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Custom Metal and Glass – Design, Fabrication and Installation
 
“Custom fabrication is the process by which a metal piece is created
to fulfill a specific need for a particular piece based on custom specifications.”
What Is Metal Fabrication? Get a Project Evaluation
Metal fabrication is the process by which a structure is made out of metal. Custom fabrication is the process by which a metal piece is created to fulfill a specific need for a particular piece based on custom specifications.

What is involved in metal fabrication?
Metal fabrication is achieved through three processes:
1) Cutting: raw materials are cut either by blow torch, chiseling, sawing, or shearing. Numerical control cutters can also cut metal using tools such as mill bits, water jets, torches, or lasers.
2) Bending: the metal is bent by power or manual hammers or using press brakes. Press brakes are more commonly used in modern metal fabricators. They are used to coin or air-bend metal sheets into form. Modern machines that user CNC-controlled press brakes are incredibly accurate.
3) Assembly: the cut and bent pieces of metal are joined together through riveting, welding, or binding. Sometimes bending is also used in assembly by way if creating a crimped seam.

What materials and equipment are used in the metal fabrication process?
To achieve metal fabrication, a fabrication shop will use:
Plate metal
Welding wire
Welding rod
Casings
Hardware
Fittings
Formed metal
Expanded metal

The types of formed and expanded metal that are used will vary depending on the project. They may include:
Tube stock
Square stock
I beams, W beams, C-channels, and other sectional metals

Do fabrication shops have particular areas of expertise?
Many custom metal fabrication shops will have particular types of custom metal work that they are the most learned in. Some areas of expertise that are most common to custom metal shops are:
Brazing
Casting
Chipping
Drawing
Extrusion
Forging
Heat treatment
Hydro forming
Oven smoldering
Powder coating
Powder metallurgy
Punching
Shearing
Spinning
English wheeling
Welding

Additional areas of expertise, which are considered high level, include electrical, hydraulics, prototyping, machine design, technical drawing, and sub-contract manufacturing.

Does the fabrication shop also design the metal pieces?
There are instances in which a metal fabrication shop will act as the designer of a piece. In other instances, designs by an engineer or architect will be brought to the metal fabrication shop. In these instances, the fabrication shop will submit a bid for fabrication services only.

How does the fabrication process work with regard to business?
When a company needs a fabrication shop, it will release a call for bids. Fabrication shops will submit bids based on engineered plans and drawings supplied by the hiring company.

What sets one fabrication shop apart from another?
When deciding which fabrication shop to work with, a company will consider the turnaround time on the bid and the budget in the bid. Other considerations include the professional reputation of the fabrication shop, the areas of expertise of the fabrication shop, and the length of time that the fabrication shop has been in operation.

Many companies prefer to go with a fabrication shop that provides services beyond the actual fabrication. This could include design services, consultation services, and installation services.
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