Guide to Your Sheet Metal Fabrication Cost Options
Sheet metal fabrication creates durable parts ranging from one prototype to a high number of products. It is a good option for manufacturers as it is a cost-effective way to make your parts. However, since the process begins with a single flat metal sheet, extra design considerations may raise the part cost. Some of the features include selecting the right material, going for welding, and finishing options. Therefore, to save on part price, you should consider these sheet metal fabrications cost options.
Choosing The Right Sheet Metal Fabrication Material
The material cost has a big influence on the cost of a part. Some of the common sheet metal materials include copper, low carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum. They all have unique properties making them ideal for specific uses. These properties should be considered while making your design. Be sure to pick your material carefully. Also, select from the stock sizes to cut down on resizing cost.
How You Can Choose The Right Material For your Projects?
Does The Material Need Surface Treatment?
Some materials need extra processing to ensure functionality and longevity. For instance, carbon steel is known to corrode easily. You would likely invest in plating as the surface treatment option to prevent future corrosion of the part. The plating process may increase production time and cost. Therefore, you could pick galvanized steel that is pre-plated to save on sheet metal fabrication costs. It will avoid the need for surface treatment.
Choosing The Appropriate Welding Method
Welding is a common metal fabrication process that fuses to metal sheets together. It is important in making key design features. Therefore, selecting the right welding option affects the sheet metal fabrication cost. This depends on the weld type, location, and part functionality.
The available options to sheet metal fabrication include stitch, fillet ad tack welds. In terms of cost, the fillet weld is pricier. It is because it requires more precision and a constant bead to fuse two metal pieces. This might not be the most cost-effective option if you are ordering a working prototype that will still require a few modifications. To achieve a long fillet weld, a great alternative is using a stitch weld. It will serve the role of joining two pieces together at a lower cost.
Having complex welds significantly raises per part of metal fabrication costs. For instance, fusing corners using welding is complex. Rivets on the other hand are much more cost-effective and do the same task. Also, welding thin metal material adds the cost of risk. It is because the metal is more likely to distort due to the extreme heat. Metals ranging from less than 1 mm to 0.039 inches thick are in the thin category. Riveting is also usable in this category. It will ensure the maintenance of high-quality sheet metal parts.
Choosing Your Sheet Metal Finishing Options
There is a wide selection of metal finishing options. It all depends on how you would want your final product to look like. For instance, it could be a different texture on the metal or color. It could even be to protect your metal during application. The common finishing options include passivation, plating, and powder coating. Here are some of the reasons for choosing these finishing options.
Passivation removes surface contaminants from metal surfaces. It resembles plating by preventing corrosion of metal parts. We mostly use it in stainless steel parts finishing. Therefore, for parts using such material, factor it in the cost of your part price.
Plating reduces the chances of corrosion happening to your metal part. The options of plating include using zinc, black oxide, anodizing, and tin. Getting to know the benefits of each option. It will help in choosing that suits your part purpose without the need of changing your mind later.
It offers a durable hard finish on the metal surface from a range of colors. It also has an option of adding texture.
Other Options For Reducing Sheet Metal Fabrication Costs
- Maintain a uniform bend orientation. Bends in a similar plane should have the same orientation. This avoids the need for part reorientation during metal fabrication.
- Limit the use of tight tolerances. Tolerances should only be used on surfaces that have critical functions. More features with tolerances only increase the price of the part.
- Be simple in your fold design. An option is making simple angle bends that have a radius equal to or greater than the sheet thickness. This avoids inaccuracies with small bends on thick larger parts.
You should consider these options when designing your sheet metal parts. Especially, if you are keen on reducing part cost in your project budget. Here at Creatingway, we provide cost reduction solutions to suit your needs. Our dedicated team of metal fabrication engineers can assist in identifying effective ways of maximizing and cutting cost your part design. Contact Creatingway now for your metal fabrication services.
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