Sheet Metal Fabrication
Sheet Metal Manufacturing
1 Prototype - 1000+ Production
Sheet Metal Fabrication Service
RpProto provides rapid sheet metal fabrication services to customers all over the world at low prices, from 1 prototype to 1000+ parts production. Our services include bending, punching, cutting standard gauge metal, etc. Common materials include aluminium, stainless steel, brass, etc.
While RpProto provides high-quality parts, the price is more than 50% lower than that of Europe and the United States. Our sheet metal manufacturing service allows for a lower initial investment in tooling and fast market entry. RpProto is your reliable partner, working with you from prototyping to part manufacturing.
Our clients are in almost all industries, like automotives, medical devices, aerospace, electronics, energy, etc. We can help you manufacture 1000+ parts, and enable you to take your product to market in a short time.
Get a Quote for Sheet Metal Parts
Upload your 3D files to get a quick quote for your sheet metal prototypes and production parts.
STL | STEP | SLDPRT | IGS | IPT | PRT | SAT files
How to Fabricate Sheet Metal ?
Generally, we can shap sheet metal by cutting or forming. Since there are various ways of cutting and forming, we utilise many specific tooling, which may drive up costs. If you know more about fabrication procedures, you can design your sheet metal parts more efficiently.
Sheet metal typically comes in thicknesses ranging from 0.006 to 0.25 inches (0.015 to 0.635 centimetres). The fabrication begins with a flat sheet of metal. Your design files (3D files) show how to cut, form, and finish the sheet metal parts. We can cut and form the material, and then join them together. We can make it into angel iron by bending, laser cutting, and bending the edges to make enclosure panels.
Precision Sheet Metal Fabrication
An experienced engineer knows better about the character of materials, stretch calculations, and grain direction to make sheet metal parts more precise. Compared with “non-precision” parts, precision sheet metal fabrication needs more techniques and better equipment.
For some sheet metal parts, we need to make Stamping Tooling and Roll Forming Tooling to manufacture them. It will take us a few weeks and cost thousands of dollars to make these toolings. Therefore it is suitable for manufacturing large quantities of parts.
Commonly used sheet metal tooling has five categories: punching tooling, bending tooling, drawing tooling, forming tooling and compression tooling. Read More about Sheet Metal Stamping Toolings
Cutting Sheet Metal
Laser cutting is the process of focusing a laser light on a metal to vapor the material. It is suitable for medium-thin sheets of material. It becomes less efficient as the material thickness increases.
- Suitable for wide range of materials
- Can engrave and part mark using its depth control functionality
- No residual burrs
- Small deformation
- Smooth surface
- Tolerances: 0.05 mm (0.002 in)
- Cost: $
- Mt. Thickness: 0.30-1.02 mm (0.12-0.4 in)
Cutting Methods Compare
|Cutting Types||Tolerances(mm)||Cost||Mt. Thickness(mm)|
|Laser cutting||0.05 (0.002″)||$||0.30~1 (0.12~0.4″)|
|Plasma cutting||0.5 (0.02″)||$||0.5~180 (0.02~7″)|
|Water jet cutting||0.2 (0.008″)||$||10.15~50.8 (0.4~2″)|
Forming sheet metal
During the fabrication process, we usually punch and cut the sheet metal first in different methods. After that, forming procedures are used to create a part. An assembly's strength and stiffness are also improved by forming.
The bending of sheet metal refers to the processing of changing the angle of the sheet or plate. Such as bending the sheet into a V shape, U shape, etc. In general, there are two methods for sheet metal bending: the first is die bending. We use it for sheet metal structures with complex structures, small volumes, and large-scale processing. The second method is bending machine bending. It is suitable for processing sheet metal structures with relatively large structure sizes or small output. These two bending methods have their own characteristics and applicability.
RpProto offers sheet metal bending service. We use V-shaped dies, U-shape dies, etc.
Sheet Metal Stamping
Stamping is a forming method for a workpiece of the desired shape and size by applying external force to a press and a die to cause plastic deformation or separation. The characteristics are high efficiency. And the stability is strong, but the cost is high. We control the quality of parts with the mold and use it for mass production.
Sheet Metal Joining
There are various approaches to joining sheet metal parts suited to different applications. Common approaches include fastenings, welding, and soldering
Fasteners are hardware devices that mechanically join or affix two or more objects together. We use them to create non-permanent joints. They are affordable, easy to use, but not as durable as welding.
The most common type of fasteners for sheet metal are called PEM fasteners. PEM is a brand that creates fasteners to provide threaded inserts and mounting points for sheet metal and PC boards.
There are several different categories of fasteners, including nuts, cable tie-mounts and hooks, inserts, studs and pins, standoffs, captive panel screws and hardware, weld nuts, and sheet-to-sheet attachments. All of these categories serve a slightly different purpose and there are multiple hardware options within the categories.
The best materials for sheet metal manufacturing are those that can be manipulated while maintaining their physical qualities. Steel and aluminium are two examples of such materials.
