Ok, so I have found my kryptonite. It’s aluminium extrusions.

Trying to design clip together extrusions but don’t know where to start. It all seems very boring and looks like I could get it completely wrong.

Any tips?

Check out SAPA’s design manual (you will need to register, it’s free)


Design something you think will work, then take it to your vendor and get their feedback.

Try googling images of extrusions or sketching out the basic interaction until you figure out how you want it to work.
Extrusions are easy to design/ work with once you know what you’re trying to achieve, understand how the dies and process work, and follow a few basic constraints:

Keep a consistent wall thickness (thickness can taper off in certain features)
The more hollow areas you have, the more expensive it will be
The more material in your cross-section, the more expensive it will be

If designed properly, extrusions can combine multiple parts and features, make assembly or manufacturing easier, reduce tolerances, etc. When you add up the savings in assembly time, material, complexity/troubleshooting/QA, they can add up quickly and often justify the cost of manufacturing a die or two.