Metal fabrication is defined as the building of metal structures by various processes such as welding, cutting, bending and assembling and is a value added process involving the construction of machines and structures from an assortment of metals, usually beginning with shop drawings including precise measurements then moving to the fabrication stage and finally to the installation of the final project.
The main focus of metal fabrication is welding which is a fabrication or sculptural process at a high temperature that joins the materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing fusion; compared to soldering or brazing which are done at a lower temperature and do not melt the base metal. A filler material is added to the area to be welded which forms a pool of molten material that once cooled, will be stronger than the base metal. A steel weldment can be treated with heat to reduce its hardness and make it more workable and before the final weld, formed and machined parts are assembled and held in place by tack-welding and checked for accuracy.
The raw material has to be cut to size and this is done with a variety of tools by either sawing, shearing, or chiselling with manual and powered variants; torching with hand-held torches (such as oxy-fuel torches or plasma torches), or via CNC cutters using a laser, mill bits, torch or water jet
Bending is done by manual or powered hammering, via press brakes and similar tools. Modern metal fabricators use press brakes to either coin or air-bend metal sheet into form. CNC-controlled back gauges use hard stops to position cut parts in order to place bend lines in the correct position. New software and advancements in technology have simplified programming the CNC-controlled press brakes resulting in a seamless and extremely efficient bending process.
Assembling – or joining of the pieces – is done in one of many ways; either by welding, binding with adhesives, riveting, threaded fasteners, or even yet more bending in the form of a crimped seam. The starting materials for fabrication are generally structural steel and sheet metal and along with the welding wire, flux, and fasteners that will join the cut pieces. As with other manufacturing processes, both human labour and automation are commonly us
Fabrication and machine shops often have overlapping capabilities, and 3D Metal Workx is proud to offer our clients the full spectrum of metalwork solutions, custom made to your requirements