Furthermore, because sheet metal fabrication frequently include bending, machining, or welding, there are a lot of considerations to make when choosing the right material. These are some of them: Price, Elongation at break (Ductility), Tensile strength, Resistance to corrosion, Machinability, Weldability
Common Sheet Metal Materials
|Material||Ductility||Machinability||Weldability||Corrosion Resistance||Tensile strength||Price|
|Aluminum-5052||7% ~ 27%||Poor||Moderate||Good||195 ~ 290 MPa||$|
|Aluminum-5754||10% ~ 15%||Moderate||Good||Good||160 ~ 200 MPa||$|
|Stainless Steel-304||45% ~ 60%||Good||Good||Moderate||480 ~ 620 MPa||$|
|Stainless Steel-316L||30% ~ 50 %||Moderate||Good||Good||480 ~ 620 MPa||$|
|Mild Steel-1018||17% ~ 27%||Moderate||Good||Poor||190 ~ 440 MPa||$|
|Copper-110||15% ~ 50%||Poor||Moderate||Moderate||220 ~ 230 MPa||$|
Note:Series 5xxx aluminium is more ductile and rips less easily when bent. As a result, it’s more suitable for sheet metal fabrication than aluminium series 6xxx.
The common finishes for sheet metal parts are similar to those of other metal fabrication. You can select the best finish based on your needs and the characteristics of the material you used.
Below is a comparison of the most prevalent finishes and how they apply to sheet metal parts. For more general descriptions, information on roughness, color options, grit etc., and images of each of these finishes, check out this page on surface finishes.
|Bead Blast||High-speed shooting of glass beads or other abrasives at the part.The part surface is left with a smooth, matte appearance||Removes tool marks and deburrs; Adds uniform matte or satin surface finish; Improve grip||Critical dimensions and surface roughness will be affected.||$||Used mainly for visual purposes and to prepare surfaces for other coatings. Can be combined with anodizing.|
|Powder Coating||Electrostatically applies a dry powder—typically a thermoplastic or thermoset polymer—to the metal surface.||Adds a decorative layer; Increase corrosion resistance; All metals are compatible; Higher durability than paints||Internal surfaces are difficult to apply; Compared to anodizing, it is less dimensional control||$ $ $||It adds a decorative and protective layer to all metals. And, it can be combined with bead blasting.|
|Anodizing||This is an electrochemical procedure for coating a substance, generally aluminium, with a stable oxide layer.It creates a corrosion-resistant and wear-resistant layer.||Adds the material a smooth almost matte texture; Durable & good looking; Can be applied easily to internal cavities and small parts; Wide range of colors available||Electrical conductor of poor quality; In comparison to powder coating, it is more brittle||$ $ $ $||It can be used to improve corrosion resistance and aesthetic appeal on aluminium, titanium, zinc, and magnesium.|
|Chromate Conversion Coating||Parts are immersed in a chemical bath to form a corrosion-resistant conductive coating.||Corrosion Resistant; Increases durability||Only a few colours are available (yellow, gray, white); Abrasion resistance is low||$ $||Best for functional parts, not for decorative use.|
|Brushing||Brushing make unidirectional satin finish by polishing the metal with grit.||Eliminate machine marks||Not resistant to corrosion||$||It is mainly used for visual purposes.|
There are dozens of sheet metal fabrication techniques available. For example, butting flat sheets, bending parts, drilling holes, adding slots, notching, etc. These techniques enable us to make complicated parts.
Furthermore, there is a wide range of materials that can be used to fabricate. With the ability to withstand high heat, thermal conduction, electrical, and corrosive environments, sheet metal can be suitable for a diverse number of applications.
Sheet metal products have the characteristics of light weight, high strength, electrical conductivity, low cost, and good mass production performance. For example, in computer cases, mobile phones, and MP3s, sheet metal is an essential component. Also used in the manufacture of medical devices, car and truck (van) bodies, aircraft fuselages and wings, medical tables, building roofs (architecture) and many other applications. In fact, sheet metal is used in practically every industry.
Advantages of Sheet Metal Fabrication
Lead times on custom sheet metal prototype are usually short. It has the same precision and speed that it can produce in production.
It can be easily customised and adjusted.If the manufactured prototype doesn’t work as planned, you can adjust it next time. It is flexible, versatile, cost-effective. This character make it a best way to produce custom part
Precision sheet metal fabrication can handle both low and high-volume production. When parts approach high volumes, sheet metal becomes even cheaper with consistent highe quality.
Sheet metal is lightweight, but adding bends to it increases its stiffness in multiple axes, therefore increasing the structure’s strength. It can withstand high pressure. Sheet metal parts are durable and resistant to corrosion and scratches due to a variety of surface finishings.
Sheet metal fabrication process is the techniques of turning flat sheets of steel or aluminium into metal structures or products.
Manufacturing process include cutting, stamping, bending, punching, shearing, forming, welding, revetting, drilling, and tapping etc.
Sheet metal product is used in everything from massive structural projects and construction equipment to complex telecommunications and electronics.It can be utilised to create functional prototypes or end-use parts.
Sheet metal fabrication refers to a group of manufacturing processes that are used to transform sheet metal into functional parts. These include cutting, bending, and punching.
Sheet metal fabrication is widely used for industrial and consumer parts and in specialist industries like automotive, aerospace, energy, and robotics.
Common sheet metals include steel, stainless steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper, and these materials usually come in gauges between 0.006 and 0.25 inches (0.015 and 0.635 centimeters) thick.
The cost of sheet metal fabrication depends on material, shape, quantity, and finish. To get an accurate price, you should send your CAD files to us. Our engineer will accurately calculate the price after reviewing your CAD files.