Sheet Metal Processes Considered for Quotes / /
Fiber Laser Cutting
During fiber laser cutting, laser cutting machines create cuts within an enclosure using no mechanical components. The enclosure minimizes the risk to the machine operator while also reducing noise. Fiber laser cutting uses a high-power output and high-intensity laser, making it a very efficient manufacturing process.
To make precise cutes, water jet cutting uses a high-pressure pump which forces water through a nozzle. The cut is facilitated by the balance of volume and velocity. For cuts that require an abrasive waterjet, abrasive media is combined with water. Both the water and abrasive media can be recycled and reused, which helps to increase energy efficiency while reducing costs.
Microcut™ Micro Water Jet Cutting
Micro water jet cutting uses the manufacturing capabilities of water jet cutting to produce parts on a micro-level. Water jet cutting’s high-level of accuracy is what allows to produce tiny and complex parts.
The wire EDM process submerges a metal piece into a dielectric liquid where a charged thin metal wire uses electrical sparks to melt the material and make cuts. The spark’s voltage jumps the gap from the wire to the workpiece which causes the material to melt. The metal wire never contacts the workpiece. The dielectric fluid controls the sparks, cools and flushes away excess material.
During stamping, a blanked or coiled piece of sheet metal is placed in a press where the stamping tool is pressed onto the material. The stamping tool or die contains the desired shape of the part. Punching, blanking, bending, drawing and embossing are all stamping techniques.
To form a part, sheet metal is loaded on a flatbed where a pre-programmed design is drawn onto the material using a laser cutter. To add more features, a sheet metal punch can used. The part is then deburred and moved to a press brake for further shaping.
Methods of prototype etching include chemical milling or acid etching. During photochemical machining, material is selectively removed by using baths of temperature-controlled etching chemicals. Chemical etching is ideal for prototyping because of its shorter lead time and inexpensive tooling.
Production etching uses photochemical machining or chemical milling to make parts with high precision and intricacies. Production etching is perfect for transitioning prototypes into production because it is fast, cost-effective and offers great design flexibility.
A high-powered laser beam is used to cut raw material during laser cutting. Techniques may include a gas, liquid or solid-state laser. CO2 lasers use a gas state laser using a mixture of carbon dioxide to make cuts. Solid state lasers use laser diodes transmitted through optical fibers to create cuts.
In a CNC punching machine, raw material is moved along a 2-axis direction and positioned under a punching ram. The punching ram adds holes and/or forms to the sheet metal. CNC punch press machines can have one head or a multi-turret design
Welding fuses two or more parts together using heat and pressure. Arc welding, metal inert gas (MIG), tungsten inert gas (TIG), resistance spot welding, laser welding, oxyfuel welding and cutting are all offered by Fathom.
Fathom offers hardware installation services. Whether a project contains a low or high volume of parts, Fathom can ensure great quality and efficiency.
Fathom has sanding and grinding services. Typically grinding is utilized to remove weld fillets it can also be used to add a desired cosmetic surface or pattern. Sanding deburrs and removes scratches from parts after they have been punched or laser cut.
Liquid painting is used when powder coating is not possible. Liquid painting offers can result in a professional finish, corrosion resistance, custom colors and more.
During powder coating, the workpiece is covered with a uniform coating of powder and then cured. Once the part has dried, it has a professional finish. That may be matte, smooth, textured and more. Fathom has a wide range of powder coating finishes to choose from.
Screen printing adds a variety of different finishes and colors to a part. Fathom can also add a custom design of your choice.
Assembly & Kitting
Assembly and kitting can be performed in-house by the Fathom team. Services include hardware installation, manual or automated processes and more. Fathom will ensure your finished part meets your exact specifications.
Fathom has strategic partnerships and with key suppliers of heat treating, plating and powder coating who meet our standards for both quality and speed. As part of the Fathom Manufacturing Platform, Fathom has access to a robust nationwide network of comprehensive additive and advanced manufacturing. Fathom Manufacturing’s extensive certifications include ISO 9001:2015, ISO 9001:2015 Design, ISO 13485:2016, AS9100:2016, NIST 800-171 and ITAR.
Once a part has been fabricated, it can occasionally require post CNC machining. Fathom has in-house CNC machining centers that can add post-mill features to sheet metal parts, allowing us to successfully manufacture parts within time constraints.
In-house Custom Tooling
Fathom’s team of engineers and master tool makers can deliver creative tooling solutions for your formed parts. We specialize in complex bending and precision and are not intimidated by challenging design features. Our capabilities include intricate EDM tooling, waterjet cut tools and robust CNC machined tooling.
Deburring and Finishing
Attention to detail is critical in the manufacturing process. Our services include deburring and finishing to remove laser dross, mechanical burrs, harps or other surface imperfections. Other finishing processes include hand sanding, automated deburring, tumbling and more.