Where do you start?
Often the extrusion is designed to accommodate an already designed product, this means the extrusion has to accommodate and fit in and around an existing design as a best-fit option.
Much cost can be saved by considering the extrusion at each stage of the product design, how the product is fitted in or on the extrusion and even the extrusion becoming a structural and aesthetic part of the design. This will almost certainly ensure the extrusion is used to its best advantage and costs of machining reduced or eliminated.
Often a design department will be given a brief to design a suite of products, or know that there will be follow up additions to the range. Considering the extrusion in these scenarios will give the designer an even bigger advantage, the cost of the die will not be altered much if at all by adding further features into the design for future use.
An example could be a number of extra screw ports for adding components, a feature on the side of the extrusion to join to another extrusion.
Finally we are all conscious of our “Corporate Image” why not use the extrusion as a tool for recognition of your companies product, by adding a few lines in the form of grooves to the outside of the extrusion or picking a particular line from your Logo and incorporating it in a position near where you will print very soon these lines will become a recognisable feature of your products.