Bending Steel With Plastic Tools
Stuff Made Here
I've been wondering if 3D printed tools could possibly bend steel. It seemed possible unlikely. I designed and printed several tools which are used on a hydraulic press to bend and form steel sheet metal. This particular tool could be made by CNC machining the tools from metal but 3D printing it is much faster and easier.
These videos usually take a ton of work and a lot of money in tools and materials. I've made a patreon if you're interested in supporting the creation of these projects:
If you're interested here's some of the tools that I use in this video:
Pneumatic jack conversion for my 20 ton press:
Hypertherm powermax 45xp with machine torch:
Small machinist square. Cheap but useful:

Commenti: 930

    His dads such a genius. Creates a genius with the help of his wife, which 30 years later fixes his tools for him. Master of all plot twists

    • LorenzoThePasta

      @esp ele wha

    • weeb

      His dad's wife 3D printed a genius.

    • RuDuffEnough WellRu
      RuDuffEnough WellRu

      Okay but wouldnt it have been cheaper and much faster if he just went to Harbor freight and paid $20 for a new one? Just sayin.

    • Thawne

      what about me?

  • Court

    I have to laugh at the $50 in resin used to fix a $30 saw, but obviously that wasn't the point. Great demonstration, I wouldn't have thought it would hold up as well as it did.

    • Jonah Irvin
      Jonah Irvin

      He is the only guy who can make money from losing something

    • 𖤐 Domine Non Es Dignus 𖤐
      𖤐 Domine Non Es Dignus 𖤐

      @fightmeirl PLA?

    • 𖤐 Domine Non Es Dignus 𖤐
      𖤐 Domine Non Es Dignus 𖤐

      You obviously don’t see the bigger picture. The only one who’s laughing is Shane, all the way to the fucking bank off the revenue from this video.

    • chromosundrift

      Don't forget the value of the educational process!

    • Brandon

      @Paul A. I looked at the HB replacement parts list, this tool isn’t on there. There is a lot of irony in spending this much time repairing a cheaply built tool, But I think this is probably more about the process. And it would be worthwhile for repairing older more valuable equipment.

  • FlybyJunkie

    As a Tool and Die maker it was interesting to see you work through this, impressive what you were able to do with 'plastic', really

    • Okuno Zankoku
      Okuno Zankoku

      @Yellow King Rosin is a solidified resin from which the volatile terpenes have been removed by distillation; I don't know of any 3d printing process which uses or produces such materials.

    • Yellow King
      Yellow King

      @chara dremur Rosin.

    • It Is Known
      It Is Known

      @chara dremurwhat do you think resin is?

    • Dimitris Papadakis
      Dimitris Papadakis

      chara dremur that is the reason he put air quotes

    • chara dremur
      chara dremur


  • chromosundrift

    Quick audio suggestion: I've noticed in many of your videos that your compressor successfully cuts in whenever you drop a part on the bench to avoid an overly loud bang, however the release time is quite long so your voice is too soft for a moment after each time you do this. If you reduce the release time by 100-200 ms it should fix this. Additionally prepend a high pass filter with a well chosen low cutoff frequency before the compressor, and you will have less power in the bang of a dropped part which will help keep that out of your final audio without removing too many low frequency harmonics from your voice or the other interesting sound you want to keep in videos like these.

    • Stroopwafel Falafel
      Stroopwafel Falafel

      I've been looking into getting better at basic audio editing. Got anymore tips?

    • nonk nonk
      nonk nonk

      I like your funny words magic man.

  • Jason Hance
    Jason Hance

    This is a common issue with forming dies. You were on to something when you said the die was in tension. To overcome this issue you can press fit the brittle material like tool steel, carbide or plastic into an outer ring. The key is to preload the die cavity further than it would naturally stretch during the bending operation. This prevents the tool material from goin into tension. The best way to do this is to add some draft angle to the die insert and make the opposite shape in the outer ring that is smaller by the amount of compression you need. You would then press the insert into the ring to achieve the interference desired. If you get it right the die will not split. You would then be limited by the compressive strength of your tool material.

    • james johnston
      james johnston

      Love the comment sections on these vids

    • Sandy Deodores
      Sandy Deodores

      Smart boi

    • Emil Riikonen
      Emil Riikonen

      @Nigel Tolley Edited: wrong argument. Had to read it through again. These are values you can google. Btw people who have ever lived number 100 billion more than people currently alive. Approximately. In case you are confused 'ever lived' refers to total people ever born. Just cause you died doesn't mean you didn't live at some point.

