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Deflection Calculations

Ever wondered how long of a span you can run without any noticeable sagging? Which extrusion would be best? What about if you decide to hanging a sign from it or mount lighting on top? How much more will it sag then? AGAM has recently developed a formula to calculate the exact amount of deflection for each of its extrusions. No more approximations or educated guesswork is needed by you or your clients!

Based off the common physics equation for beam deflection, our formula works for every extrusion and allows you to input length, number of inline connectors, and load. The formula instantly outputs the maximum vertical deflection, or sag. See the following diagram for a visual description:

C:Usersahartappdatalocalautodeskautocad 2012 - englishr18

For example, a PH1005, our most popular horizontal extrusion, at 16 feet (4876.8mm) in the standard orientation and supporting 10 lbs. will deflect 1.877 inches (47.7mm). However, turning the same piece 90 degrees sideways will result in a deflection of 7.100 inches (180.3mm). This indicates that orientation of the extrusion matters greatly when calculating deflection. For comparison to the standard PH1005, a PH1035, a slightly shorter extrusion, would sag 3.657 inches (92.9mm), while a PH1003, a taller extrusion, would only sag 0.709 inches (18.0mm). See the chart below for comparison of each extrusion:

Extrusion Diagram_Hard Way

Deflection Chart_v3

This formula is extremely useful for many reasons. Not only does it give an exact measurement, but it allows you to choose the optimal extrusion for any given span and load. It helps us engineer a better solution and ensure that your design is structurally sound. No longer will you have to guess whether or not a larger extrusion is worth the additional cost to support your design. And not only does it work well for long spans, but this calculation is also very helpful for shorter bars with heavier loads, such as monitors.

When a span becomes long enough for deflection to become a concern, AGAM also specializes in manufacturing custom length truss. If your design involves heavier loads, this could be the most cost effective solution.

If you would like to calculate deflection for your design or would like to request an extrusion recommendation, please contact any of us here at AGAM and we will be glad to assist you.


FH Curved Plate

As a designer at AGAM, I get to see firsthand design trends and must “invent” and engineer solutions to meet those client demands. Over the past few years, SEG (silicone edge graphics) or fabric graphics have exploded in popularity because of their versatility, ease of assembly, and packing/shipping efficiency.

Recently, more and more designs are requesting tightly curved fabric corners (radius ≤ 6”) and I have now developed a viable solution: the FH Curved Plate.

FH108 Curved Plate_3

AGAM’s latest product and addition to the FH series opens up many new design possibilities. The FH Curved Plate provides a simple, yet extremely effective way to create tight rounded corners on previously non-bendable extrusions. It is compatible with the FH761, FH762, FH1081, and FH1082. Fabricated from a series of stacked aluminum plates, the FH Curved Plate is lightweight and easy to assemble. It simply slides into the corresponding extrusion and is secured using two small screws. Looking at the exterior of the frame, the connection appear almost seamless with no fasteners or holes visible.

Here is a step-by-step process showing how FH Curved Plate is assembled:

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(5) FH108 Curved Corner_Sample Pictures-1

I tested an actual frame with a graphic installed to make sure the concept was viable. We quickly learned that although the curved plate did its job well at the top and bottom of the frame, the SEG still needed support running the entire length of curve to keep a consistent radius. To solve this problem, we simply installed an oversized piece of sintra, matching the curve of the plate to “push out” the fabric. Below are photos of the final result:

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I can also customize the engineering and fabrication of this new product. Both the radius and angle of the plate can be changed based on design specifications. We are not limited to a standard 90 degree angle; we can do nearly anything from 0 to 180 degrees is possible. The FH Curved Plate can make custom-angled banners, S-curves, waves, etc. As with almost all of our products, it can be powder coated in any custom color to create a truly seamless look. The possibilities are limited only by the designer’s imagination.

Let me know if you would like to receive more information about this product line. I can also help with the engineering of your design(s). My email address is

Exhibitor2013 Engineering/Construction

This year, I was in charge of designing and building AGAM’s booth at EXHIBITOR 2013. In this 20’ x 30’ space, our objective was a strong architectural presence, an open and inviting floor, and to highlight new product developments such as Plikó with lights, the Aluminum Cladding System, and Cable Beam System.

From sketching to scale model, from rendering to final construction, we followed these goals. Each our concepts contained dynamic elements designed to add visual interest without detracting from the overall structure. One of the most important features in this year’s design was the lack of kiosks on the floor. Instead, we worked to integrated product displays into the columns.




The tower was the hub of the design, similar to a lighthouse indicating the path to a safe harbor. From there, three main spokes diverged outwards. They were built using our brand new Cable Beam System with a 40’ (12 meter) span and require no center support (see brochure here). Walls of the columns and tower were covered with our Aluminum Cladding System, an innovative way of covering vertical surfaces (see brochure here). The addition of the cladding to cap off the sides of the SEG covered columns created a very finished aesthetic.


