Aerospace Sheet Metal Fabrication

Reduce risk and get to launch faster with sheet metal fabrication for aerospace components—from rapid prototyping to low-volume production

sheet of aluminum sheet metal
A fresh sheet of aluminum sheet metal is loaded for laser cutting.

Why do Companies in Aerospace use Protolabs?

Companies in aerospace (including aviation and defense) work with us for our diverse capabilities and capacity to deliver consistent and repeatable parts fast. Our automated manufacturing services, including sheet metal fabrication, can be leveraged throughout the product life cycle, from early prototyping and design validation to hot-fire testing and launch.  

We support customers in the aerospace industry by offering: 

  • application and technical expertise at every stage of development and production 
  • the ability to easily pivot from sheet metal fabrication to another manufacturing service, such as 3D printing or CNC machining, without development or production delays
  • quality certifications: ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR registered
  • ability to provide durable production-grade tools, fixtures, and aids in days
  • diverse finishing options including powder coating, anodizing, welding, hardware insertion, and plating

flat sheet metal parts

What Materials Work Best for Sheet Metal Aerospace Components?

Aluminum. Lightweight and strong, this material offers excellent corrosion and temperature resistance. Its high strength-to-weight ratio makes it a good candidate for housing and brackets that must support high loading.

Stainless Steel. SS 17-4 PH is widely used in aerospace applications due to its high strength, corrosion resistance, and solid mechanical properties at temperatures up to 600°F. 

Lockheed Martin Case Study Image

Lockheed Martin Explores a Different Kind of Space for NASA

Lockheed Martin engineers needed to create a strong, modular storage infrastructure to hold experiments and cargo for future lunar missions.

See how custom sheet metal parts solved storage space limitations—in space—for eventual voyage to Mars.

Learn More
sheet metal storage component for space mission

Sheet Metal Applications for the Aerospace Industry

Our sheet metal fabrication services are most leveraged throughout the prototyping process for aerospace applications but is also implemented for one-off end-use parts or low-volume production. Sheet metal fabrication is often used for aerospace components including: 

  • Enclosures
  • Brackets
  • Mounts
  • Face plates
  • Satellite components
  • Safety switch brackets
  • Flight simulator components
  • Drone parts