2016 Volume 57 Issue 660 Pages 17-21
The conventional incremental sheet forming method of the two-point-support type, in which a bar tool with a spherical head is used, usually requires a special die to support the blank sheet. On the other hand, a new concept for this forming process, which requires no die or support tool, has been proposed. The new process can enable the production of many kinds of products using only one elastomer plate, which is a substitute for the special dies for each individual product. At first, a blank sheet placed on the base is pressed with the spherical head of the bar tool to the surface of the elastomer base. Then the tool is driven along a preset path on the depth-level plane. The sheet is bulged continuously along the tool path, and rises up into a 3D shape as a result of the accumulation of deformation caused by each contour path. In the present paper, forming experiments were carried out by the new process using mild steel sheet. Finally, some forming conditions that result in the shapes of good condition were successfully determined.