Custom metal fabrication makes many types of projects possible. If you want to see top-quality results, though, it's important to prepare your project for manufacture. Customers can do these 5 things to ready their work before sending it to a fabricator.
Understand the Materials
Many types of metals lend themselves to fabrication. Each product, though, can behave differently in terms of how much it might expand or contract, whether and how you can weld it, and how it might withstand stresses. If you're not sure how well a particular material might perform, ask the fabricators for advice.
Establish Engineering Standards
If you're paying for custom-made metal fabrication, there's a good chance you already have certain specifications in mind. You will, however, want to tighten your specifications into a clear set of engineering standards. Someone creating a wheelchair access ramp, for example, needs to determine what the maximum weight on the ramp will be and then build beyond that. This will help you and the fabricators figure out how thick the metal has to be, where to weld or bolt the assembly, and how much you can bend the materials.
Folks who have access to 3-D design software should use it to mock up their designs. Digital prototypes can help you figure out how the pieces will fit together. You will also want to pull the design elements apart so the fabricators can manufacture them. If you don't have access to design tools, ask the custom metal fabrication company to help you with the drawing process.
Customers bringing their designs to a fabricator should ask about digital file formats, too. Verify what the company uses and make sure you can export files to that format. Likewise, ask the company to send you images so you can verify the export process went well.
The team working on the project may have questions. Take time every day to look for their emails so you can respond quickly and keep the work moving along. If you run an organization, have one person serve as the regular point of contact, too.
Delivery and Assembly
You should also plan for the delivery of the item. If the product is going in a crate for shipping, you may need to think about how the parts will go in. Similarly, you may have to assemble it. Refer to the drawings to think about what the appropriate sequence should be.
Contact a custom metal fabrication company for more information.