Choosing The Right Material For Your Project.December 16, 2022
Designing pads and gaskets just got easier!
Historically, design engineers working on new projects and in need of gaskets or pads for prototype, pre-production or small batch production builds, have purchased sheet material and cut the parts themselves. This is not a good approach as it is not only time consuming and inconvenient, but also repeatability between parts is tough to maintain. For more complex parts with irregular shaped cut outs and profiles, the problems and inconvenience increase exponentially.
Materials Direct combines an easy online design interface with advanced computer controlled profiling machines to give customers pads and gaskets to their exact requirements, with no tooling costs and with a rapid turnaround.
For simple square, rectangular or round parts, users simply input the X, Y or diameter dimensions and the Materials Direct takes care of everything else – even optimising layout on the large sheet materials to maximise yield and therefore keep costs down.
For more complex parts, customers can upload their own drawings (in both .dxf and .pdf formats) to the portal, and again, Materials Direct will take care of everything else.
Where customers don’t have a final drawing or design, and need some assistance, a comprehensive downloadable guide provides everything to walk them through the process using best practice to achieve an optimum part for their application. The guide also offers some really useful tips – for example for thermal pads and gaskets, it is a good idea to make them slightly oversize or design in a ‘tab’ that makes it easy to see that the part has been fitted. Another relates to tolerancing – parts cut from sheet or elastomeric material cannot have the same tolerances as metal parts for example, and the wider the tolerance customers can accommodate, the lower the cost of the parts.
So, with intuitive online user interfaces such as that offered by Materials Direct, and advanced programmable machines to quickly and accurately cut pads and gaskets without tooling, design engineers no longer have to fashion their own parts using sheet and scissors – definitely a step in the right direction for speeding and easing new product design!