Business

Manufacturing With Metal: The Basics

Chloe Harwood
Written by Chloe Harwood

Metal is one of the most versatile materials in a designer’s arsenal. The can range from cheap to expensive, and also in quality. But, working with metal can be a challenge. It requires heavy machinery and large spaces. So, most companies need some help. To give you an idea, this post will go through some of the ways you can work with it.

Sheet Metal Bending

For a lot of applications, sheet metal is the best option. Sheet metal is large sheets of metal. They’re usually a couple of millimeters thick and will be easy to work with. These sheets can be bent into shape using a machine or a vice, to make boxes and other items. This is how a lot of products are made today. A lot of computer cases are being made this way, as well as stereo systems. Obviously, it would be hard to do this from home on an industrial scale, so it’s only really viable to use a factory. This sort of service is available in a lot of countries and isn’t usually expensive.

CNC

Metal machining techniques have come very far over the last couple of decades. Instead of using molds or sheets, machining uses a block of metal. A tool is applied to the block, taking away layers. Some areas are avoided on each layer. This is the material that remains. You can think of this as almost a type of sculpting. A lot of our day-to-day products are made in this fashion. Parts of your mobile phone are almost certainly machined. And, if you have a modern laptop, it’s probably got some machined metal on it to. This is usually only good for smaller products, as you need a lot of space to do it. But, you can make products like this from home. A cheap CNC machine won’t cost you too much, and it only needs a small space in the garage.

Finishing

When it comes to good metalwork, the finishing is crucial. For sheet metals, you have a couple of choices. Custom wytelyne powder coating is good for sheet metal. It involves blasting the metals surface with power that melts upon contact. It involves some heat, and it’s not possible to do from home. So, you’d need to pay someone to do it for you. You can also paint it with enamel. This is much cheaper but won’t give it a great look. For blocks of metal, the finishing will depend on the metal. You can anodize aluminium, but passing a current through it. And, you can colour stainless steel with a lot of heat. The finishing technique that you use will change the feel of your product. So, it’s important to consider what you want your product to be like.

Hopefully, this will shed light on the world of manufacturing with metal. It’s an easy market to get into, and there are plenty of factories throughout the world that can help you make your manufacturing dreams come true. When making something out of metal, it can be helpful to look for professional advice.

About the author

Chloe Harwood

Chloe Harwood