Custom metal fabrication is a very specific solution to a certain set of problems. When you need it, though, it can save an entire project. Before you start a project, it's a good idea to think about whether it's a case that would benefit from custom made metal fabrication work. Here are four common examples of when you might want to ask a fabricator for help.
In some instances, fabrication is the only option. With sufficient measurements and designs, a fabricator may be able to devise a close approximation of an original part. If you're trying to repair an old car from a company that no longer exists, such as a Packard, this may be the sole solution. That's especially the case if even the market for parts from scrappers has effectively run dry.
Bear in mind, you'll need to verify that the proposed solution will work. The fabricator can only work with what you've proposed, and that means you'll want it to be a good fit. It's wise to have them do some simpler versions to match things like bolt patterns or weld points before you go all in.
Creating a one-of-a-kind object can make a major impression. For example, you might want to have a metal sculpture. A fabricator can work with your idea and bring it to life.
However, make sure you have your idea planned out. Most fabrication shops aren't waiting to provide the spark of inspiration to customers' projects. Lay everything out straight so they can make the pieces you need.
Some engineering and science projects have similar one-of-a-kind needs. If you're trying to create a pressurized tank for a project, for example, you might not be able to find the exact product on the market. Be aware that materials choices matter in these projects. Similarly, you'll need to look closely at potential points of failure and do lots of testing.
Although there have been major changes in the prototyping process over the last decade, custom metal fabrication remains an ideal solution in many cases. You may need to work your way up through the process, though. For example, there might be a hinge on a prototype that could be problematic. It's unlikely you'll be able to arrive at a working prototype in a single shot, but a fabricator can help you make revisions along the way.
Not everything in the world looks or works the way you feel it should. On the bright side, a custom made metal fabrication company may be able to craft a mod that meets your needs.