Amazing companies choose PROTOTEK for high-quality parts done fast!
Rapid Sheet Metal Services – Working with PROTOTEK
Deep capabilities in sheet metal and machining – design, rapid sheet metal, 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 rapid sheet metal 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 rapid sheet metal 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
PROTOTEK AS SEEN ON MANUFACTURING MARVELS®
- 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
Guide to Rapid Sheet Metal Services
Sheet metal fabrication is a subtractive manufacturing technique that uses thin metal sheets to create parts. Sheet metal parts are popular because they are versatile and durable. With advances in technology, it is possible to complete sheet metal fabrication projects faster than ever before. In fact, sheet metal is often used for rapid prototyping because of its versatility and efficiency.
What is Rapid Sheet Metal Fabrication
Sheet metal fabrication refers to a collection of operations that use sheet metal to construct parts or finished products. Sheet metal fabrication is extremely versatile and can be used with many techniques and kinds of sheet metal. Rapid sheet metal services enable a quick turnaround on sheet metal projects and are often used to create rapid sheet metal prototypes.
What is Rapid Prototyping
The rapid manufacture of a physical item, model or assembly utilizing 3D computer aided design (CAD) is known as rapid prototyping.
Rapid prototyping has a variety of advantages, including the ability to get a more full view of how a product will look or perform early in the design and production cycle, allowing adjustments or upgrades to be incorporated sooner.
Rapid Sheet Metal Services
Sheet metal is a versatile material that can be fabricated using many techniques, including…
Laser Cutting and Punching
Laser cutters work by concentrating light energy into a laser beam and augmenting it with gas to cut sheet metal. Unlike punches, the sheet remains fixed as the laser head moves in the X, Y and Z axes. Lasers can also be used to etch part numbers and labelling. Laser cutters are more accurate and produce a smoother edge.
Punching is a machining method for scrap metal removal from a sheet of raw metal. A punch press is used to squeeze a tool through a sheet of raw metal. Punching is often less expensive and faster than laser cutting.
Graining gives sheet metal pieces a consistent surface finish by grinding the metal with a belt grinder.
Drilling, Countersinking and Tapping
Drilling creates higher-quality holes that can be used in thicker materials. Thread-tapping and countersinking are frequently done after that. Thread tapping creates threads inside the drilled hole, allowing for the eventual creation of a bolted link. Countersinking a drilled hole removes the sharp edge and creates a bevel as well as a recess (deep bevel) for a blind bolt head.
Forming and Bending
Cold working activities such as metal bending and shaping allow the sheet metal to be shaped to configurations that allow for creation of the optimal parts.
Sheet metal pieces with hardware insertions provide higher depth for load bearing threads. Hardware insertion uses existing holes generated by high-precision tools such as a laser cutter or a waterjet cutter, which improves fastener placement accuracy.
Describes the process of assembling sheet metal project components on an assembly line, as well as the end result.
TIG, MIG, Spot Welding and Weld Grinding
Welding is a fabrication method that involves fusing two or more pieces of sheet metal together using heat, pressure, or both to join them as the pieces cool. MIG welding is the fastest option, but the results do not appear as smooth as TIG welding.
Spot welding is a method of joining two or more pieces of sheet metal by applying pressure and heat to the weld region using an electric current. Weld grinding is a crucial step in many sheet metal production processes that entails removing excess weld metal in a clean and effective manner.
Welded Assemblies and Frames
Sheet metal can be used to create complete welded assemblies and frames for large rapid sheet metal fabrication projects.
The best techniques to use will depend on the specific details of your rapid sheet metal project. Rapid sheet metal prototyping often requires the use of more than one technique.
Common Rapid Sheet Metal Finishing Services
Sheet metal can be finished with different techniques and materials depending on the aesthetic and functional needs of your project.
Powder coating is a dry coating procedure that is mostly used as a metal finish. Not all materials can withstand powder coating, but most sheet metals can. An electrostatic method is used to apply the powder coating as a dry powder, which is subsequently cured using heat. Powder coating is possible on aluminum, bronze, copper, brass, titanium and steel (including stainless, galvanized, anodized and e-coat).
Painting is a good option for materials that can’t withstand heat and projects that don’t need to be as durable. There is also a wider color selection available with paint. It may also be less expensive and result in a thinner coating.
Chemical Agent Resistant Coating
Chemical Agent Resistant Coating is a type of paint used to defend military vehicles from chemical and biological weapons.
Silk-screening (also known as serigraphy) involves applying paint to a specially prepared portion of metal using fine polyester mesh and a squeegee or blade.
A laser is used to engrave the sheet metal with a design or identifying mark for manufacturing.
Alodine, often known as chem film, is a chemical conversion coating intended to protect aluminum sheet metal from corrosion.
Anodizing is an electrochemical technique that involves immersing aluminum in a liquid bath and passing an electric current through it. This causes a chemical reaction, thickening the oxide layer on the aluminum’s surface.
Black Oxide, often known as blackening, is the process of chemically changing the top layer of a sheet metal made of ferrous substance, turning it black and adding durability.
Bead blasting is the process of impacting a round spherical material against a part’s surface to provide a more consistent finish caused by the sphere hitting the surface.
Tumble finishing is a method of smoothing and polishing a rough surface on small parts.
Materials Used in Rapid Sheet Metal Services
|Rapid Sheet Metal Materials||Grade / Alloy||Max. Sheet Material Thickness (in)||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||Machinability (AISI Rating)||Rapid Sheet Metal Materials||Grade / Alloy||Max. Sheet Material Thickness (in)||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||Machinability (AISI Rating)|
Sheet metal services are popular because of their adaptability, durability and precision, making them excellent for a wide range of projects from prototypes to parts. Projects can be completed quickly, making rapid sheet metal prototypes a top choice for many. To learn more about rapid sheet metal services, contact us today.
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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.