What Is Metal Fabrication?

Metal fabrication is a process that allows metal to be shaped and formed to meet specific requirements. It involves several processes including design, raw materials, processes, and equipment. The first step in this process is the design phase. During this phase, you need to determine which metal is suitable for the final project. The next step is to decide on the process that you want to use.

Design phase

The design phase of metal fabrication begins with a concept. Most often, this concept comes from a need. For instance, a tech company might need an aluminum case machined to fit a new gadget. Once the idea is sketched out, the machine shop can analyze the design and calculate the cost of production. They will then reply with a quote and a lead time for the project.

The design phase helps make sure the final product is functional and meets the specifications. It also clarifies metal types and the finish method.

Raw materials

Understanding raw materials is a crucial aspect of metal fabrication. Whether you are constructing a fence, building a boat, or fabricating an industrial tool, you will need to understand the raw materials used in the fabrication process. There are several different types of metal and each one has different purposes. Some materials are used for structural purposes while others are used for decorative purposes.

Tungsten, for example, is a very strong raw material and has a high melting point. It also has a low coefficient of thermal expansion, which makes it an excellent material for heat-intensive applications. Brass, a copper and zinc alloy, is used to make clock parts, doorknobs, and pipes. Its properties make it a great choice for the fabrication of various types of metal objects.


The process of metal fabrication involves creating and assembling metal materials. These processes can be manual or automated. Some fabrication shops specialize in certain types of metalworking. The products created through these processes are commonly called metal fabrication products. Other metalworking processes are not considered fabrication. Metal fabrication processes include: casting, welding, milling, bending, and welding.

After raw materials have been sourced, the fabrication process begins. For some projects, this process involves multiple steps, such as cutting, forging, punching, and shearing. The Learn More finished product is then partially assembled and installed.


Metal fabrication equipment includes a variety of machines that cut and shape metal sheets. Some of these include single-point cutting edge machines (SSCE), plate rolls, and automatic metalworking (CNC) saws. Saw machines use a rotating blade to cut through a piece of metal and provide a fine finish. Common saw types include the hack saw, circular saw, and band saw. There are also special tools that are used for the fabrication of special shapes like spur gears and splines.

Many companies rely on the services of a metal fabrication shop. As such, these shops need to be as productive as possible. This means that workers have to be on their A-game at all times. With the proper tools and machinery, they can complete their work quickly and efficiently.


If you have an artistic bent, you might enjoy a career in metal fabrication. It requires a strong technical skill set, and you will need to be physically fit to lift large metal objects and stand for long periods of time. Experience in metal fabrication will allow you to develop a wide range of skills, from welding to CAD design.

Generally, employers prefer employees with some sort of formal training in metal fabrication. The most common path is to earn a technical diploma or one-year certificate. However, more advanced positions may require a two-year associate’s degree. Programs usually include classroom instruction as well as hands-on training in metal fabrication. Students study subjects such as blueprint reading, welding, safety procedures, and metallurgy.