How to Make Sheet Metal Offsets


Thinking in Layers

Sheet metal-based projects can be manufactured with incredible complexity. In your designs, you can construct layers of components to create separation between various elements. That’s where sheet metal offsets come into play.

What is a Sheet Metal Offset?

Offsets are no more than a double bend on a piece of sheet metal that adds a second tier to your part. They are shaped something like a Z. They give you room to build out the internal construction of your project.

offsets sample image

How Do We Make Offsets?

We use a special punch and die to create both bends at the same time. The angle of the two bends is the same, but the direction of the bends is the opposite. These are formed as 90-degree angles.

In your designs, the offset height is the distance between two surfaces that are on the same side. For fastest turnaround, use these standard sizes:


.062 .093 .125
.187 .250 .375

Lazy Offsets

If you don’t want a 90-degree angle, possibly because your material is too thick, we can handle that, too. If we stop the punch during the forming process to form an angle that is less than 90-degrees, that’s called a lazy offset.

Working with Larger Offsets

If you need a larger offset, that’s not a problem. We just do it in multiple steps. We’ll press one bend and then rotate the part to create the second bend. The key here is to remember that your offset height must be more than 4x the material thickness.

Wrapping it Up

In summary, incorporating standard offsets in your designs will save you time and money by reducing tooling changes. Instead of requiring two operations to form two bends, using standard offsets will allow us to form both bends at the same time.


Related Videos

Sheet Metal Design Tips and Tricks
Why Sheet Metal Size Matters
Three Things You Need to Know about Forming Sheet Metal


For more helpful sheet metal design tips, download our Design for Manufacturing (DFM) Guide.

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