    • Nigel Tolley
      Nigel Tolley

      @Emil Riikonen that number of yours is way, way out. There are more people alive now than have ever lived! 7.5 Billion people alive now. The entire population of the world in year zero was only about 300 million. In pre-history, it was the 10 million.

    • gracefool

      @Picture Works yes I didn't say proportion, I said "more killed".

  • NightFiire

    I’m watching all of your videos and I have seen the evolution from how you film them and I must say the newer videos are much more attention holding and entertaining while maintaining all of the cool machining and knowledge. I’m glad you read and take consideration into comments from your viewers. It has made viewing even more enjoyable =)

    • Leo Irías
      Leo Irías

      Yeah and not only the editing part, the way he handles himself in the videos is so much better. And way funnier too haha

    • Samuel Morrison
      Samuel Morrison

      this is so true, i just came back to this one after seeing it in my recommended. His new stuff is crazy different. He really upped his game with the editing

  • namAehT

    Kind of amazing how far your videos have come in these past two years. I'd love to see some "smaller" more exploratory videos like these two sheet metal forming videos in addition to the "large and strange" project videos.

  • Cai Allin
    Cai Allin

    This so interesting, I know you couldn't work out every little detail but as someone who has worked at a company designing new machines and spending thousands upon thousands on tools and dies; This is super promising for reducing the cost of designing machinery. For a company moving into mass production, creating parts in this way is an absolute necessity and this could be a way to drastically reduce research and developments costs. Can I ask what resin and 3D printer you used for this process?

    • Brandon

      This. Replicating a replacement part for a cheap tool is not the end goal here. Being able, to for work or hobby, take something from an idea to forming metal is game changing.

    • ExtantFrodo2

      Yes, if the plastic version even holds up for one pass of forming, you know you can make the same form in steel for mass production.

  • Justin Lau
    Justin Lau

    Its amazing to see the progress of this channel in 11 months! The production value, the writing (!) and the projects have gotten really really good in a super short amount of time. I wonder how many subs this channel had in march 2020? 2m in Feb 2021

    • pire2

      3.58 M 1er January 2022

    • doorknob

      Also, the memes

    • igor Z
      igor Z

      2.4m March 3, 2021

  • Ian Gomes
    Ian Gomes

    This channel is awesome. I appreciate you going back and trying it without the machined part, too. That attention to detail really makes the channel great.

  • RandomInsano2

    Excellent video! I’m a hobbiest and far from a machinist, but the fact that you vocalized the pressures involved and the reasons the dies broke really got me thinking. I learned a lot in 20 minutes! Keep it up.

  • Evan Barnes
    Evan Barnes

    I'm impressed by the resin! If you watch the video again of the shaft camming before the die breaks, you can see the top plate of metal actually bend a few degrees before the die breaks and the plate springs back. That was something like .25" thick steel or aluminum, right? That resin held up to some serious force before breaking.

  • Bikefarm Taiwan
    Bikefarm Taiwan

    Made some bending and punching dies for a project a few years back- incredibly satisfying. It is great to see what a fantastic job you have done with plastic forms. Love your plasma cutter

  • unbelievabubble

    Most innovative use of 3d printer I've seen in a long time!

    • unlink

      IMO that's what 3D printing is about. Making prototypes rapidly to test comcepts

    • Staalman12

      @really nothing He said " most innovative" not "weirdest"

    • really nothing
      really nothing

      Try searching for a ITmores buddy.

  • Michal Vrana
    Michal Vrana

    Nice idea and execution, also decent explaining, I like where this is going! Also, I think you and This old Tony have the same manicure studio :D

  • Michael Helmreich
    Michael Helmreich

    The reason I watched this is because you have pretty much done something I want to try. I learned quite a bit from your success and failure. Keep up the good work.

  • MakingTechSense

    Over 15 years ago I worked for a company that churned out millions of metal pieces per month. I learned a lot about punching and forming metals from pure observation of the manufacturing process. Metal forming has always fascinated me. Watching you do this with 3D printed dies is amazing.

  • Peppe Ddu
    Peppe Ddu

    If you want to avoid the bending @3:55 you could try to plasma-cut the hole *after* bending the part.

  • dreamer

    Subscribed. Your sheer determination was awesome to watch on this project. Looking at the press footage I'd say the main issues are aligning the downward force equally across the piece. What you said about multiple passes or stages of forming could definitely be the trick to get a square finish over all the bends.

  • Asger Jørgensen
    Asger Jørgensen

    Great video. From what I've seen on youtube normal 3D printed parts are stronger then resin parts, so you might have better luck with those.

