The initial design is very crucial when it comes to custom metal fabrication. Your custom metal fabrication design will determine your product’s final form and method of manufacture. You may benefit from reduced lead times, cost reductions, better durability, and many other benefits when optimising your custom metal fabrication. Here are five considerations for optimising your design for custom metal fabrication.
1. Make Your Design Visible
Your fabricator will know better what you are searching for if your design is more detailed. This helps to minimise mistakes that could happen when your project transitions from design to manufacture. The first thing you should specify is your dimensions and measures. Make sure they are correct by rechecking them.
In your designs, you should include the following information:
- Locations and depths of any holes
- Flatness of the surface
- Corner radius
- Material density
- Height, breadth, and overall length
2. Edit and Simplify
Once you have identified the crucial components of your designs, simplifying them for custom sheet metal fabrication is the best course of action. You may have already reduced your structure to its bare minimum. But before submitting your ideas to your fabricator, take a closer look to see if you still need to attempt an editing step.
Look for components that don’t improve the design’s functionality. These aesthetic components—are they necessary? You might also search for unnecessary features. Two screws could add a needless price if, for instance, your metal component will fit snugly and continue operating when secured with one screw. Additionally, keep an eye out for external details that are unnecessarily intricate or labour-intensive. For instance, a straight angle may simplify the cutting or stamping operation, but a curved corner increases complexity without increasing usefulness.
3. Working Together with Your Fabricator
It might be challenging to know how to optimise or simplify your design if you are still determining the optimal manufacturing process. Custom metal fabrication involves various techniques, such as cutting, welding, machining, stamping, casting, etc. Additionally, there are several strategies and methods for each procedure. You can significantly streamline the production process by making minor changes to your design. However, if you are still familiar with these manufacturing techniques, knowing precisely how to achieve this may be challenging.
Talk to your fabricator about how you may speed up the manufacturing process after you’ve defined your design’s size and other vital components and carefully considered the essential and ornamental aspects. Expert fabricators may expedite the fabrication of your project by making a few minor changes in your design.
4. Take a Look at Your Metal Options
There are several varieties of metal alloys. Different metal alloys are created to meet various purposes and withstand multiple forms of rusting, force and heat. Some applications call for durable metals that can tolerate extremes in temperature, stress, or corrosive materials. Additionally, it is more pricey and challenging to deal with these metals. Other applications not subjected to such harsh circumstances may carry out their tasks using more widely available alloys.
The manufacturing process may be remarkably streamlined, and expenses can be significantly reduced by selecting the correct metal alloy. Understanding the purpose of the product or component and the pressures it will be subjected to is crucial for choosing the optimal metal alloy. Any of the following might fall under this:
Force: This comprises various elements, such as constant bending, powerful impacts, abrasion, great weight, and many more.
Temperature: This includes extremes of heat and cold and sharp transitions between them.
Corrosive substances might contain ordinary substances like water and air or unusual substances like acids.
Lifetime: The materials will be impacted by normal usage circumstances and the anticipated life of your component or product.
5. Think About Your Finishing Options
Materials are not the only method to guarantee that your manufacturing project looks and performs as intended. Your project can defy corrosion and have a longer lifespan if you use the correct finishing methods, such as Anodising, galvanising, powder coating, and metal plating are a few examples. With the appropriate hues, patterns, or shine, these finishing choices make your component or project seem as desired.
Working with specialists is the best method to optimise your custom metal fabrication design. To develop your strategy and produce an item that is long-lasting, of the highest calibre, and reasonably priced, combine your industry knowledge with the knowledge of fabricators and engineers.
Looking for a strategy to reduce project expenses while still getting the precise output you need? Selecting custom metal fabrication over off-the-shelf items gives you more flexibility and adaptability to meet your demands. According to studies, 88% of industrial organisations are now giving priority to sustainable manufacturing as a tactical step to boost operational effectiveness while also cutting costs. Due to this, custom metal fabrication is essential for minimising waste and simplifying processes.