Understanding Your Sheet Metal Fabrication Options

Metal sheeting is one of the most commonly used ingredients in the fabrication industry. These sheets are used to form the main frame in the construction of domestic, commercial, and industrial products such as kitchen sinks, ventilation hoods, doors, tables, gutters, gates, car parts, art pieces, outdoor signs, storage shelving, etc. A lot of fabrication techniques are used to turn raw metal sheets into these finished products. They include:

CNC fabrication

CNC fabrication entails using mechanical presses to turn metal sheets into a desired physical form or shape. It utilizes special dies to create the needed shapes and forms on metal sheets. Some of the CNC processes available include bending, folding, forming and punching/perforation.

Shear cutting

Shear cutting refers to the use of twin scissor-like blades to cut metal sheets into desired dimensions. With this method, metal sheets are cut either using hand-held cutter or using roller tables. Large metal sheets can be cut into smaller pieces such as halves, quarters, strips, etc.

Torch cutting

With torch cutting, gas-powered nozzles are used to cut through metal sheeting. With this process, metal sheeting can be cut into slightly more complicated designs as compared to saw cutting, and shearing, e.g. zigzags, curves, and other complicated designs. However, being a manual process, torch cutting is slow and not as refined as laser cutting.

Saw cutting

Saw cutting is a traditional cutting process that has been recently overshadowed by torch cutting and laser cutting. It entails using sharp rotary blades to slice through metal sheeting. However, the precision of the cuts are limited and the technique can only be applied for small scale projects as it is labor-intensive.

Laser cutting

With laser cutting, metal sheeting is laid out on a bench and a focused heat beam is used to create precise cuts. Laser cutting can be used to cut metal sheets into smaller pieces or to create highly complicated design cut-outs. Overall, this technology allows for the most dynamic designs to be actualized.


No metal fabrication process is complete without welding. Using TIG, MIG, or spot welding techniques, your metal sheets can be attached to other sheets, reinforcement pipes or to fabricated frames to complete the build design. It is a crucial process that binds metal parts together to create a finished product with high structural integrity.

Spray painting

Once your metal sheeting has been fabricated, cosmetic touches are applied through spray painting. First, a powder coat is applied to ensure that the top paint adheres to the metal. The final color coat is then applied to create a matte, satin or gloss finish in a color of your choice.  Painting not only makes your finished products look good, it also helps to prevent rust as well.

Need to create sheet metal products? Talk a metal fabrication company, like CanFab Engineering, about your needs and they will bring them to life using the above techniques.