  • Scoutz Honor
    Scoutz Honor

    This is really cool, the spring design was super well done. Normally I would expect the blade guard on a sawzall to have a little bit of pivot along the axis of the rivets so it can stay flat to your work piece.

  • dbinok

    Love the idea of forming complex parts like this. One way to maybe fix the splitting problem is to cut a block of aluminum to form a pocket that the dies could be placed in. That would support the sides more and keep them from blowing out.

  • Patrick Christie
    Patrick Christie

    I’ve been looking for something like this for a while. Happy to find this. Subscribed. I’m planning to try something like this with PETG on an FDM printer. I learned some things here. Looking forward to future videos.

  • C Burr
    C Burr

    I love this (and your other) project(s). Curious if you would think to run your designs through FEA on the die in tension before going to the length of 3D printing? Seems it would reduce much of the trial and error factor. Thanks for your videos... very enjoyable watching your process!!

  • Amaar Quadri
    Amaar Quadri

    Great video! I love how you showed the entire design process, errors included, and analyzed all of it. Very informative!

  • B M
    B M

    Wow. Who knew you could press metal with plastic dies (well, at least once 😉). That's impressive. I would have tossed the idea straight out, but you proved it can be done. Very impressed!

  • 3rdIsBest

    Have you ever tried/made any videos on composite tooling using 3d printing? Might be really neat for small scale or internal structure parts. Have done something similar with a printed mold and inserts for a CF steering wheel, thought it might be a cool topic to check out

  • Peter Waechter
    Peter Waechter

    That end result with powder coating looked amazing. Great job sir.

  • Christoph Lipka
    Christoph Lipka

    14:10 - if I were to guess, I don't think the bushing was at fault - you may have put the upper metal plate in such a way that it was sitting partially on the rear guide rod, and that made it tilt. The damage to the metal plate we see at 15:10 seems consistent with that.

  • CW Flemmer
    CW Flemmer

    Great video. You have shown that using 3d printing to assist with more traditional methods of manufacturing is possible. I get more value by seeing the path to success, then just a success story. Keep it up, hope to see more videos like this....

  • thenickdude

    Great project and really well presented!

  • 3dPrintJudge

    I am so looking forward to making more stuff. I have always wanted a woodshop or metal shop but just never had the space to get started. I have a 3d printer now and it seems like the whole world is opening it’s doors.

  • bravofighter

    One of the things that might help is a series of progressive moulds, each bending it slightly further into the next. This prevents distortion, or so my 7th grade metal shop teacher, Mr. Tari told me.

  • Harbinger

    If you do the powder coating in house, I'd love to see a video on that

    • Max Power
      Max Power

      @Z Ack powder coating doesnt get much hotter than the oven for a pizza

    • Nigel Tolley
      Nigel Tolley

      There's a few ways to do it. A coat of oil then "shake n' bake" would work for that small stuff. Or the hot air gun method.

    • Z Ack
      Z Ack

      Is not hard , they actually make a kit to do it in your oven.. eastwood makes the powder and you statically charge the powder with a special gun and ground the part then bake on the powder in the oven... perty cool but couldnt be nearly as skookem as factory coated parts where theyre put in a kiln...

  • Beto Gonzalez
    Beto Gonzalez

    Very excited to be another subscriber! Great content, as an engineer I enjoy these deeply

  • dm5rkt

    Really enjoyed watching. Keep making these great videos! To fix the camming issue you experienced you could try replacing the hole in one of the white bushings with a slot (if you haven't already done so, hard to see). With two holes the system is over-constrained and more inclined to jam.

    • dm5rkt

      Btw I think if you printed the female lower die using a MarkForged printer with carbon/kevlar filament reinforcement you would not have a problem with the die splitting under tension. You would print the die with continuous concentric fibre rings around the cavity embedded in the walls.

  • Wayne Reid
    Wayne Reid

    New sub! My daughter and I enjoy watching you make all your great ideas a reality, can't believe didn't come across your channel sooner regardless glad we did!. Keep up the great content!.

  • tibfox

    Great demonstration and explaination of the issues and solutions. Very aprecciate this kind of content!

  • Kyle Kowalczyk
    Kyle Kowalczyk

    I wish I was friends with this guy, so many cool tools and so creative!!

  • Albanian Fix
    Albanian Fix

    14:14 what actually happened is that you didn't place your press piston right on top of the die and the mold at 12:10. You had it just right at first then decided to move it and went off-center, thus causing the camming you're talking about. Great video nonetheless!

  • Cloudy Eight
    Cloudy Eight

    Top notch video. Gained a sub. Keep doing what you're doing and you'll be at 1m subs in no time.

