In the tooling design of autobody cover panels, design of drawbead will affect the distribution of drawing restraining force along mouth of dies and the relative flowing velocity of the blank, and consequently, will affect the distributions of strain and thickness in a formed part. Therefore, reasonable design of drawbead is the key point of cover panels’ forming quality. An optimization design method of drawbead, using one improved hybrid optimization algorithm combined with FEM software, is proposed in this paper. First, we used this method to design the distribution of drawbead restraining force along the mouth of a die, then the actual type and geometrical parameters of drawbead could be obtained according to an improved drawbead restraining force model and the improved hybrid optimization algorithm. This optimization method of drawbead was used in designing drawing tools of an actual autobody cover panel, and an optimized drawbead design plan has been obtained, by which deformation redundancy was increased from 0% under uniform drawbead control to 10%. Plastic strain of all area of formed part was larger than 2% and the minimum flange width was larger than 10 mm. Therefore, not only better formability and high dent resistance were obtained, but also fine cutting contour line and high assembly quality could be obtained. An actual drawing part has been formed using the optimized drawbead, and the experimental results were compared with the simulating results in order to verify the validity of the optimized design plan. Good agreement of thickness on critical areas between experimental results and simulation results proves that the optimization design method of drawbead could be successfully applied in designing actual tools of autobody cover panels.

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