Metal Fabrication Process Overview

Metal fabrication is the process of developing parts, components, machines, and structures from raw metal materials. Metal fabrication can be complex and requires professionals who understand the various processes involved; these can include cutting, burning, welding, machining, forming, bending, as well as other specialized procedures.


Fabricators first evaluate the requirements of the project. From there the fabricator will determine which procedure best fits the scope of work, then start the process to alter the metal based on the specifications provided. Custom fabrication might also be required which is the creation of custom components using various combinations of metal fabrication procedures.

These projects are all completed by highly skilled metal fabricators, these specialists are licensed and trained to precisely cut and transform metal to meet even the most detailed specifications.

Any industrial fabricator that specializes in the manufacturing of metal parts must be familiar with the various metals and their properties, alloys, and finishings to ensure that the fabrication project is completed with the highest efficiency and quality.

Next, we’ll look at some of the most common metal fabrication processes.


Metal Cutting: Cutting is one of the most essential and versatile processes used in metal fabrication. Metal cutting is a process that involves penetrating the metal using a sharp instrument to create a shape from the material. Cutting can be accomplished through a variety of procedures, some of which include laser cutting, waterjet cutting, shearing, sawing, and flame cutting.

Metal cutting is a sophisticated process; however, to streamline the flow of work automation is used. Automation technology can utilize lasers, power scissors, waterjets, or plasma to produce precision cuts in the metal.

Today, laser cutting, and waterjet cutting are the most efficient and common procedures used in the industry.

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Welding: Welding is popular metal fabrication process in which two or more metal pieces are adjoined by using a mixture of pressure and heat

According to each specific project, some of the most common forms of welding are stick and arc, MIG, TIG, and flux-cored arc. The various types of welding procedures each have their own process and are determined based off the project specifications.

Forming: Metal forming involves the bending of metal into a desired angle.This process is accomplished by using a brake press which applies significant pressure to the metal and then forms a bend or crease.

There are other ways to accomplish forming, for example the folding of metal can be done by using a hammer with clamp bars to ensure that the metal stays in place when being contacted.

Metal Bending: Bending, similar to forming, is a process in which the fabricator forces the metal to bend, ultimately giving it the desired shape by creating a curve or angle within the metal piece.

Machining: Machining is a process that involves specific tools to turn, mill, level, drill, shape, or remodel a metal piece. Machining is a subtractive process for shaping which helps eliminate redundant metal in the final form.

Punching: Metal punching is accomplished when holes are created in the workpiece. Punch presses come with specially designed turrets that use a die to hit metal and form holes in precise areas and in the form of duplicators that can be used to add a simple perforation in material.

Punching is used to create specific patterns in the metal which can be for decorative purposes or utility. Punching is often used in light and heavy metalworking projects.

Drilling: In metal fabrication drilling is accomplished by piercing holes in the metal with a circular drill bit. Drilling is typically used to create smooth holes within the metal.

In some cases, the hole or holes are tapped after being drilled out. Tapping is the process of creating a thread within the hole which allows a screw or bolt to be inserted.

Assembling: Metal fabrication assembly incorporates a variety of other processes and services, some of which include the above mentioned cutting, forming, bending, welding, and more. Assembly is used to create products, structures, and machines from the processed material. A fabricator assembles metal components while the manufacturing process progresses.


It is imperative that the fabricators you use truly comprehend the processes required and materials involved in metal fabrication. At Walkup Company we take pride in having the knowledge and capabilities to fulfill all your metal fabrication needs. If you have any questions surrounding your next metal fabrication project, give us a call at 713-675-6383 or contact us online here.

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