Amazing companies choose PROTOTEK for high-quality parts done fast!
Sheet Metal Fab – Working with PROTOTEK
Deep capabilities in sheet metal and machining – design, sheet metal fab, 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 sheet metal fab 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 sheet metal fab 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
Guide to Prototek Sheet Metal Fab
Sheet metal fab, a common shortened term for “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. As a sheet metal fab shop, we employ multiple specialists and have a variety of machines for different purposes. During sheet metal fabrication, we often use multiple techniques simultaneously to create a finalized part.
What is Sheet Metal Fab?
Sheet metal fab is a group of processes that involve the use of sheet metal to create parts or completed products. Sheet metal manufacturing is incredibly adaptable, and it can be employed with a variety of processes and sheet metal types.
Services Offered at Our Sheet Metal Fab Shop
Because of sheet metal’s versatility, we use a variety of techniques to reach a final product. Some of those sheet metal fab services include the following:
Laser Cutting and Punching
This involves cutting sheet metal by focusing light energy into a laser beam and supplementing it with gas. The sheet remains fixed when the laser head travels in the X, Y and Z axes, unlike punches. Part numbers and labeling can also be etched with lasers. Laser cutters are more precise and generate a smoother edge than traditional cutters.
Punching is a machining technique for removing scrap metal from a raw metal sheet. To squeeze a tool through a sheet of raw metal, a punch press is utilized. Punching is frequently less expensive and more efficient than laser cutting.
Graining is the process of grinding sheet metal components with a belt grinder to achieve a consistent surface polish.
Drilling, Countersinking and Tapping
Drilling produces holes of superior quality that can be used in thicker materials. Following that, thread-tapping and countersinking are usually performed. Thread tapping establishes a thread inside the drilled hole, which allows a bolted link to be created afterwards. A countersink removes the sharp edge of a drilled hole and generates a bevel as well as a recess (deep bevel) for a blind bolt head.
Forming and Bending
Forming and bending are cold-working techniques to change the shape of sheet metal. The metal must be stretched beyond its elastic limit without cracking or splitting.
Higher depth for load bearing threads is provided by sheet metal components with hardware insertions. Fastener placement accuracy is improved by using existing holes created by high-precision instruments such as a laser cutter or a waterjet cutter.
Mechanical assembly involves assembling sheet metal fab components together to complete the final part or product.
TIG, MIG, Spot Welding and Weld Grinding
Welding is a fabrication technique which involves joining two or more sheets of metal together by heat, pressure, or both while they cool. The fastest alternative is MIG welding, although the results are not as smooth as TIG welding.
Spot welding is a method of uniting two or more pieces of sheet metal using an electric current to impart pressure and heat to the weld zone.
Weld grinding is an important stage in many sheet metal fabrication processes because it involves removing extra weld metal in a safe and efficient manner.
Welded Assemblies and Frames Offered
For big quick sheet metal fabrication projects, sheet metal can be used to build full welded assemblies and frames.
The best techniques to use will depend on the specific details of your sheet metal fab project. As a sheet metal fab shop, we can help you determine the best strategy for your particular needs.
Finishes Available for Our Sheet Metal Fab
Sheet metal fab can be finished with different materials and methods depending on the aesthetic and functional needs of your project. Those include:
Powder coating is a dry coating process that is mostly used to finish metal. Powder coating is not suitable for all sheet metal fab materials; however, it is suitable for most sheet metals. The powder coating is applied as a dry powder using an electrostatic process and then cured with heat.
Painting is a good alternative for sheet metal fab projects that involve heat-sensitive materials and tasks that don’t require a lot of durability. With paint, you can choose from a greater range of colors.
Chemical Agent Resistant Coating
Chemical Agent Resistant Coating is a form of paint that is used to protect military vehicles against chemical and biological weapons.
Silk-screening involves using thin polyester mesh and a squeegee or blade to apply paint on a properly prepared area of metal.
In sheet metal fab, a laser is sometimes used to engrave a design or an identifying mark on the project after completion.
Alodine, often known as chem film, is a corrosion-resistant chemical conversion coating for aluminum sheet metal.
Anodizing is an electrochemical process in which aluminum is immersed in a liquid bath and an electric current is passed through it. The oxide layer on the aluminum’s surface thickens as a result of the chemical process.
Black Oxide 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 striking a round spherical substance against a sheet metal project’s surface to provide a more consistent finish.
Tumble finishing is a method of smoothing and polishing a rough surface on small parts made of sheet metal.
Sheet Metal Fab Materials Available
Here are the materials available for sheet metal fab:
|Sheet Metal Fab Material||Grade / Alloy||Max. Sheet Material Thickness (in)||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||Machinability (AISI Rating)||Sheet Metal Fab Material||Grade / Alloy||Max. Sheet Material Thickness (in)||Heat Treatable||Tensile Strength (Ultimate, PSI)||Fatigue Strength (PSI)||Hardness (Brinell)||Machinability (AISI Rating)|
Sheet metal fab is popular due to its versatility, durability and precision, which makes it ideal for a variety of tasks ranging from prototypes to parts. Contact us today to learn more about our sheet metal fab services.
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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.