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## Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

Hello,

So what I wanted to ask is how can I simulate the process of aluminum can manufacturing in Creo's Sheetmetal.

What I'm trying to do in the first step is create a disk that step by step will formulate the can.

So what I first do is planar a disk like so

https://imgur.com/a/cIZc6d7

But the when I try bending it inwards so that it takes the form of the cup creo doesn't let me have a circle as a bending line.

I tried the punching option but I can't get the result I want.

Is there a different approach to this?

I want to model the can like this so I can have the unbended disk as the first step.

The can process that I'm trying to replicate is show here https://youtu.be/hUhisi2FBuw?t=97

Bill details the engineering choices underlying the design of a beverage can He explains why it is cylindrical, outlines the manufacturing steps needed to cr...
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## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

Your first mistake is equating sheetmetal bending to sheetmetal deep die drawing. The can is done with deep die drawing.

Sheetmetal bending maintains the part thickness and is usually done with a press prake that bends in a straight line.

Sheetmetal deep die drawing starts with a blank and stretches the material into the die and make the walls a variable thickness. There are special formulas and software for calculating the size of the disk and thickness for a finished product.

Bottom line: You can NOT use the sheetmetal forming process in Creo to create a can from a disk.

8 REPLIES 8

## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

Your first mistake is equating sheetmetal bending to sheetmetal deep die drawing. The can is done with deep die drawing.

Sheetmetal bending maintains the part thickness and is usually done with a press prake that bends in a straight line.

Sheetmetal deep die drawing starts with a blank and stretches the material into the die and make the walls a variable thickness. There are special formulas and software for calculating the size of the disk and thickness for a finished product.

Bottom line: You can NOT use the sheetmetal forming process in Creo to create a can from a disk.

## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

'Morning Ben!  I agree.....BUT.....could you use the "die" function in Creo to mimic a deep-draw operation, then after you get the inner shape you wanted, revolve a cut to mimic the thinning of the walls?  To me, that would be a TON more work than if you just modeled the outside and shelled it (ignoring the different wall thicknesses given by any deep-draw operation).  I'm not a sheetmetal expert in any sense though, so I'm just guessing.

I did 2 Coke bottles many years ago (20oz, and 2L, where I added a handle to both as a "what-if" study), and shelled it once I got the outside the way I wanted, and I mimicked the thickening by the neck as a result of the blow-molding process by revving a protrusion where it gradually thickened.  I just measured the bottle outside and cut it along the axis to get a rough Idea of the geometry at the neck.  I was really happy how it worked out.

## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

So it's not done with sheetmetal but can it be done in another way?

Also if I modeled the can first could I later flatten it in a disk?

Thanks again!

## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

No, Creo can not calculate the flat for this situation.

You can search for deep draw simulation software to get an idea of the software used for those processes.

Steve Williams
Pro/E Version 15/16 (Circa 1995/1996)

## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

Doesn't surprise me, that would be a REALLY non-linear deformation.  I'm just a novice sheetmetal module user, so I thought something might be done to fudge it.

Depending on what's needed, maybe he should simply go to Ball, or any other can maker, and ask them the diameter of the flat pattern.  Make a family table part where on the first instance there's just a disk, and the other instance where there's the finished can (without lid).  Done.

## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

Side story but related.

Automotive airbags use the same can design for the canisters to hold the sodium azide that is the propellant for an airbag. We would model the finished canister, complete with the double rolled seal edge. Of course the canister tops had no pop-opening and the can portion was W shaped for the firing squib to go in the center.

Even modeling the rolled edge was not easy and we did it in multiple steps to show the lid inserted and then each roll of the top as the edge is formed. We did not use Pro/Engineer back then and it was all done with wireframe, no solid modeling.

## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

Funny how sometimes it's easier to make something than model it, but also sometimes you can model something that can't be made.  My buddy worked as a Die Designer at Chrysler in OH for a while, and some of the sheetmetal forming was pretty amazing, especially where they had to wrap around a tight corner, and the sheetmetal buckled and they would just fold it on top of itself in a bunch of places.  There's a happy medium in there somewhere...  😉

## Re: Simulating a aluminum can manufacturing process with Sheetmetal

We are a deep draw metal stamping company and while our tooling is all designed in Creo, the metal forming simulation is handled with Pam-Stamp.

As far as the blank diameter, it's nothing more than a function of the total volume of the can plus scrap.  If you know your starting material thickness, simply adjust the blank diameter to reach the volume necessary for the total material contained in the finished can.

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