When you need materials cut and customized to meet the needs of your specialized project, custom metal fabrication is how you get there. For the average person, this may seem like a straightforward request, and that anyone with the proper tools can get the job done. The truth is that there’s more to metal fabrication than meets the eye, and choosing the right shop for your job is important.
Here’s what you need to know about custom metal fabrication, so you make the best choice.
Planning Makes Perfect
Every successful project starts with a plan, and metal fabrication is no different. Your fabricator needs to know the exact specs for your job, including how to cut and create the parts and pieces of your project. Because custom metal fabrication typically involves products beyond standard sizes, appearances, and materials, the plan is even more critical.
Most shops use CAD drawings, or computer-aided design, which allows a complete, three-dimensional model of your project to be created with exacting specifications. Shop drawings are also common, and these detailed plans provide fabrication information such as material, weld types, and more.
If you do not have a CAD or shop drawing for your project, be sure to select a shop that can take your idea from concept to design to production.
More Than Cutting Metal
When many people think about custom fabricated metal products, what comes to mind is often cutting and welding a piece of metal. However, there are a host of techniques for cutting, bending, welding, painting, assembling, and finishing a project that your fabricator can employ to get the results you desire.
For example, cutting to the desired shape can be achieved by sawing, shearing, or chiseling using manual tools or specialized, computer-powered machines such as laser cutting and plasma jets. Assembling pieces can involve a wide range of techniques, including welding, fasteners, riveting, and crimping seams. Finishing a project can include processes including sandblasting, priming, painting, powder coating, and more. Add in the wide variety of materials that can be used for a project, and it becomes clear that cutting is only the beginning.
The Low Price Isn’t Always a Winner
While every project comes with a budget that must be adhered to, choosing the lowest-priced machine shop for your project isn’t always going to be beneficial. Instead, you want to find a metal fabrication shop that is going to make the most of your budget to produce the results you need.
To achieve the best results, you’ll want to work with a fabricator who has the education and on-the-job experience with a variety of tools and materials. That way, the fabricator will not only know how to complete your project, but they will also be able to ensure that the final results are functional, long-lasting, and aesthetically pleasing when necessary.
You’ll also want to choose a shop that has invested in state-of-the-art tools and technology designed to create pieces efficiently and to exacting specifications.
A shop and fabricator with the right balance of traditional methods and modern technology will not always produce the lowest-priced estimate for your project. Of course, you want to make sure you’re getting a fair price, so don’t be afraid to ask for references or to seek a few estimates to compare.
Trust is Everything
When it comes to a custom fabrication project, you need more than a one-size-fits-all solution. You need a fabricator who can deliver products that meet your exacting needs, specs, and aesthetics. You need a shop that will create a fabricated product specific to your application and designed to stand up in the conditions it will be in to enjoy a long useful life.
What this means is finding a shop that will actively listen to what you need. The right shop will take the time to understand what your finished product must achieve so suitable materials and processes are selected.
A shop you can trust will not pressure you or rush you through the first stages of a project. Instead, you should have the time to be sure you are completely satisfied with not only the final design of the project, but also the cost of the metal fabrication services. Only then should you proceed with the completion of your project.
Our Goal is Your Satisfaction
At Grounded Industrial, our only goal is to exceed your expectations with every project. We are happy to provide a free, no-obligation estimate for any project, big or small. To learn more about metal fabrication processes, the types of metal fabrication, or to get started, contact us today.