure that nothing gets overlooked or forgotten in the design or the execution. Choose from a variety of options, including secondary options and finishing.

If you are considering making a design for your own custom aluminum extrusion, contact Silver City Aluminum by calling 508-542-7200. Our team of highly trained, experienced and knowledgeable technicians and designers can help you find the solutions you require. Whether you want to design more efficient aluminum doors and windows for residential construction or parts for an aerospace or transportation industry project, contact Silver City Aluminum. Our team will walk you through the entire process from start to finish, and we can help you to achieve your goals!