Metal fabrication consists of three different elements – cutting, bending and assembling processes.
This process can be completed by sawing, shearing or chiselling the material. Other methods of cutting include torching using handheld torches (plasma or oxy-fuel) and computer numerical controlled cutters (CNC).
This involves hammering the material or the use of press brakes and similar tools. Modern fabricators employ press brakes to air-bend or coin metal sheets into form. CNC back gauges employ hard stops to arrange cut parts in order to place the bend lines in the right place. Modern offline programming software has made programming CNC controlled press brakes extremely easy and incredibly efficient.
The joining of the pieces can be completed by any of the following methods:
• Threaded fastening;
Sheet metal and structural steel are the typical starting materials for fabrication, alongside the flux, welding wire and fasteners that will connect the cut pieces. Ending products from other types of metalwork (such as machining, forging and casting) may feature similar shapes and functions but they are not classed as fabrication.