On the Exhibit floor, we displayed Plikó, an ingenious, self folding, display with integrated backlit LED. There was ample room to walk around and to appreciate what visual impact these proprietary LED strips – made to AGAM’s specifications – can deliver.

On each column, we had bins full of gismos, all AGAM’s designed, engineered and made. Among these, an iPad Case + Swivel Mount, Push Button In-Line Connector, and other custom fabrication capabilities.

All inclusive, this exhibit incorporated nine new products – solidifying AGAM’s unchallenged position as a leader in innovation.


During the engineering and construction phases, I pulled from all resources and machining capabilities that AGAM has. The design required such things as custom plates (produced by our Laser Cutting Center), custom brackets (bent on a CNC Press Brake), and custom attachments like a reinforcement gusset welded to a steel plate. Every visible aluminum and steel part of the exhibit was powder coated for a clean and consistent finish.

There are some really talented individuals here at AGAM inside the production plant and I am still amazed at how things are made seamlessly – matching exact specifications in record breaking turnaround times.


I am honored to have led such a project and be part of a team of dedicated professionals in the various phases of design, engineering and construction of such exhibit.

Fellow exhibitors stopped by, even during setup and I could feel through their eyes their pride of seeing AGAM being a leading contributor to the success of the annual industry event. We, at AGAM, have really appreciated their compliments and comments and I take the opportunity of such blog to thank each and every one of them for that.

It was Coco Chanel – the diva of fashion – who once said, “You only have one opportunity to make a successful first impression”;   again, we did it.


If you would like some detailed fabrication CAD drawings, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at and let me know which format you like (SolidWorks, AutoCAD, or others).


Alexandra Hart
Industrial Designer

Custom Truss Top Plate

AGAM was recently approached by a client for a booth design consisting of our truss system. Our system is composed of several key parts including the truss itself, the endplate for the sides of each truss, and the top plate that supports the truss. The top plate is essential to the construction of the truss because it serves as the connection point between the vertical extrusion and the truss. It also controls the angle at which the truss extends outwards from the vertical extrusion. Although this offers a very clean and effective solution to any standard truss system, the current design of the top plate does not allow any further extrusions to be built above an existing truss. Therefore, it is impossible to construct multiple levels of trusses off of a single vertical extrusion. Our client’s truss system, however, asked for exactly this. It was our job to work around our existing products and design a solution that would suit the customer’s needs.

The current top plate consist of four main pieces: two outer plates (which provide space for the endplates to attach), one spacer (which sits in between the outer plates), and one insert block (which is screwed into the underside of the bottom outer plate and fits inside of the vertical extrusion). To secure another vertical extrusion above this top plate, we needed to figure out how to attach another insert block onto the top as well.

The solution we engineered provides a simple and easy way for the client to assemble their truss system. It involves using our laser cutter to create a custom outer plate and spacer, each with an extra set of holes. Instead of having only four holes like the current parts, there are now eight. The extra holes become the connection for the insert block to the top, while still allowing the attachment of the bottom insert block as well. Below is an exploded view demonstrating the new assembly:

The insert blocks are held in place by four screws each that are threaded through the outer plate. The holes in the outer plate are counter sunk to allow the screws to sit flush with the surface to avoid interfering with the spacer. Four bolts are used to hold all of the pieces together securely. The hole placement for these bolts was designed to allocate enough space for the insert block to fit between them while still leaving enough room along the outside for the vertical extrusion to fit over top. This was important because when the part is fully-assembled, the bolts are completely hidden from view.
Here in below is a picture of the final assembly before it was shipped out to the client.

If you have a project requiring trusses and special engineering, please feel free to contact me at

Alexandra Hart
Industrial Designer

VS Post Cover

In retail environments – and more specifically in permanent installations, bolting posts into the ground is a requirement of the job, usually for additional stability. I have been asked to develop a clean and easy-to-assemble solution to conceal the unsightly mounting hardware used to secure these posts. My design is called the VS Post Cover, developed for the VS series of extrusions.

In the first stage of the design process, I developed a concept of what such a cover may look like:

I then reverse engineered the look and feel of the post cover, something we call here “unfolding”. I modeled a CAD of the flat design, and created a program for our laser to cut it.

AGAM owns a CNC press brake, run with a folding software quite interesting to use. I was able to quickly set up the sequence of bends and tools on the CNC Bender.

Then it was time to powder coat the finish piece, and to install the two magnets so that the two-part post cover can assemble easily and quickly. (Using magnets eliminates unsightly screw holes )

As with most of AGAM’s products, the VS Post Cover is available for powder-coating in many different colors and finishes. These are just a few samples shown below:

Here is a video of the Full Assembly process;

If you have any questions, or require something different, feel free to e-mail your questions to

Alexandra Hart
Industrial Designer

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