Finishing Options for Sheet Metal Fabrication
Choose from sheet metal finishing options that strengthen parts, improve cosmetic appearance, reduce assembly time, and other benefits.
Gas metal arc welding (MIG) and gas tungsten arc welding (TIG) are possible on sheet metal parts at Protolabs. When designing a part requiring welding, it is best to not specify the exact method or type of welding unless required for function. This provides us increased flexibility when fabricating the sheet metal part, which often results in the most economical and fastest lead-time choice for the customer.
PEM hardware insertion and riveting is an available secondary sheet metal process. It's important to make sure the hardware is not too close to a bend, edge, or other fastener. When designing near a bend or edge, use the centerline-to-edge (C/L-to-Edge) value to find the minimum distance to the outside edge. When calculating the spacing between multiple pieces of hardware, use the C/L-to-Edge formula plus ½ the diameter of the second mounting hole.
Powder coating is used to improve overall cosmetic appearance of parts and silk screening to apply design elements like company logos, safety warnings, and other graphics. We offer in-house powder coating and silk screening streamline production, and we powder coat or silk screen your parts in compliance with government regulations. In addition, we can order any other powder you need but it lead times will be impacted. Silk screen colors can be mixed to closely match most Pantone numbers and all inks are in stock.
Plating improves strength, durability, and cosmetic appearance on parts. Anodize, chromate, zinc, and passivate plating options are available for sheet metal parts.