    • Mali the Brave
      Mali the Brave

      3.5 million, your doing great. It would be cool if you machined a custom ITmores play button

    • Days Games
      Days Games

      @Jorge Miar2.6M, its only been 4 months not 9

    • GhostBrew

      I cannot believe this guy does not work for some serious organization that prevents him from doing videos like this, he is so skilled... full all round engineer WOW

    • Jorge Miar
      Jorge Miar

      9 months later and he's about to hit 2M

    • Erik Hjertholm
      Erik Hjertholm

      This comment aged well.. 😎

  • slashluck

    @Stuff Made Here Happy one year since your first ITmores video upload. Wishing you a very happy and successful decades to come of building, designing, programming and bringing enjoyment to millions. I will be following your ITmores career closely and permanently. Thanks for your hard work and excellent content. You're appreciated to infinity and beyond. Cheers

  • chromosundrift

    This may be a naive question but is there any advantage to considering the temperature of the piece being pressed? Is it possible to "warm" it to improve bendability?

  • Peyton Harrington
    Peyton Harrington

    Don’t know if you’ll see this, or if you’ve thought about this already, but I believe making the front part of the blade guard perpendicular to the blade is advantageous. Like in a situation where you need to make a cut perpendicular to the cutting surface but you can’t see the back part of the cut.

  • Karl Fimm
    Karl Fimm

    I've seen a number of people using 3d printed press brake tooling, but this is the first time I've seen printed forming tools like this. Very interesting.

  • Yolo Submarine
    Yolo Submarine

    Phe-friggin-nominal channel mate. Excellent work. Came across your videos after buying a 3x1.5m router. So inspirational.

  • KnuckleFist

    Thank you. I hope your channel takes off! I've been toying with this concept in my head for a while, but I'm not an engineer. Seeing you put in action is a real inspiration. I want to make press formed metal panels (brass) for scale auto/rail modeling. Imagine a true to scale unibody or Monocoques made from 3D printed die press formed parts.

    • Stuff Made Here
      Stuff Made Here

      Brass would be a lot easier than steel. I tried to do this on hard mode with 16/18 gauge steel which is incredibly strong. No need to be an engineer to do this if you have 3D modeling skills. This could be done in blender or any other modeling packages.

  • Timothy Bishop
    Timothy Bishop

    I feel like a learned a lot in this video. Excited for part 2.

  • Adam Matossian
    Adam Matossian

    I respect the shear over engineering to create a part for a 20$ saw. Love this process. 🤘

  • Sirius Fuenmayor
    Sirius Fuenmayor

    There are videos here on ITmores that make metal parts from 3D printed parts "lost pla casting", in the last one I saw the results where pretty good. You can use that to bend ticker parts

  • Spehro Pefhany
    Spehro Pefhany

    Nice, very thorough video, subbed. Thanks. I guess you have to worry about poisoning yourself cutting galvanized on a plasma cutter, and the symptoms are similar to that other thing that's going around atm.

  • Joel L
    Joel L

    I watched the whole thing because every one of your carefully selected words are both entertaining and informative. What a great channel. 👍👍

  • Robert Concepcion
    Robert Concepcion

    I would consider incorporating some visible stops so that you don't accidentally over compress the die. Very nice project.

  • Mohammad Omar Chagani
    Mohammad Omar Chagani

    I am recent subscriber and I can FEEL the difference between his recent videos and this one and it is crazy how much he has grown as a content creator in this while because I love his recent videos with the little jokes and everything

  • xevi2889

    Man, those kind if videos are absolutely gold! Awesome!

  • Der Rahm
    Der Rahm

    Would have been interesting with FDM printed parts, especially since PLA and ABS are not as brittle as resin.

  • Brandon Tscheschlog
    Brandon Tscheschlog

    Awesome! I just started watching your vids. Your one smart dude. Nice work man, look forward to seeing more

  • Acheiropoietos

    Once you have a viable set of 3D printed dies, you could reprint using wax filament and cast them using the lost wax method. Or just produce them using your fancy pants CNC. 😄

  • Justin Hommerding
    Justin Hommerding

    Would definitely say progressive dies would work better and hopefully last longer. Also you may want to look into air bending ( I believe that is the process terminology)

  • Rodney Pereira
    Rodney Pereira

    Great project, it shows the capabilities of resin printed moulds. Well done.

  • underourrock

    First and more importantly, this was a really neat video. Second, I just saw a video on PSU material if you have the enclosure, heated bed (160 degrees, so ac powered bed), and all metal hot end to do it. Very strong stuff. That all being said, I laughed when you said A Holes. My inner 12 year old is alive and well.

