The paper reviews the role of drawbeads in sheet metal stamping. The design of drawbeads is discussed in depth, with treatment of different bead cross sections, bead end shapes, and bead materials. International standards and practices are included. This is followed by the historical development of the modeling of the drawbead restraining force, starting with basic equilibrium approaches, and leading to the use of the finite element method which permits the study of drawbead effects on sheet metal flow in three dimensions. Finally, the potential of active drawbeads is described based upon ongoing research which is directed toward closed-loop computer control of the stamping process through adjustment of the drawbead penetration.