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What Is Metal Fabrication?

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

Metal fabrication defined is the process of transforming flat/sheet metals into specific shapes. The shape possibilities for these pieces are endless due to the techniques that can be utilized to create them. Cutting, bending, welding, and more go into making the pieces and assemblies you will become familiar with. To understand the final result it is best to also understand the methods used to create it.

Cutting is the first method in metal fabrication. At our metal fabrication shop, for cutting, we utilize CNC fiber laser/s due to the speed and precision they offer. The precision it is capable of is derived from being computer-controlled. This accuracy translates directly into your final result with clean lines and perfectly placed holes!

For bending and forming we take advantage of CNC-controlled machines again, with our two press brakes. These presses apply the perfect amount of pressure to bend your part to the specified angle. This ensures that every piece we bend will be uniform. Another reason that CNC press brakes are great for you as the customer, is that they make production faster. Each bend is programmed into the machine, meaning settings and depths do not need to be adjusted after every bend. Another useful feature of a CNC press brake is its programmable backstop, which centers the bend line over the opening of the die. This also helps to speed up the process while providing higher accuracy.

Some pieces may not require welding, but for any assemblies, welding is typically the best option. Physically bonding the two pieces provides the most strength and leaves you with rigid construction. Though there are many types of welding, MIG and TIG are the most prevalent in metal fabrication. MIG can provide great-looking results in no time because it feeds the consumable wire at a constant rate. This means the welder can focus more on the weld placement. You can see the speed MIG type welding is capable of in the right hands demonstrated above. TIG welding is more delicate than MIG due to the filler rod being added by hand. This causes TIG to be slower but also allows the welder to have greater control. In most cases, MIG welding will be utilized but for precise welding, TIG is the best option. Other methods of securing assemblies include pop rivets and bolts. Rivets are great when there is no access to the backside of a part as they swell to hold themself in place. Bolts are also a good option as they can be removed to easily disassemble a part.

The combination of cutting bending and welding can truly create any part. To explain further let's build a part.

As an example, let's say you would like to create a custom pump housing for a machine you plan to manufacture. The first question would be what type of material you would like to use. If this pump will be used in water, stainless steel would be the best option. If the pump is going to be submerged in oil, carbon steel is a viable solution. Once the material is decided upon, designing can begin. Our team of in-house engineers will walk you through every step of this process and create designs until you are completely satisfied. It should be noted that the beauty of CAD design is that a complete model can be viewed before a prototype has to be made. A single run prototype can be constructed for testing and analysis before batch production takes place though. When you are ready, full-scale production can begin.

When working with Rapid Metal Fab, our goal is to make this process as easy as possible for you. Tell us the part you desire and we will design, cut, bend and weld it for you in no time. We make it our goal to go above and beyond, so for any of your metal fabrication needs, please contact us. You will be glad you did!

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