How to Calculate Bend Allowance for Your Press Brake
Calculating the correct flat pattern layout is crucial to getting a good quality finished partfrom your
. Yet, many CAD and CNC programmers have no idea how tocalculate the required values. Years ago, the real experts created cheat sheets and tackedthem to the wall. They only taught the new apprentice how to apply the results shown onthe cheat sheet, not how to calculate the numbers. Well, now those experts have retired andit's time for a new generation to learn the right way to do the calculate the correct flatpattern layout.Calculating the flat pattern length from the 3D part really isn’t that difficult. Although youmay find several different formulas that claim to calculate the Bend Allowance (
See Bending Definitions
), they usually are the same formula, only simplified by filling in theangle or a K-factor. Oh, and yes, you do need to know the K-factor to calculate the BendAllowance.
Let’s start with a simple L bracket. The picture shows that the legs of the bracket are 2” and3”. The material thickness is 0.036”, the inside radius is 0.125”, and the angle of bend is 90degrees. The flat length is the total of the flat portion of both flanges plus the lengththrough the arc of the bend area. But, do you calculate that on the inside of the material orthe outside? Neither! This is where the
comes into play. The
is thepercentage of the material thickness where there is no stretching or compressing of thematerial, for example, the neutral axis. For this simple L bracket, I will use a
of 0.42.The formula is:Bend Allowance = Angle * (PI / 180) * (Radius + K-factor * Thickness).Plugging in our numbers, we have:Bend Allowance = 90 * (PI / 180) * (0.125 + 0.42 * 0.036) = 0.2200999813105009.