One of the more common types of commercial forming is custom metal stamping. This type of forming uses a combination of stamps and forms to manipulate, stamp, and bend metal into whatever configuration you need for your project or product. Since the metal is formed to the desired shape, instead of cut and welded, the finished product is often stronger and provides a tighter tolerance than the welded version. The following can answer some questions about this process.
How is the custom prototype created?
Although you can bring in your own prototype, if you are like many businesses, you may not have the equipment or knowledge to create a working prototype to fit your needs. Most commercial forming companies provide prototype services. They will work with you directly to create the prototype. If you will be producing the form in a large quantity, then the service will also develop the necessary dies, forms, and stamps to produce your custom metal form in bulk.
Why should you request a test run?
Any custom piece is a work in process, which means there may be flaws that won't be noticed until the piece is formed and in use. A test run allows you to try out your prototype and make any necessary design changes before you produce the piece in quantity.
What types of metal can be used in the forming process?
Most metals can be stamped and formed. Stainless steel, hot or cold rolled steel, galvanized metal, and aluminum are common options for parts and tools. Decorative metals like copper, brass, nickel, and silver can also be successfully stamped, although these are typically used for more decorative items as opposed to heavy construction items. There is also a range of different alloys that can be formed into whatever you need. Your forming service will help you choose the right metal for the job.
Is stamping always the right choice?
Although stamped pieces are sturdy and cost-effective, they aren't suitable for every application. Generally, stamping works best for two-dimensional objects that require strength. Metal fabrication, which requires cutting and welding the metal into shape, is better suited for three-dimensional parts. This is because fabrication allows for more complex shapes. In some cases, it may make sense to combine both stamping and fabrication when creating a part, so it's a good idea to work with a commercial forming company that can provide both services.
Contact a forming company for more help.