Sheet Metal Fabrication
Comprehensive Sheet Metal Fabrication
An eye on value-engineering your projects with Fathom
Simplify Your Supply Chain
If you’re looking for a sheet metal fabricator that can handle everything from new product development and prototype parts to large production runs and assembly services, Fathom is a cut above what you’ve come to expect. Our comprehensive manufacturing services can help you simplify your supply chain and accelerate your time to market.
We bring a value engineering approach to every project, ensuring that your parts can be produced cost-effectively and quickly. Whether your design is simple or complex, our experts manage every step of the process, from design assistance and metal fabrication to painting, screen printing, kitting and assembly.
- How Does Sheet Metal Fabrication Work?
- Capabilities // Cutting
- Capabilities // Forming
- Capabilities // Welding
- Sheet Metal Fabrication Materials
- Sheet Metal Fabrication Industry Applications
- What Does Sheet Metal Fabrication Make Possible?
- Sheet Metal Fabrication Case Study
- Sheet Metal Fabrication Post-Processing & Finishing
- Why Choose Fathom’s Sheet Metal Fabrication?
How Does Sheet Metal Fabrication Work?
Sheet metal fabrication is the process of cutting, bending, punching and welding flat metal sheets into a variety of shapes to create functional parts. Specialized equipment is used to cut, bend, roll, form and assemble sheet metal parts into finished products. This involves several operations, including cutting, forming and welding.
Sheet Metal Fabrication // Cutting
Our CNC punch presses can accurately process standard features and complex shapes into sheet metal to meet your requirements. We can also produce special features such as countersinks, beads and louvers.
Perfect for high-quality prototyping, laser cutting offers excellent cut quality with minimal heat-affected zones. Fathom’s stand-alone cutters are ideal for this application, while our laser cutters equipped with fully automated loading and unloading systems help streamline large production runs.
Water Jet Cutting
When you need precision metal parts cut with a high degree of accuracy, water jet cutting is a versatile and cost-effective solution. Fathom’s large-format water jet machines can cut materials up to 6 inches thick with a tolerance of 0.005″- 0.015″.
When you need exceptional precision for high-tolerance metal parts, micro water jet cutting can help you achieve the results you seek. Fathom’s Microjet machines can cut materials up to 0.5 in. thick with a tolerance of 0.0005- 0.005 in. It’s faster than cutting fine features with EDM and doesn’t create heat-affected zones.
When you need to cut tough metals with precise tolerances, wire EDM cutting works well. It uses a wire charged with an electric current to melt the material adjacent to the wire, resulting in a very precise cut that requires little or no additional processing.
Sheet Metal Fabrication // Forming
We partner with a world leader in machine tool manufacturing to employ the latest technology for processing.
Sheet Metal Fabrication // Welding
MIG / TIG Welding
MIG uses a solid wire that is machine-fed to the weld area. TIG uses a non-consumable electrode and a hand-held filler rod to form the weld. We offer automated and manual welding, depending upon project needs.
Spot welding involves applying pressure and heat from an electric current to the weld region to join two or more metal sheets.
We primarily produce sheet metal components from aluminum, stainless steel and steel alloys. We have also worked with brass and bronze. We can procure other types of sheet metal on request.
Medical, defense, aerospace, electronics, automotive and industrial companies have all used Fathom for their sheet metal fabrication services. No matter what industry, our team can meet the technological and manufacturing challenges your project demands.
Aerospace // Aerospace parts often require high accuracy and tolerances. Our team can deliver parts for the aerospace industry that are both durable and reliable.
Automotive // Every finished part that departs our facilities will meet the rigorous standards of the automotive industry. You can rely on Fathom for sheet metal parts that are both reliable and safe.
Defense // The defense industry requires high precision and efficiency standards for weapons, vehicles, and more. Fathom is an ITAR registered manufacturer and defense contract supplier who can support all military and homeland security projects.
Electronics // The electronics industry requires parts with tighter tolerances and finer surfaces. Whether your electronics project needs a simple or complex design, Fathom can deliver.
Industrial // Parts for the industrial industry must be reliable and durable. Using our all-in-one manufacturing services, we can assist you from design to finishing of your on-demand part.
Life Sciences // The medical industry sets high standards for both quality and cleanliness. Metal fabrication can be used to make a variety of medical equipment including implants and robotic devices used for medical procedures.
What Does Sheet Metal Fabrication Make Possible?
Sheet metal is relatively inexpensive. It’s easy to work with and enables manufacturers to produce large quantities of precision-cut components quickly and affordably. It can be a cost-effective solution to create complex components.
Customization // Because sheet metal is easy to work with, fabricators can build custom metal parts that meet your precise requirements.
Affordable // Compared to machining, sheet metal fabrication is much less expensive and provides a lot of flexibility during each step of the fabrication process.
Accurate // Metal parts can be cut to precise sizes and shapes using computer-controlled equipment. This minimizes the need for secondary processes such as grinding and polishing.
Scalability // Sheet metal forming can easily accommodate production changes without extensive investments in retooling. This makes it well-suited to create prototypes and small batches of parts for testing and validation. It’s also a cost-effective option to produce custom parts in small to medium-sized quantities.
Short Lead Times // Because sheet metal fabrication doesn’t require many processing steps, its lead time is often shorter than other manufacturing technologies.
Aesthetic Appeal // Sheet metal offers multiple finishing options that can be used to enhance its appearance and protect it from corrosion, including painting, powder coating and anodizing.
Overhead Costs // Most metals require some additional finishing processes, such as deburring or painting after fabrication. That can increase production time and overhead costs.
Design Limitations // Sheet metal must have a uniform material thickness. Corners are created by bending metal and must therefore have minimum radii equal to the material thickness. Some bends may require relief notches to prevent unwanted sheet metal deformation. Holes and tabs can’t be located too close to bends or bulges may occur. And there are some limitations on where welds can be made to hold parts together.
Case Study //
Precision Sheet Metal Fabrication
VSi Parylene (VSi) provides advanced protective coating technologies for industrial and consumer electronics, aerospace and medical applications. Fathom played a key role in the launch of its POD Factory machine, which featured a sophisticated and challenging design. In the end, Fathom’s integrated, technology-agnostic approach and rapid response team enabled the customer to condense its product development cycle in half.
Post-Processing & Finishing
Sheet metal parts frequently require post-processing to remove burrs or sharp edges and to increase their aesthetic appeal. Fathom offers these post-processing services for sheet metal parts:
- Sanding and grinding
- Powder coating
- Screen printing
- Assembly and kitting
Why Choose Fathom for Sheet Metal Fabrication?
Fathom has the expertise and technology to help you meet your needs faster.
We can handle your project from concept and prototype to limited and full-run production. Our experts can advise you on changes that can help streamline the production of your parts and, in many cases, reduce their cost.