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Aluminium sheet metal welded fabrications

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

3D WELDED JOINT

3D WELDED JOINT

Sheet metal 3D model of an aluminium enclosure and cover

This sheet metal fabrication project for several different LED display cases started with a 3D model created in Radan sheet metal CAD/CAM software. All the information for the size of the cases, material thickness and holes positions was taken from our customers 2D DXF drawings. We used many of the inbuilt features within the Radan software to speed up the handling of corner conditions for preparing the joints ready for welding fabrication. We could even try the fit of the cover on the body of the cases, alignment of fixing holes and the ease of inserting the bushes and studs within the software to ensure they would fit once manufactured, welded and powder coated.

Folded housing joint ready for welding

Folded housing joint ready for welding

Folded aluminium sheet metal cases

Once the 3D model had been unfolded and tooled up and a sheet nest created within the software a CNC program was prepared that was used to laser cut the cases from sheets of 2mm thick 5251 aluminium alloy sheet. The cases were folded up on one of our Edwards Pearson 2.5M long CNC press brakes and you can see just how well the software can calculate the size of the developed blank so that it can be folded up without any gaps in the welded seam. The 3D model was created with the correct overlap of gauges at the joint needed by the welders as a weld preparation to enable the weld bead to penetrate the material gauge for a strong seam weld. The larger the component or more expensive the material the more of an advantage it is to be able to go straight into manufacturing without any trials and wasting materials with samples and CNC program adjustments.

Welding aluminium housing

Welding aluminium housing

TiG welding the aluminium cases corner joints

Unfortunately it’s very difficult to show clearly someone TiG welding due to the brightness of the light given off when the welding arc is struck on the parent metal. You do get a good idea of the processes needed to weld the joints from this image and the others shown here. The welder can only view the welding process through a special glass shield within the welding helmet that is light sensitive and can react to the brightness created of the weld arc darkening the glass and protecting the welders eyes during the whole welding fabrication process.

Welded aluminium housing

Welded aluminium housing

Aluminium sheet metal welded fabrication corner joints

When the welding is being carried out it’s important to penetrate through the gauge of the aluminium to get a strong joint. It’s also necessary in this case as the fabricated joints have to be cleaned off smooth and if the welder doesn’t penetrate right through the joint all the weld strength would be removed when the outside of the joint is ground back which could lead to cracks appearing after fabrication. Although the weld looks messy at this stage it will be perfect once it has been cleaned off as the image shows in the final manufacturing stage.

Cleaned up welded joint

Cleaned up welded joint

Cleaning up aluminium welded joints

Once all 4 corners joints were welded they could be cleaned up to produce a smooth finish. At this stage they have been ground down to the parent metal and then they will have an orbital sanded finish before being powder coated with then no visible joint lines seen at all. If you have an aluminium sheet metal welded fabrication project that you need manufacturing please give us a call and we will be happy to price it up for you.


Laser cutting sheet metal with a Trumpf 3030 3KW fiber laser

Sunday, December 21st, 2014


Fast Tube by Casper

The speed of a Trumpf 3030 3KW fibre laser is very impressive when cutting thin sheet metal. Here in this video it’s laser cutting 0.9mm zintec coated mild steel sheet which will be used to manufacture support brackets and gear chassis components for the pumping industry. These particular sheet metal brackets did not need any edge de-burring after laser cutting with compressed air due to the clean edge that is produced. Along with the ability to use the whole sheet right up to the edges on all 4 sides it helps to produce very cost effective cutting and therefore cheaper components.

As well the the machines ability to laser cut thin gauges very quickly and use up as much of the material as possible to produce components the time taken to change from 1 job to another is only minutes given a great flexibility when it comes to small batches of work or prototyping for customers new designs.


Bending sheet metal work with a Trumpf 7036 CNC press brake

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Bending sheet metal work with a Trumpf 7036 CNC press brake in Fareham, Hampshire, UK


Fast Tube by Casper

Sheet metal work can be worked in many different ways with a range of manual and computer (CNC) controlled machinery. These small sheet metal components are gear trays designed to hold all the electrical control gear for industrial light fittings. They have been CNC punched out and CNC bend with equipment in our manufacturing factory in Fareham, Hampshire, UK.

You can see how quickly a machine like this can form bends in a sheet metal component and within a few seconds many bends have been formed and the component is finished. With set up times of just a few minutes between each component type this type of manufacturing is flexible when producing lots of different sheet metal work during each day.

If you have a sheet metal work project that needs to have components bent up there is a good chance that we will be able to help you with the range of sheet metal bending machines that we have here. Please give us a call of send in your drawings for us to quote you.


Laser cutting sheet metal CNC nests

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Laser cutting sheet metal nests produced with Radan sheet metal software.

Laser cutting CNC nest

Laser cutting CNC nest

Without the need for CNC tooling a laser cutter can cut any shape and nest the close together to save material. Although not show here if we are running several jobs together from the same material and gauge we can fit the onto a single sheet and even within a part with a large open interior area such as this ring.

Laser cutting CNC nest

Laser cutting CNC nest

Laser cutting CNC nest

Laser cutting CNC nest

No matter whatever strange shape your design might need don’t be put off because we can probably laser cut it for you whether it’s in mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper, brass, galvanised steel or zintec. Using Radan sheet metal software with our Trumpf 3030 3KW fibre laser is the perfect combination for controlling the design shape and the best fit from any sheet we have in stock or can buy in.

If you have a sheet metal component and you want us to laser cut it please don’t hesitate to give us a call or send a drawing to us and we will work out a competitive price for you.


CNC punching sheet metal light fittings

Friday, December 19th, 2014

CNC punching sheet metal light fitting components


Fast Tube by Casper

Trumpf CNC punch presses can be so flexible when producing thin gauge sheet metal components. These thin gauge zintec coated mild steel sheet metal panels are part of a flood light fitting cover plate. Inside each panel there is a window being cut out using a 70 x 5 rectangular tool with the waste material falling through the bed of the machine down a chute and into the waste bin. This feature on our Trumpf 3000R CNC punch press enables us to quickly remove the scrap metal without having to stop the machine or leaving it held in place with corner tags that would then need to be removed and de-burred. The advantage of this type of production method of laser cutting is the ability to form in features such as standoffs, wall spacing dimples, ventilation louvres, earth symbol stamps, electrical knockouts etc.

If you have a sheet metal component that needs manufacturing we would be happy to take a look at it for you and quote either for CNC punching or laser cutting depending on the part’s design.