The Basics of Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication San Diego

Custom sheet metal fabrication is the process of taking thinly pressed sheets of metal (steel, aluminum, and more) and cutting, bending, punching, and coating them for use in a specific design or function. This process has been used for decades to support a range of machining, architectural, and industrial needs. Common items made with sheet metal include fencing, furniture, and factory equipment. The accuracy and efficiency of this field is increasing with advances in manufacturing processes and materials available. For example, the latest CNC technology allows fabricators to cut parts within a fraction of an inch of accuracy. Despite being thin, sheet metal offers many qualities, including durability, strength, resistance to corrosion, and several aesthetic options.

custom sheet metal fabrication

Materials for metal fabrication: A Range of Options Available

There’s an endless number of sheet metal materials on the market today. Two of the most popular materials are stainless steel and aluminum. The sheet is sold by the gauge (thickness), tolerance (flexibility and strength), and by composition (what metals make up the sheet). A custom sheet metal fabricator can suggest the appropriate material for your job by looking at factors including water exposure, expected daily wear, aesthetic needs, and application-specific factors. A great metal fabrication firm is well-versed on the full range of materials and can procure materials at a better rate due to their ongoing relationships with local suppliers. If you’re unsure of what kind of sheet metal your design calls for, start by listing out some of your project’s needs and the fabricator can help make a recommendation.

Equipment: Decades of Sheet Metal Tradition Meets New Technology

A cornerstone of high-quality custom sheet metal fabricators is a knowledge of materials combined with technically-advanced production skills. While sheet metal fabrication is an old art, the latest generation of fabrication employs laser cutting and CNC machining technology to yield highly-detailed and accurate parts. These advanced procedures also allow sheet metal fabricators to easily and efficiently execute large-scale orders with a low-waste ratio. Nonetheless, other more traditional tools including the turret punch, rollers, benders, and the press-brake, are still utilized in some cases to allow for outstanding results. Expert knowledge allows a highly-skilled custom sheet metal fabricator to map out a process to produce your parts quickly while maximizing accuracy.

Applications: Who Needs Custom Metal Fabrication?

Since sheet metal fabrication is one of the most versatile manufacturing options, it can apply to a huge range of industries and needs. The most common applications include domestic and commercial architecture, outdoor features like fences and gates, computer and machine housing, medical equipment or medical testing areas, military tools or equipment, power generation, and lighting equipment. Since many of our customers are ISO 9001 and CE certified companies, we have set up a shop that is in line with these requirements. Increasingly, we are working with food and beverage producers, as a well as biomedical companies, to offer parts that are precise and durable for a range of specialty manufacturing needs.

Whether you’re in need of a residential feature, looking to upgrade your commercial space, or working on a small-scale custom project, AP Precision is available to offer the knowledge and expertise to help. Our hard-working team is always happy to take on custom projects and find a solution that works for you. Contact us to learn more.