  • Medyk3D

    Magnificent job. I like how determined you were to do it 'right'.

  • Matt Weber
    Matt Weber

    In this case and previously working with some dies to do similar work. I would normally have seen the center slot actually formed first with an outer ring also "starting" the outer bends, with the second outerbend process done after in a side by side machine process. For automation the second press would have an actuated pin in the slot that would then grab the part on the way back up and eject it, so the operator/loading system only ever really needed to load in a new blank and the machine handle the punch/prebend> shift over to next position > final bend and eject. Then simply machine shifts back over and is ready for a fresh blank.

  • Jose Merino
    Jose Merino

    What you do is amazing really gets me excited to do something great

  • Miriam Black
    Miriam Black

    Nice idea and execution, also decent explaining, I like where this is going! Also, I think you and This old Tony have the same manicure studio :D

  • Eco Mouse
    Eco Mouse

    You are 90% there to hydroforming. I'm pretty sure the 3D printing can be used as bucks and forming dies. But with the hydroforming techniques, the flowing medium supports the material all the way around. Giving you much crisper features. My favorite DIY version just uses a steel box and a rubber pad with the shop press.

  • Mean Mad Mike
    Mean Mad Mike

    Love the journey and the learning process, but I can’t help but think that you spent more in just resin alone then the whole original Harbor Freight tool cost.

  • aterack833

    A lot of these parts are done in two stages with the second just finishing up where the first one messed up, but there’s also two stage presses that punch the metal and some holes out after the initial pressing is done and the cutters are just deeper in the mould

  • slamapoop

    I think if I were designing the tooling for the original piece we'd be looking at a progressive die, where one of the early steps formed the pit that outlines the center hole but that the center hole isn't punched until the end.

  • Steven Harper
    Steven Harper

    Well done, great video , and very easy to understand and follow

  • Colin Boice
    Colin Boice

    Actually I don’t think your die exploded because it wasn’t strong enough, I think it was because it was unevenly loaded and looked like it got hung up on the one side 12:21 Wait scratch that, it wasn’t camming at all, your plate you placed on top of your plastic part actually just ended up on top of one of your pins 15:11

  • Vincent Guttmann
    Vincent Guttmann

    Just... WOW!!! Your channel went VIRAL!!! 115K Subs in 2,5 MONTHS!!! Keep it up, and keep building such cool stuff! Also a collaboration with This Old Tony could turn out great!!!

  • Csongor Varga
    Csongor Varga

    I know it is a rather old video, and you might have already figured it out. I was watching a similar video the other day, where the dies were printed hollow and were later filled with 2 part epoxy. The issue there is the heat that occurs when the epoxy cures but probably possible to use a epoxy with a longer curing time, or just less hardener and leave more time to harden. That could give you more strength than the 3D printing resin.

  • adam83094

    I’m a tool and die maker. This is awesome to see but totally useless in manufacturing. Makes for damn good entertainment! Thanks! 😂

  • Robert Miles
    Robert Miles

    I think this might be a good application for casting. Print the form shape, use it to make a silicone mold, then cast the actual form in a casting resin. Probably there are casting resins that are much more durable than printing resins, and cheaper too. The other nice thing is, once you have the mold it's very quick and cheap to make more forms if/when they wear out. Crafsman/SteadyCraftin has some good videos about this process (there are some stumbling blocks, like certain UV-cured printing resins will prevent silicone from curing properly if you don't seal them well).

    • Tunkkis

      There are casting resins which can be SLA printed, I believe.

  • Trevor Thrift
    Trevor Thrift

    Very much enjoyed your video. Would love to see more on your vise break.

  • Pratyush Mandal
    Pratyush Mandal

    I actually admire you a lot, and have seen all your videos. Really nice. For me, the best ITmores channel. I just wanted to ask, what is your profession?

  • 263kiki

    I wonder how you are able to position the blank on the bottom die properly when there's no longer a protrusion to key the blank on the last iteration of gray dies. But regardless amazing as always!

  • XTech - Projects & Reviews
    XTech - Projects & Reviews

    Great job!I was wondering if 3D printed materials can form sheet metal,or at least a thin sheet.I want to try it as soon as I get a 3D printer.

    • Sune Borg Østergaard
      Sune Borg Østergaard

      Expedient Technology i do exactly that for details in repair panels for car restoration

  • Mark Giles
    Mark Giles

    I am liking all the creativity I am seeing on ITmores. Well done, bro.