Combining Methods when Creating Prototype Sheet Metal Parts Fabrication

It’s easy for a design engineer to sit back and say, “this part can be machined,” or ” this part should be manufactured using sheet metal folding.”  However, when it comes to prototype sheet metal parts fabrication, not all parts can be made by using one of these techniques. In many instances, you can make parts using both of these methods in combination with each other. Here at Additive Mfg. LLC we offer both CNC and sheet metal fabrication services. Consider these points when designing your next parts. Parts Should Be Designed with Cost and Durability in Mind As an end part manufacturer, there are several things you need to take into consideration when looking for someone to handle your prototype sheet metal fabrication and CNC machining:

  • The company you choose should use the most cost-effective manufacturing processes
  • The parts they make for you should have excellent structural integrity
  • All finished parts should look good, especially if they are external parts

Settling for anything less than this is likely to leave you with parts that cost too much, lack the required structural integrity, and most of all lack the fit and finish required. At Additive Mfg. LLC we take all of this into consideration as we work with you to decide on the best manufacturing processes for your parts. Overcoming Manufacturing Limitations When it comes to creating the sheet metal parts for your prototype, you may find that trying to limit their manufacture to a single manufacturing process. However, when you specify one process such as sheet metal folding, you may find yourself running up against certain limitations that require you to redesign the part to fit into the capabilities of the process. At the same time, your parts may be too thick, hard, or long to fit into the CNC mill. By specifying that multiple manufacturing processes can be used, you remove many of these limitations, allowing more flexibility in the design. Consider This If you design your prototype sheet metal parts exclusively for milling, you may find there are several challenges to having them manufactured at Additive Mfg. If the parts are large, they may not fit into standard milling machines. Plus, the cost of removing a large amount of excess material would add significantly to the cost. One way to avoid this situation with large parts would be to take one large part and break it down into separate parts that can be manufactured using a combination of milling and folding. For example, a thicker base can be milled while the sides could be made in the sheet metal fabrication section of our facility.  By taking the extra step to design prototype parts that can be manufactured using more than one process, you help keep your manufacturing costs down. You are also more likely to end up with parts that are more structurally sound, have the finish and appearance you are looking for and can be manufactured in a much shorter period of time. For all your prototype sheet metal fabrication needs, contact Additive Manufacturing, LLC and let us help you decide which manufacturing process might be right for your parts.