I am an industrial designer at a sheet metal company in Sydney. This is my first experience with Image 2 punch and I have a few questions. We are quite concerned with sheet metal distortion and wearing out of tools through the punching. For example, the attached I2P file has approximately 14,000 punchings. On sheet metal this sheet will most likely distort and need rolling.

I would like to hear about your experiences regarding sheet sizes, material thickness, tool sizes and number of punching. What is the cost involved if using Image2punch Genesis? I was also wondering if you have a price list or similar regarding the Genesis orders.

To answer your first question, punching 14000 holes onto a 2000 x 1000 mm sheet will create distortion. There is no way to fully eliminate the sheet distortion, but there are ways to reduce the distortion and make the job easier for both programmer and operator.  The simplest is just to design the perforated pattern with fewer holes in it by making a bigger gap and using a larger sheet.

The second way is to divide the sheet into several panels which can be punched separately (this is illustrated by the perforated design sample for our perforated metal bus stop).

The third way is to use cluster tools. These will dramatically reduce the distortion and make the punching job much easier. However, you may need to buy special tools and try to “map” the cluster tool location from the perforated pattern design. I do not know of any Turret Punch software that can convert a single tool into a cluster tool automatically. This means you will need to do it manually. I am very concerned about the distortion and tool wearing in creating a massive perforated pattern design (eg. using more than 10000 toolhits). The automatic cluster tool recognition has been developed and implemented into Image2Punch Pro in the 3rd version. By implementing the cluster tool recognition, the distortion will be eliminated dramatically. For more information about this feature and a tutorial to apply cluster recognition can be seen in our website at here.

From my experience, a good rule of thumb is the tool size ideally needs to be 1.5 times bigger than the material thickness and the gap between the tools should ideally be 2 times bigger than the material thickness or 3mm, or whichever larger. However the material type must also be taken into account. You may need to check your Turret punch machine manual book for further information.

At present (up to Image2Punch Genesis version 3.0), the CAD conversion cost for 1 file will be 20 USD per transaction, the second file will be 10 USD and the next will be 5 USD per file. For more detail and update information, please visit the CAD Service page on Image2Punch website.