Sheet metal feature iteration

Sheet metal shops are a fantastic fit for our platform because of the formulaic nature of sheet metal costing. We provide values like cut length, punch hit count, hole setups, thickness, etc. that allow for effective formulaic high level pricing. Now with feature iteration, you can use the information stored within each bend, feature, and manufacturability feedback instance to calculate runtimes, prices, part complexity, etc.

In this article, we will break down each feature and feedback type extracted from our sheet metal interrogation, as well as provide examples of how to use them in your pricing formulas. The cheat sheet below contains all the high level information you will need to get started. For more specifics on what each feature and feedback instance represents, check out our sheet metal interrogation article.

Cheat Sheet

sheet_metal = analyze_sheet_metal()  # request interrogation

for bend in get_features(sheet_metal, name='bend'):  # iterate thru bends
  # the below four lines demonstrate how to access bend information
  if is_close(, 90):  # check bend angle using is_close helper
    do_something = 1
    do_something_else = 1

# iterate through other forming features
for offset in get_features(sheet_metal, name='offset'):
  # has same properties as bend, but also offset height
  do_something_with_offsets = 1

for open_hem in get_features(sheet_metal, name='open_hem'):
  do_something_with_hems = 1

for feature in get_features(sheet_metal):  # iterate thru features
  if == 'countersink':
    # access information with dot notation into properties
    do_something_with_countersink = 1

for feedback in get_feedback(sheet_metal):  # iterate thru feedback
  if == 'cut_near_bend':
    # access information with dot notation into properties
    do_something_with_cut_near_bend = 1

# get count of feature type by using len() and specifying name
num_countersinks = len(get_features(sheet_metal, name='countersink'))

# get count of feedback type by using len() and specifying name
num_cut_near_bend = len(get_feedback(sheet_metal, name='cut_near_bend'))

# interact with features and feedback directly from dot operator, returning copies of p3l list objects
# can manipulate these with p3l list functions and methods
features = sheet_metal.features.filter(lambda x: == 'bend').filter(lambda x: > 10).sort(lambda x:
for bend in iterate(features):
  do_something = 1

for feedback in iterate(
  do_something = 1
Feature Reference
Name Properties
bend area, angle, length, k_factor, radius
bend_relief area, width, length
curl area, angle, length, k_factor, radius
counterbore area, depth, diameter, volume
countersink area, depth, major_diameter, minor_diameter, semi_angle, volume
cutout_feature area, cut_length, requires_piercing
Note: We currently do not count the external cut as requiring a pierce.
drilled_hole area, depth, diameter, volume
embossment area, depth
etching edge_length
offset area, angle, length, offset_height, k_factor, radius
open_hem area, angle, length, k_factor, radius
punch_multi_hit_feature area, cut_length
circular_punch cut_length, radius
obround_punch cut_length, side_length, side_width, radius
rectangular_punch cut_length, side_length, side_width
slot_punch cut_length, side_length, radius
square_punch cut_length, side_length
tear_drop area, angle, length, k_factor, radius
Feedback Reference
Name Level Properties (short description)
captive_part complete_exclusion n/a
close_countersink_bores manufacturing_issue dist, distance_ratio (traversal/thickness)
close_cutouts manufacturing_issue dist, distance_ratio (traversal/thickness)
countersink_bore_to_edge manufacturing_issue dist, distance_ratio (traversal/thickness)
curl_near_bend manufacturing_issue dist, distance_ratio (traversal/thickness)
cut_near_bend manufacturing_issue dist, distance_ratio (traversal/thickness)
cutout_to_edge manufacturing_issue dist, distance_ratio (traversal/thickness)
different_bend_directions cost_driver n/a
exceeds_press_length complete_exclusion n/a
hem_near_bend manufacturing_issue dist, distance_ratio (traversal/thickness)
large_bend_radius manufacturing_issue ratio (radius/thickness)
machining_required manufacturing_issue n/a
neg_bend_allowance complete_exclusion radius, thickness
no_bend_relief manufacturing_issue n/a
no_corner_relief manufacturing_issue n/a
non_standard_bend_angle cost_driver angle
shallow_bend_relief manufacturing_issue ratio ((depth-radius)/thickness)
sheet_metal_large_part complete_exclusion length, width, height, max_length, max_width, max_height
short_bend manufacturing_issue ratio (length/radius)
short_hem_return manufacturing_issue ratio (distance/thickness)
small_bend_radius manufacturing_issue ratio (radius/thickness)
small_cut manufacturing_issue dist (size of cut)
small_radius manufacturing_issue radius
split_bend cost_driver stroke_length
tight_corner manufacturing_issue angle
tight_curl manufacturing_issue ratio (radius/thickness)
tight_hem manufacturing_issue ratio (diameter/thickness
thin_bend_relief manufacturing_issue ratio (width/thickness)
unfolded_sheet_metal_large_part complete_exclusion length, width, max_length, max_width
unfolding_issue complete_exclusion n/a



