An In-Depth Look Into the Fabrication of Custom Metal Works – Understanding the Basics

Metal fabrication is the name given to any process that takes metal and turns it into a final usable product by:

  1. Cutting
  2. Shaping
  3. Moulding

Most manufacturers and sellers stock the basic metal product such as:

  1. sheet metal
  2. metal rods
  3. metal bars

They are available easily in numerous shapes, dimensions, and materials. But there are times when manufacturers and construction projects necessitate unique metal component, parts that come in non-standard size. For such needs, there is a call for custom fabrication services. They cater to the design and production assistance needed to manufacture tailored parts.

Where, What & Who of Custom Metal Fabrication

  1. Where: Built-to-order parts are necessary for many industries as well as consumer products.

  2. What: The raw material generally wielded in the sector includes:

  • Plates
  • Fittings
  • Castings
  • Flat Metal
  • Welding Wire
  • Sectional Metal
  • Formed and Expanded Metal

The alloys and metals appropriated for custom fabrications are:

  • Iron
  • Gold
  • Brass
  • Silver
  • Nickel
  • Copper
  • Titanium
  • Aluminium
  • Magnesium
  • Grades of steel

3. Who: To convert raw material to final product, made-to-order metal fabrication shops employ:

  • Welders
  • Ironworkers
  • Blacksmiths
  • Boilermakers
  • Design experts

The Stages of Customized Metal Fabrication

Whether it is a whole project that requires bespoke metal fabrication or just a single product like a metal gate, the stages of product development remain the same. The process follows three steps:

  • Designing:

In this phase, the precise characteristics of the part/ product are conceptualized and analysed.

  • Building:

At this point, the tailor-made product is actually constructed.

  • Finishing and assembly:

Any post-fabrication treatment that enhances the product quality happens in this phase.

We now talk about what each phase entails and the services involved in them.

  1. Custom Design

A built-to-order metal product necessitates proper planning and then designing. When proper steps are failed to be taken, they can lead to a metal fabrication that has:

  • Structural Weakness
  • Inaccurate Dimensions
  • Undesirable Attributes
  • Compromised Quality

The services that compromise this stage are:

  • Conceptualizing: Through this service, an expert can glean the precise characteristics that the bespoke product needs to fulfil the construction project. For conceptualization, the required details are as follows:
  1. How should the item appear?
  2. What strength does it need?
  3. How versatile it needs to be?
  • Computer-aided design: CAD program is a software that utilises a computer to create a 3D picture of the final product. Through the program, a manufacturer can spot any structural weakness the product may have even before the construction begins.

2. Tailored Build

After the metal gate is designed to the exact specifications, the next stage, i.e., manufacture, is initiated. There are many techniques for constructing a custom metal product. The one selected is dependent upon:

  • The geometry of the product
  • The intended purpose of it
  • Materials employed to craft it

A few commonly utilised fabrication processes are:

  • Casting is when hot liquid metal is poured into a mould, cooled and then hardened.
  • Welding is when the application of pressure and heat joins two (or more) pieces of metal.
  • Drilling is used to bore round holes into the product via a drill bit.
  • Milling is the process of making multi-dimensional, multi-axis cuts using a router machine.
  • Turning allows tools to shape the product while it is being rotated on an axis.
  • Forging is the application of significant force to form the metal.
  • Punching is employed when decorative features like indentations need to be created on the metal item.
  • Drawing is the use of tensile force to draw metal in liquid form into a tapered die.

3. Bespoke Finish & Assembly

There are a few metal fabrications the require secondary treatments after production to reach the set specifications. For example, an assembly may be needed to combine more than one piece to make an operational product. The services that come within this phase are:

  • Adhesive Bonding
  • Bolting Deburring
  • Screwing
  • Painting
  • Grinding
  • Riveting
  • Sawing

5 Factors for Selecting A Fabrication Shop

The production quality, economics, manufacturing speed, etc. can be momentously affected by the custom metal manufacturer. Therefore, it is vital to choose one after careful deliberation. Some elements that should be thought over before finalising the decision are:

  1. Do they have the required experience in fabricating items that are needed for the project? A firm that has a good service reputation based on previous work would be the ideal choice.
  2. Which industries have the fab shop served in the past? Checking this will give information on the products the manufacturer has made and the process they applied. One can then see if they match with the current project requirements.
  3. What types of machinery do they have? What is the production capacity?
  4. What do quality metal they appropriate? Resources matter greatly.
  5. The final and critical consideration in the selection process should be production. The size of it, the volume of it and the length of it should be known.