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The Essential Manufacturer’s Guide to Bespoke Metal Fabrication

Introduction

Discover which bespoke metal fabrication method best suits the requirements of your custom metal products with these high-quality manufacturing techniques.

Various industries worldwide require bespoke metal fabrication processes to create the necessary products and components for their specific requirements. While it’s an industry worth over £0.88 trillion in 2023, it’s also a practice as old as time and has remained bespoke since man first forged metal with fire.  

But what type of bespoke metal fabrication method suits your custom metal product needs today? And can bespoke metal fabricators guarantee you receive consistent, cost-effective, high-quality custom metal products ready for the market?  

In this blog, we discuss the capabilities of bespoke metal fabrication across the multiple methods available and what products you can expect to create. 

Let’s explore.

Bespoke metal fabrication - Barton International

What is Custom Metal Fabrication?

Custom or bespoke metal fabrication is a manufacturing process that produces metal products or components to satisfy specific requirements across numerous industries.

Bespoke metal fabricators receive unique custom metal product requests from their clients to manufacture through various bespoke metal fabrication techniques.

Examples of bespoke metal products can range from essentially anything manufactured from metal. From ornate balcony railings and water tanks to steel boats and bridges, bespoke metal fabrication can make any product or component feasible, regardless of size, weight, or shape. More tangible bespoke metal products include bolts, screws and fasteners.

This capability makes bespoke fabrication an essential practice for numerous industries. Whether precise engine parts for the automotive industry or exact indentations for the electrical sector and telecommunications, bespoke metal products require custom fabrication techniques.

8 Types of Bespoke Metal Fabrication

To produce bespoke metal products, you need fabrication methods that can provide the necessary customisation.

Here is a list of eight bespoke metal fabrication types that suit various applications and requirements:    

Bespoke metal folding is a fabrication technique that bends or folds the metal to specific sizes to meet your intended shapes or angles.

In modern bespoke metal fabrication, metal folding often gets formed with an automated press brake that applies a powerful tensile force that bends your metal material into the requested shape. 

Various bespoke metal folding techniques are available to fold your material into the intended condition. These metal folding methods include air bending, coining, and bottoming.

Through compression, metal forging is an ancient metal fabrication method that dates back thousands of years to blacksmiths in the Iron Age and beyond. 

Perhaps not as unique as the handmade methods of those ancient times, metal forging remains just as bespoke in its fabrication as back then, despite modern advances in technology and automation.

There are three forms of bespoke metal forging:

Hot forging can create intricate shapes, ideal for more challenging bespoke metal products. On the other hand, if you want to increase the strength of your bespoke metal products, cold forging provides a more suitable fabrication process.

Metal stamping works through indentation to create custom shapes, letters and numbers. By placing sheet metal into a stamping press, a tool in the machine pierces the surface to produce the intended indentation.

Like metal forging and folding, bespoke metal stamping is achievable with various stamping techniques. These stamping methods include blanking, embossing, and flanging, among others.

Bespoke metal stamping has increased in its intricacy and precision thanks to CNC (computer numerical control) capabilities.

CAD (computer-aided design) software allows you to create a custom design that integrates with the CNC machine, accurately indenting your intended shape. Without requiring heat to shape the metal, stamping proves a cost-effective bespoke fabrication technique.

Based on the application of punching holes through metal sheets, metal punching can produce bespoke metal products with turrets hitting the metal through a die and is also available with CNC capabilities.

The difference from stamping is that punching creates holes or more simple shapes from the metal with a punch or die, while stamping is more suitable to shape an entire piece.  

Notorious for mass-production purposes, metal casting can help create bespoke metal products on large scales quickly and cost-effectively.

Metal casting uses a specific mould and is achievable with permanent mould casting and expendable mould casting methods across multiple techniques, including gravity, slush, low-pressure and vacuum. 

Bespoke metal fabricators will apply permanent mould casting for greater consistency across their custom metal products batch. On the other hand, expendable mould casting is a more affordable solution but at the cost of less accuracy and consistency.

Precise and versatile, laser cutting is an ideal bespoke metal fabrication that can cut intricate shapes through thermal separation and CNC technology.

Unlike expendable metal casting, laser cutting is ideal for bespoke metal products that require complex shapes with accuracy and consistency high on the agenda. 

Metal welding is a traditional bespoke metal fabrication process that adjoins separate metals using intense heat and pressure. 

The various metal welding methods for manufacturing bespoke metal products include gas flame, electric arc, laser, electron beam, and ultrasound.

Defined by forcing metal between an open and closed die, metal extrusion is used as a bespoke metal fabrication technique to create various cylindrical shapes suitable for piping, cabling, and wiring.

A staggering 15,000 tonnes of pressure are forced upon the billet within the die press to create your intended bespoke metal products.

Find Your Local Bespoke Metal Fabricators in the West Midlands

For bespoke metal fabrication in Birmingham, the West Midlands and beyond, look no further than Barton International

We design, manufacture, and supply custom metal products for our clients using bespoke metal fabrication techniques of the highest quality. 

With over a century of trading experience and five million+ parts supplied annually alongside 20+ manufacturing processes, we ensure all our bespoke metal products are ISO 9001 accredited for reliable, resilient and cost-effective fabrication solutions. 

For more details on how our bespoke metal fabrication methods can serve your business, get in touch today and receive your free assessment.

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