Below describes a way to add price for the appearance of certain types of features and feedback on a part. This operation could serve as a supplement to your standard marking and forming operations to encapsulate added costs for specific features. Checkout our custom interrogations article to find out how to customize your manufacturability feedback outputs.


sheet_metal = analyze_sheet_metal()

close_cutout_cost = var('Close cutout cost', 0.25, '$ per close cutout found', currency)
cut_near_bend_cost = var('Cut near bend cost', 2.50, '$ per cut near bend found', currency)
curl_cost = var('Curl Cost', 5.0, '$ per curl found', currency)
hem_cost = var('Hem Cost', 5.0, '$ per hem found', currency)

total_close_cutout_cost = len(get_feedback(sheet_metal, name='close_cutouts')) * close_cutout_cost
total_cut_near_bend_cost = len(get_feedback(sheet_metal, name='cut_near_bend')) * cut_near_bend_cost
total_curl_cost = len(get_features(sheet_metal, name='curl')) * curl_cost
hem_count = len(get_features(sheet_metal, name='open_hem')) + len(get_features(sheet_metal, name='tear_drop'))
total_hem_cost = hem_count * hem_cost

PRICE = (total_close_cutout_cost + total_cut_near_bend_cost + total_curl_cost + total_hem_cost) * part.qty
DAYS = 0


Below describes an advanced method to cost out a forming operation based on the characteristics of bends in the part. The operation below will start each bend with a base setup time and runtime, and will then increment these times based on added geometric complexity, such as non-90 degree angle bends, long bends, or large radius bends. This uses a lot of list operations. Check out the article on P3L Lists for more info.

sheet_metal = analyze_sheet_metal()

setup_time = var('setup_time', 0, 'Setup time in hours', number, frozen=False)
runtime = var('runtime', 0, 'Runtime in hours', number, frozen=False)

# establish base setup time and time increments in minutes
base_bend_setup_time = 5
st_increment = 2.5

# establish base runtime and time increments in seconds
base_bend_runtime = 30
rt_increment = 10

# establish geometric thresholds for incrementing times
# in inches
medium_radius_thresh = 2.0
large_radius_thresh = 4.0
medium_length_thresh = 20.0
large_length_thresh = 40.0

# establish our variables that we will use as pricing levers in the operation
# also establish their local tracking variables
base_bends = sheet_metal.features.filter(lambda x: == 'bend')

base_bend_count = var('Bend Count', 0, 'Number of bends detected', number, frozen=False)

non_ninety_bends = var('Non-90 Bend Count', 0, 'Number of non-90 degree bends', number, frozen=False)
  base_bends.copy().filter(lambda x: not is_close(, 90))

med_rads = var('Medium Rads', 0, 'Number of bends with medium rads', number, frozen=False)
      lambda x: medium_radius_thresh <= < large_radius_thresh
                or is_close(, medium_radius_thresh)

large_rads = var('Large Rads', 0, 'Number of bends with large rads', number, frozen=False)
      lambda x: >= large_radius_thresh 
                or is_close(, large_radius_thresh)

med_lengths = var('Medium Lengths', 0, 'Number of bends with medium length', number, frozen=False)
      lambda x: medium_length_thresh <= < large_length_thresh 
                or is_close(, medium_length_thresh))

large_lengths = var('Large Lengths', 0, 'Number of bends with large length', number, frozen=False)
      lambda x: >= large_length_thresh 
                or is_close(, large_length_thresh))

# now collect contributions
total_bend_setup = base_bend_setup_time * base_bend_setup_time
total_bend_run = base_bend_count * base_bend_runtime

total_bend_setup += non_ninety_bends * st_increment
total_bend_run += non_ninety_bends * rt_increment

total_bend_setup += med_rads * st_increment
total_bend_run += med_rads * rt_increment

total_bend_setup += large_rads * 2 * st_increment
total_bend_run += large_rads * 2 * rt_increment

total_bend_setup += med_lengths * st_increment
total_bend_run += med_lengths * rt_increment

total_bend_setup += large_lengths * 2 * st_increment
total_bend_run += large_lengths * 2 * rt_increment

# establish final times as a sum of all above
# convert times to hours
setup_time.update(total_bend_setup / 60)
runtime.update(total_bend_run / 3600)

setup_labor_rate = var('Setup Labor Rate', 50, 'Labor cost per hour to set up work center', currency)
run_labor_rate = var('Run Labor Rate', 25, 'Labor cost per hour to attend work center machine', currency)

setup_cost = setup_time * setup_labor_rate
run_cost = runtime * run_labor_rate * part.qty

PRICE = setup_cost + run_cost
DAYS = 0

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