Whether you’re a private customer or a commercial entity, there may come a time when you require custom metal fabrication. Everything from a new garden railing to a specific component for a prototype product falls onto the lap of a fabricator. But before they’re able to bring the design to life, a fabricator is going to need some specific information to make sure they get it right.
If you’re thinking about approaching a metal fabricator in Phoenix, AZ with a unique project, make sure you’ve got all of your ducks in a row before you sit down to consult with them. If you’re missing information, the process could take longer, come out vastly different than you expected or fall apart altogether. Here’s what you’ll need:
First and foremost, a CAD drawing is the best thing you can provide a fabricator with. Computer-aided design (CAD) drawings will give a metalworker all of the pertinent information they need to produce a physical product that’s exactly as you envision it.
CAD drawings contain virtually every piece of information needed to replicate an idea and bring it to fruition. Some of the data includes:
- Exact dimensions and scale, so the item being fabricated comes out well proportioned.
- Design details—such as moving components—that are vital to the fabrication process.
- 3D visualization of the design, so it can be examined from any angle.
Many CAD designs will also indicate any motion or movement of the item, what material(s) it’s comprised of and other specifics, such as the finish of the surface.
Unless you’re well versed in CAD design, it’s best to let someone else handle this all-important first step towards a custom metal fabrication. The process is very sophisticated and requires immaculate attention to detail, as well as complete thoroughness.
Production or fabrication details
What’s the final application for the product you’re having fabricated? How many are being produced? Is there any tooling associated with the project?
All of these questions and more are part of what you need to know when you visit a metal fabricator in Phoenix, AZ. They’re going to ask you as many questions as they need to understand how to best bring your project to life—which often means considering the use of the product after it’s made. This is all meant to make sure you’re getting the very best piece possible.
Take it step by step
It’s important to remember that custom metal fabrication is broken down into three main stages: design, build and finishing. When you visit a custom fabricator, you should have the design finalized and concrete—this is imperative. The fabricator will take care of the build process for you. All you need to know after the fact is whether or not the product lives up to your expectations and the demands of its application. If it does, you’re all set; if not, it might mean going back to the drawing board and running through the steps again.
Custom fabrication is a great way to get specialty items made for your unique needs, but it’s not a process that you can just jump into. Planning is just as important as execution, which means paying close attention to design before you pursue a build.