As you might expect, bending and shaping sheet metal usually requires an immense amount of force to achieve. To do this, sheet metal manufacturers use a Press Brake; a heavy duty piece of machinery specifically designed for the purpose. A large punch is lowered onto the material, which has been placed over a ‘die’, which acts a little like a mould, allowing the punch to bend the sheet metal into the desired shape.
Using this process, a press brake can form pretty much any angle desired; however, dependent on the thickness of the material and its durability, there is an upper limit on the radius of the corners that can be shaped without damaging the metal and compromising its integrity. Generally speaking, press brakes are large pieces of equipment; they are most often used to shape very large pieces of sheet metal for large-scale projects.
Press breaks have a huge variety of applications; some of the most common, and important, metal items you can find will have been at least partially formed using one; these include furniture, metal containers, vehicle panels, airframes and maritime hulls, and a million other things.