Faculty of TheologyInstitute of PhilosophyFaculty of Canon LawFaculty of LawFaculty of Economics and Applied EconomicsFaculty of Social SciencesFaculty of ArtsFaculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesFaculty of ScienceFaculty of EngineeringFaculty of Applied Bioscience and EngineeringFaculty of MedicineFaculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesFaculty of Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Sciences
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Search for Staff Students Organisational chart Search matrix Keywords

Production Processes - Single point incremental forming (SPIF)

Single Point Incremental Forming (SPIF) is a recently developed dieless sheet metal part production technique that is gradually evolving towards industrial applicability. In this process a sheet metal part is formed in a stepwise fashion by a CNC controlled rotating spherical tool without the need for a supporting (partial) die. This technique allows a relatively fast and cheap production of small series of sheet metal parts.

NC milling machine configuration used for forming a conical "cup" part

In the SPIF process generic, freeform shapes can be produced using a standard, spherical, CNC controlled tool. The process starts from a flat sheet metal blank, clamped on a sufficiently stiff rig and mounted on the table of a CNC machine. To form a part, the machine tool follows a pre-programmed contour, similar to a conventional milling operation. The main advantage of this method is that no die is required, making this an ideal process for rapid prototyping or small batch production.


A sample of manufactured parts

Today, the SPIF process is still premature and needs further development before it can be used for industrial applications. The part accuracy and thickness variations, and therefore the resulting part strength, are some of the key concerns. As recent market analysis studies have shown, accuracy is one of the most important limiting factors for the deployment of SPIF in industrial applications.

Our research aims at a more fundamental study of the SPIF process including:

  • Material characterization
  • Forming Limit Diagrams
  • Development of suitable tool path strategies
  • Development of optimal machine configurations

A CAD model with a toolpath generated for the SPIF process



Different case studies have been performed by our research group. A short summary of the results regarding accuracy, wallthickness and required forces can be found below:

Experimental Equipment

We have two dedicated incremental forming setups at our disposal :


Publications regarding spif

Contact information

Prof.Dr.ir. Joost Duflou






K.U.Leuven - Claim Copyright Katholieke Universiteit Leuven | Comments on content:
Productions: | Last update: 09/19/2007
URL: http://www.mech.kuleuven.be/pp/research/spif.en.html