What is sheet metal fabrication?

CSM take a look at the different processes involved in sheet metal fabrication and explain each part in detail.

Sheet metal fabrication is a broad term that covers a variety of processes. For this reason, it can be difficult to know exactly what the process is, how it works, and what products it can produce. To give you a more in-depth understanding of sheet metal fabrication, we’ve outlined everything you need to know. 

First things first – what is sheet metal fabrication?

To put it simply, sheet metal fabrication is the process of creating products from sheet metal. There are a number of methods that can be used to fabricate sheet metal, which often involves high-tech machinery to cut, bend and form the metal into any desired shape. 

The machines are operated by skilled engineers who often work to a detailed plan that is based on specifications provided by the customer – which is exactly what we do here at CSM. We create, design and produce bespoke sheet metal items based on your budget and requirements to ensure that you receive the perfect metal product.

What products can be made?

This question bears resemblance to the question of ‘how long is a piece of string?’ – the possibilities are endless. Sheet metal fabrication products can range from small individual parts that are required for industrial machinery, large products that allow factories or retail premises to store their heavy items, or an architectural product that needs to be implemented in the home. 

Head over to our case studies to see what type of products we’ve made for our previous customers.

What are the most common processes?

There are numerous processes used in the sheet metal fabrication industry, with some being used more frequently than others. Ultimately, the process that is used depends on the product that’s being made and the metal that’s being used. 

Here are a few of the most common processes in sheet metal fabrication:

  • Bending 

Bending metal is common practise for most manufacturing companies. The process involves changing the shape of a piece of metal without affecting its volume – in other words, the metal won’t get any bigger or smaller as a result of the bend. There are a number of methods used for bending metal, all of which depend on the type of metal, its thickness and the bend that is required. You can find out more about the process in our process of bending metal blog.

  • Cutting

Much like with bending, there are also a variety of ways to cut metal. Traditional methods involve using a saw or chisel (both of which can be done manually or using powered tools), whereas more recent practises include using handheld torches, water jets and lasers to effectively cut the metal.


  • Rolling

Rolling is the process of passing sheet metal through a series of calibrated rolls to create the desired radius. It is ideal for forming cylindrical shapes, however the versatility of the rollers goes far beyond the rolling of cylinders, cones and radiused panels. Digital control, coupled with experienced understanding of its use, can produce remarkable results.

  • Welding

Welding is the process of joining two pieces of metal together. It generally occurs towards the end of the fabrication process once all of the various components have been created. There are different types of welding that can be used for different applications. For example, welding techniques can be used to prevent warping or any other abnormalities with the product. This could include a particular straightening process or welding in a staggered manner to ensure the shape is maintained.

These are only a few of many processes in the sheet metal fabrication industry. To find out more about other processes, have a look at the services we provide here at CSM. 


Want to know more?

If you have a project in mind or want to know more about the sheet metal fabrication process, contact us today. We are experts in creating bespoke sheet metal solutions for commercial, industrial or domestic applications – no project is too big or too small.


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