A Guide of Sheet Metal Fabrication

With the growth of the industry and the need for modern, rapid prototyping, custom sheet metal fabrication services have been increasingly used for the low-volume production of parts to facilitate the development and testing of new products.

What is Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is a comprehensive cold working process used for sheet metal (usually less than 6mm). Custom sheet metal fabrication includes shearing, punching, cutting, laminating, folding, riveting, splicing, forming, surface treatment, etc. The products processed by sheet metal fabrication are called sheet metal parts.

Sheet Metal Fabrication Equipment

Generally speaking, the necessary equipment for sheet metal fabrication includes shears, CNC punching/laser, plasma, waterjet cutting machines, bending machines, drilling machines, and various auxiliary equipment such as uncoilers, leveling machines, deburring machines, spot welding machines, etc.

Software in Sheet Metal Fabrication

Among the 3D software, SolidWorks, UG, Pro/E, SolidEdge, TopSolid, CATIA, etc. can be used to customize sheet metal working services, mainly by editing 3D drawings to obtain the data required for sheet metal fabrication design working ((e.g. unfolded drawings, bending lines, etc.) and to provide data for CNC punching machines/laser, plasma, waterjet cutting machines (laser Plasma, Waterjet) / Combination machines and CNC bending machines, etc.


Sheet Metal Fabrication Materials

The materials usually used in sheet metal fabrication are cold rolled sheet (SPCC), hot rolled sheet (SHCC), galvanized sheet (SECC, SGCC), copper (CU) brass, aluminum sheet (6061, 5052, 1010, 1060, 6063) , hard aluminum, etc.), and stainless steel (mirror, brushed surface, and frosted surface).

Depending on the function of the product, the choice of material is other and usually needs to be considered according to its use and cost.

Sheet Metal Fabrication Process

Typically, the sheet metal fabrication process consists of:

Sheet Metal Fabrication Drawings

After getting the sheet metal fabrication drawing, choose different undercutting methods including laser cutting, CNC stamping, shear, mold, etc. according to other unfolded pictures and batches. Then, the drawings are unfolded accordingly.

CNC punching machine is affected by this tooling. For certainly shaped workpieces and irregular holes, large burrs will appear on their edges.

Subsequent deburring must be carried out, affecting to some extent the accuracy of the workpiece; Laser machining has no tooling. Restricted sections, and flat cross-sections, are suitable for machining shaped workpieces, but it takes a long time to machine small workpieces.

Placement of the table next to the CNC and the laser to facilitate the placement of the plates on the machine for machining and to reduce the lifting of the boards.

Sheet Metal Fabrication Dropout

There are four main methods of sheet metal fabrication dropout.

A. Sheet metal shearing: It uses a shearing machine to shear simple material parts. It is mainly used for die-dropping and forming. The cost is low and the accuracy is less than 0.2, but it can only handle strips or blocks without holes and corners material.

B. Sheet metal stamping service: It uses a press to unroll parts on a flat plate in one or more steps to form various materials, which are then stamped out. It has the advantages of short working time, high efficiency, high precision, and low cost, and it is suitable for mass production and design of dies.

C. Sheet metal NC dropout. For NC drop stock, the NC machining program must be written first. Using programming software, the unfolded part is programmed into a program that the NC machine can recognize, and then holes are punched in the plate one at a time according to these programs.

D. Laser cutting uses a laser cutting method to cut the structure and shape of a flat plate on a large piece of plate. Like NC cutting, it is necessary to write a laser program. It is possible to load flat parts of various complex shapes with a high cost and accuracy of 0.1. Sheet metal cutting.


Sheet Metal Fabrication Stamping

Custom sheet metal fabrication stamping uses dies and stamping equipment to apply pressure to the sheet metal in order to deform or separate it plastically to obtain parts with specific shapes, sizes, and properties (stamped parts)

Custom metal stamping processes can be divided into four basic processes.

Stamping: A stamping process (including punching, cropping, trimming, cutting, etc.) separates sheets.

Bending: A stamping process in which the sheet is bent to a specific angle and shaped along a bending line.

Deep drawing: A stamping process in which a sheet is transformed into various open hollow sections or changed in shape and size.

Partial forming: A stamping process that uses various partial deformations of different characteristics to change the shape of a blank or stamped part (including flanging, projection, leveling, shaping processes, etc.).

If needed, please check our Custom Steel Metal Fabrication Service Center for more information.

Sheet Metal Fabrication Bending

Sheet metal bending refers to the use of sheet metal bending tools to change the angle of a plate or board.


There are two methods of sheet metal bending services.

One method is die bending, which is used for sheet metal structures with complex structures, small lots, and large-scale processing.

The other is sheet metal bending by machine, for structures with machined dimensions. The sheet metal structures are relatively large or the output is not too large.

Sheet Metal Fabrication Welding

There are three common methods of welding: argon arc welding, carbon dioxide gas-shielded welding, and laser welding.

Argon shielded welding: Using argon gas to protect the metal welding material, the welding material is melted into liquid form by high current, and a molten pool is formed on the base material of the welding so that the welded metal and the welded material can achieve metallurgical bonding. A welding technique.

Carbon dioxide arc welding: A welding method that uses carbon dioxide as a shielding gas.

Laser welding: A method of welding that uses a focused laser beam as an energy source to bombard the weld with the heat generated by the

Surface treatment of parts is also an essential part of the sheet metal finishing process, as it prevents the parts from rusting and beautifies the appearance of the product.

Surface Finishing

The surface pre-treatment of sheet metal parts mainly removes oil, oxide, rust, etc. It prepares for the surface post-treatment, which is mainly spraying. It prepares the surface for post-treatment, which is mainly spraying (baking) paint, plastic spray paint, rust-proof coating, etc.

Several standard surface treatment methods for sheet metal fabrication are brushing, sandblasting, painting, powder coating, electroplating, anodizing, and screen printing.

At Tiapid, you can get many types of custom sheet metal fabrication services.

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