Project TitleHigh-accuracy Double Sided Incremental Forming
Track Code2011-098
Short Description

A novel double sided incremental forming system for sheet material forming of complex geometry at high accuracy at high accuracy

#devices #fabrication #instrumentation #manufacturing #materials #metals


A novel double sided incremental forming (DSIF) system has been developed at Northwestern for sheet metal forming fabrication process. Incremental forming (IF) allows great process flexibility and rapid in-situ fabrication of low volume sheet parts, whereas the inability to achieve required accuracy and the lack of fracture prediction tools has hampered the adoption of this process in industry. These challenges have been overcome recently by Northwestern’s researchers. This one-of-a-kind DSIF system uses a forming tool on one side of the sheet and the other tool as a local die on the other side. An advanced toolpath planning module and a finite element analysis (FEA) based deformation prediction model have been developed to enable the forming of complex 3D geometry with significantly increased accuracy compared with other IF processes. This promising DSIF system can be applied to the sheet forming of different materials, including composites and polymers, for various applications.

Figure Double-Sided Incremental Forming Process. (a,b): Sheet metal forming of complex 3D geometries enabled by the novel DSIF system at high accuracy (c): Multiple components formed on a same sheet (d): The assembled DSIF system.

TagsDEVICES: fabrication, INSTRUMENTATION: manufacturing, MATERIALS: metals
Posted DateDec 18, 2014 1:18 PM


Jian Cao*

Rajiv Malhotra


• Sheet metal forming of complex 3D geometry 
• Micro-scale sheet metal forming 
• Composite and polymer sheets forming


• Complex 3D geometries 
• high geometric accuracy and formability 
• Multiple components on a same sheet


Malhotra R, Cao J, Ren F, Kiridena V, Xia ZC, Reddy NV (2011) Improvement of Geometric Accuracy in Incremental Forming by using a Squeezing Toolpath Strategy with Two Forming Tools.  ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering.133: 061019-1 to 061019-10.

Malhotra R, Cao J, Beltran M, Xu D, Magargee J, Kiridena V, Xia ZC (2012) Accumulative-DSIF Strategy for Enhancing Process Capabilities in Incremental Forming.  Annals of CIRP. 61: 251-254.

IP Status

A US patent has been issued (US 9168580 B2

Marketing Contact

Arjan Quist, PhD

Invention Manager

(p) 847-467-0305



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