Amazing companies choose PROTOTEK for high-quality parts done fast!
Metal Prototyping – Working with PROTOTEK
Deep capabilities in sheet metal and machining – design, metal prototyping, manufacturing, finishing, and even complex assemblies.
What do we do?
- Sheet Metal Parts & Assemblies in as Fast as 1-3 Days
- CNC Milled and Turned Parts in as Fast as 1-3 Days
- Complex Parts
- Same Day or Emergency Jobs – Call us Now!
About our fast, flexible personalized service:
- ISO-9001:2015 Certified, ITAR Registered
- Quotes within 24 Hours – Call us if you need it faster!
- Estimates with or without CAD Models
- We Want Complex Jobs – We Quote Parts Others Reject
Because every job is unique, and many require special considerations for materials, finishing, custom work, and/or urgent delivery – our metal prototyping services quotes are turned around by seasoned estimators who confirm all aspects of your job. No automated quoting that works on cookie-cutter algorithms here to limit your project or your imagination. We figure out the best way to run your job first – and that’s why we deliver so many jobs that other shops turn away.
Our metal prototyping capabilities start below but they don’t stop there. Want to talk to someone about a job, upload a file for quote or call us now.
NO CAD MODEL, NO PROBLEM
QUOTES WITHIN 24HRS
PARTS & ASSEMBLIES – ONE STOP SHOP
NO ORDER TOO SMALL
EXPEDITED PARTS IN 1-3 DAYS
- Manufacturing Design Assistance
- Laser Cutting - Punching
- Material Graining
- Drilling - Countersinking - Tapping
- Forming - Bending
- Hardware Insertion
- Mechanical Assembly
- TIG, MIG, Spot Welding & Weld Grinding
- Welded Assemblies & Frames
- Up to 5-Axis Milling
- Horizontal & Vertical Milling
- 9-Axis Mill-Turn
- CNC Routing
- Surface Grinding
- Lapping & Polishing
- Welding / Post-Weld Machining
- Heli-Coils / Hardware Inserts
Cutting & Engraving
- Wire EDM Cutting
- Waterjet Cutting
- CO2 Laser
- Quality Engineering Assistance
- CMM Inspection Services
- First Article and AQL Inspections
- Compliance and Document Control
Plastic & Composite Fabrication
- Plastic Thermoforming - Bending
- Cryogenic Deflashing & Deburring
- Plastic Welding
- Thermal, Adhesive, & Mechanical Bonding
- Vapor Polishing
- Radiological Film-Cutting Services
- Manufacturing Design Assistance
- Tooling and Fixture Fabrication
- Electro-Mechanical Services
- Welded, Mechanical, & Small Parts Assembly
- Wire Harnessing
- Laser Cutting – Polymers & Metals
- Insert Installation
- Powder Coating
- Chemical Agent Resistant Coating
- Silk Screening
- Laser Engraving
- Chem Film
- Black Oxide
- Bead Blasting
Prototek – Metal Prototyping Made Simple
Our metal prototyping services involve creating a model of a product in order to ensure correct measurements and functionality of the part designed. Our customers use prototypes to evaluate and update parts before mass production begins. Our metal prototyping services get used frequently across a wide range of industries. You can find metal components in automotive, aviation, construction, medical, aerospace, technical design and other sectors due to the extreme advantages of metal components when engineering. So, if you’re looking for a company to handle your metal prototyping, contact Prototek.
What is Metal Prototyping?
In case you are new to the process, a prototype is a mock-up or preliminary draft of a part intended for eventual mass production. Long before production begins, prototypes get developed to allow designers to examine and modify the component.
In metal prototyping and metal prototype fabrication, prototypes get created from various materials, depending on the manufacturing process. One of the most efficient and extensively used in metal prototype fabrication is sheet metal, but other metals can be leveraged in metal prototyping. You can build a prototype out of aluminum, steel, or other materials, but be sure to contact us to get a sense of what metals can be used for your specific metal prototyping needs.
Materials We Use in Metal Prototyping
Here are materials available for your metal prototyping project:
|Metal Prototyping Material||Grade / Alloy||Max. Sheet Material Thickness (in)||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||Machinability (AISI Rating)||Metal Prototyping Material||Grade / Alloy||Max. Sheet Material Thickness (in)||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||Machinability (AISI Rating)|
Metal Prototype Design Considerations
In general, metal prototype fabrication refers to manipulating materials to manufacture a piece of metal for a final product. It entails the cutting, shaping and finishing of the select metal. Metal prototyping is a common procedure through many industries, including medical devices, computers, electronics and appliances. However, regardless of the industry or end product, there are several design considerations that need to be considered for any metal prototyping project. Here is a list of the design elements to keep in mind:
Bending is used to form a material to a specific shape or shapes through the application of force. It is one of the most common sheet metal design methods and may also be called press braking, flanging, die bending, folding or edging.
The thickness of the sheet metal will affect how it should be handled and the force needed to apply design methods.
An incision cut along the sides of a proposed bend in sheet metal to prevent tearing and part deformation during the bending process. Bend relief lengths and widths vary between projects and depending on the metal used.
Slots and Holes
Holes and slots must be at least as wide in diameter as the material is thick. It’s also important to consider distance from the edge.
Tabs and Notches
Tabs and notches also come with distinct requirements for effective metal fabrication. Notches must be at least the thickness of the material or 0.04 in. (1.016mm), whichever is greater, and no more than 5 times the width of the material. Tabs must be at least 2 times the thickness of the material or 0.126 in. (3.200mm), whichever is greater, and no more than 5 times the width.
Hemming is a metalworking technique that involves rolling the edge of sheet metal over and onto itself, forming a two-layer field. There are two types of hems, open and closed. The tolerance of a hem is dependent upon the hem’s radius, material thickness and features near the hem.
Conical holes are cut into a manufactured item to allow a screw, nail or bolt to be inserted flush with the surface.
Offsets are used to create Z-shaped profiles in sheet metal parts.
Metal prototyping is beneficial to ensure the safety and strength of the materials when used in a particular project. Moreover, getting the exact measurements are of great help, whether in rapid metal prototyping or custom metal prototyping, to ensure the fit, strength and lifespan of the end product. So, if you are looking for metal prototyping, contact us today for a quote.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are you a broker or a manufacturer?
We are a full service sheet metal and machining manufacturer with four U.S. production facilities across the nation allowing us to deliver your high-quality parts FAST.
Does PROTOTEK manufacture in higher-volume quantities?
We focus on prototypes to low-volume production and can do larger runs. All our parts, from one – to 100 – to 1,000+ are always delivered with production-quality finish.
What are your payment terms?
PROTOTEK offers Net 30 payment terms for established customers with good credit.
What file formats are required or suggested for requesting a quote?
We accept .STP, .DWG, .IGS, .PDF, Parasolid files, and more.
What if I need help with my part design?
Our estimators are on hand to discuss your specific job needs. Our expert team can help you move your project smoothly through the design process and on to delivery.
If I do not have a CAD model, can you quote/fabricate my parts?
Yes, we can work directly from your drawings. Additional engineering charge (NRC) may apply depending on complexity.
How do I submit my NDA and other document requests?
Submit your NDA, Approved Vendor and other document requests to your sales rep or estimator.
How long is a quote valid?
Our quotes stand firm for 7 days from the date of issue.
How fast can I get my order?
Lead time for standard orders is 10 business days. Expediting options are available, including emergency service – down to as fast as 1-2 business days, depending on complexity of work and materials.