Metal fabricators work with a variety of materials. They fabricate structures and parts for construction and consumer projects. The fabrication industry has a long history. It began as ancient civilizations used metals for weapons, tools, and other items.
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Currently, the industry is evolving and expanding into more environmentally-friendly processes. New technologies are expected to be introduced over the next few years.
A common metal fabricators process involves cutting and bending metal. This includes the use of shearing, flame cutting, laser cutting, and waterjet cutting.
Bending is commonly used on metal bars, pipes, and other structural pieces. Some applications require the bending of sheet metal, though it is not a common practice.
Milling involves cutting holes into metal with a machine. The mechanism may be non-circular, or it may be a circular machine that bores perforations into the metal.
Other tools include grinders, which are used to smooth rough surfaces. These can be surface, jig, and bench grinders.
Fabricators need to be careful about their safety and the materials they use. Typically, they must wear protective clothing, such as safety goggles and ear plugs. Also, they must be able to stand for prolonged periods of time and lift heavy objects.
Fabricators also need to understand and follow blueprints. In order to meet design requirements, they must understand how to create, print, and install metal parts. Many fabricators outsource some services, such as design and finishing.
Fabrication is an important part of the automotive, aerospace, and energy industries. For instance, Boeing, Tesla, and BMW use metal fabricators to manufacture cars and medical devices.