"Metal is a plastic Medium"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Silhouette Dies!

A silhouette die is just one of the ways to form metal using the hydraulic die forming technique. Like this:die
A Silhouette of the desired design is cut out of hard material like,plastic, metal or hard wood to create a" female" die,and metal is formed into the die with hydraulic pressure. A perfect material for a silhouette die would be a plastic cutting board. The same material would be perfect for
a punch also. Something that could be used to punch a design into the metal sitting on a pad of Flexane, using a hydraulic press.

Make sure to anneal the metal before pressing it into the silhouette die.
The metal that is going to be pressed into the die,is sandwiched in between a pad of Flexane on the bottom, and the silhouette die on the top.

When all of that is put into a hydraulic press and put under pressure,the Flexane forces the metal into the silhouette die.

If two halves are going to be put together to make a hollow form, just flip the die over once the first impression is made,and form the second half.

Hydraulic Die Forming

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Network of Die Making

I just found this informative diagram, which lists the different types of dies that can be used in hydraulic die forming: here it is

Hydraulic Die formed metal

Hydraulic die forming is a metalforming technique that is used to press metal into a die using hydraulic pressure

One Die forming technique is to use a conforming die, or a die that has a male portion and female portion to it. The metal is sandwiched in-between the two halves and the male half is pressed into the female half of the conforming die.The two halves are pressed together using a hydraulic press.

Which metal are you? Find out if you have a gold or silver personality!

Charles Lewton-Brain created the copper piece pictured here, which was made using the dieforming technique from Brainpress.com
Also, the metal can be pressed into a female half of a die by a pad of Flexane. Flexane has some of the same characteristics of rubber. The metal is sandwiched in-between the flexane and the die. The Flexane is pressed into the die with hydraulic pressure.
This is a technique similar to what is used to mass-produce metal articles used in just about every industry from the auto industry to the aircraft industry.
This technique is also used to produce jewelry and other art made of metal at a much lower cost than what it would cost to mass-produce something for the aircraft or auto industry.
If you are handy around the shop than a hydraulic press used for this technique can be made for about a hundred dollars or less. If you would rather purchase a hydraulic press you could pick up a very good one for around a thousand dollars. I've seen them for sale online on E-bay and at the Bonny Doon Engineering web site.
A great site that includes two plans to build a hydraulic press,one that is similar to the picture below, and the other is a bolt together option that can be put together without any welding.
Check this out for hydraulic press construction plans

and this page on the same site,has tips on low cost die forming

Here is the link to the Bonny Doon Engineering web site! Where you can purchase aHydraulic press