All metal projects start with a design – it’s this that takes an idea and turns it into a reality. However, it’s important that a design can easily be translated into a desirable metal product. This article gives some handy hints and tips on optimising a metal fabrication design before the process of metal fabrication begins.
Choose the right metal fabrication company
With so many fabrication companies to choose from it can be hard knowing which to opt for. The main criteria to consider are that the company has sufficient experience to handle your project, offers great customer service and provides high-quality work. It could also benefit you if the company has a design team and offers in-house engineering.
Involve your fabricator from the start
Once you’ve settled on a metal fabrication company it’s best to get them involved in the early stages of the design process. They can recommend the best material for the project and even suggest any minor alterations for the design so that it’s ready for the fabrication process.
Remove any unnecessary details
The design stage is obviously crucial in the metal fabrication process and it’s important to consider every detail. While a detailed design is the cornerstone of high-quality metal fabrication, too many ambiguous details can mislead the fabricator and cause delays in the fabrication process. As such, it’s a good idea to consult the fabricator about your design to determine any unnecessary details.
Choose the right material
The choice of material for a project impacts the design, its durability and resistance to heat as well as affecting the cost of a project. Choosing the right material is key to producing affordable yet high-quality products.
Choose the right manufacturer
Since the choice of material impacts the design and quality of the project it’s critical to know where the best materials can be purchased from. Most metal fabricators tend to turn to a local manufacturer partly because of the choice that’s available in a short time frame. Usually, as they’re local they can offer the best prices too.
Consider fabrication techniques
For any fabrication project, it’s important to know how the metal fabricator will work on the project. Through understanding the various processes it’s possible to create a design that is durable and cost-effective.
Basically, the most common fabricating techniques include:
- Stamping – helps to form the metal into the right shape.
- Punching – this utilises metal placed between a punch and a die of the same shape to create a hole, for example.
- Bending – Press-brakes are used to bend the metal into desired shapes.
- Cutting – this is done with a variety of tools including lasers, plasmas and water jets.
- Roll forming – A long strip of metal is continuously bent to achieve the desired cross-section
There are times when although a design works well in theory that’s not the case in real life. To determine whether the product meets the specification, we suggest testing the design first.
Optimising a design for metal fabrication can be a complicated process but with the right skills, tools and experience, creating a useful design is achievable. Hopefully, by considering the above points, your task should be simpler.
If you need any more details about metal fabrication please don’t hesitate to contact Metro Steel. We provide excellent customer service and high-quality services in and around Brisbane.