Custom Finish Development to Fit Automotive Trim

Customized Mechanical Finish on Aluminum DES-1549-C

It has been stated many times and it is worth repeating how endless the possibilites are when working with patterns for aluminum trim. You have the option to pick directly from the finish library and simply reference the finish ID in your design. When this isn't a fit, the option to customize the surface decoration is there.

Custom finish development can take on different forms. Color, scale and gloss are just the beginning of the elements. Typically discussion will begin with the selction of a particular aluminum pattern structure. Customization becomes more detailed and intricate when working with mating parts for automotive trim. Alignment of the finish becomes critical. The size, contour, shape and location of each part in the set play a role in determining the best solution. 

Part Size

Size matters when it comes to finish developed specific to a part. It is important to review for limitations in the processes used to create the selected pattern. Alternate processes or structures can then be reviewed.


The custom tooling involved may include deep draws, bends or forms. Aluminum is maleable and therefore friendly for these operations. The decorated pattern can become distorted or stretched in the process. Recommendations can be reviewed for pattern customization to take into account the contour of the decorative trim.


Pattern selection should take into consideration the shape of the trim piece. A unique design can be created that relates to the shape of the part. There is opportunity to use graduated color or textures so that the resulting surface flows and evolves with the part.


The physical location of the aluminum trim in the vehicle can dictate what gloss level is needed. Keep in mind how light will reflect off the surface for each part. 

Collaborative Design

This was the case when our team worked with the Ford Design team for an update and special edition interior trim. Keeping in line with the classic and clean look of brushed aluminum, the challenge existed to push the boundaries and see what could be created for a unique look. The result is a custom machined look which is featured across the interior of the vehicle.


Can we help you customize a finish to fit your aluminum trim? Let's talk!