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The paper presents a methodology to tackle the problem of new materials, such as high-strength steels, used in industrial manufacturing. This methodology, which uses the finite element method (FEM), is based on two main ideas: determining the material properties as accurately as possible and automating the FEM simulation as much as possible.The main tool to solve these problems is an application designed to assist die stamp designers. Such an application can be used by anyone, even with no knowledge about finite elements, and does not need user participation. This fact makes the program very powerful and allows a procedure to be defined to obtain the values of the properties of an unknown material, which combines finite element simulations with real experimental results. The paper presents the developed application as well as the procedure used to determine the material properties. By combining both aspects, it is possible to simulate any stamping process, allowing the designer to obtain much information in the earlier stages of design.This paper fulfils an identified need in the manufacturing industry. In fact, the proposed application is currently being used by a manufacturer of automotive components.