Sheet Metal Lingo

If you are looking at designing a Sheet Metal Part then you need to know the lingo. Below are some common phrases with a quick definition that will assist you as you try to determine the best sheet metal process to bring your design to life.


CNC: stands for Computer Numerical Control. This means a computer converts the design you created with CAD software into numbers. The numbers work as coordinates, that tell a CNC machine how to make your part, that matches your CAD drawing.

CAD: stands for Computer Aided Design. Software that you use to design and build a 3D CAD file. A 3D CAD file is all we need to quote and get started on your project.

CNC Bending: is when a bend machine cleanly bends (without breaking) a sheet of metal to form a specific shape.

Laser Cutting: Your CAD drawing is programmed into a laser cutting machine, that uses optical lasers to very accurately cut a piece of metal. Because of the high accuracy, this is a great way to cut very small, minute detail into a piece of steel.

CNC Punching: is stamping holes, slots or shapes into a piece of metal using powerful presses to punch through metal, to match your CAD drawing.

Engraving: refers to etching a detailed pattern into metal without punch through the other side. Widely used for a quality look and feel for logo and text design. Depth of engraving can vary to suit desired aesthetic look.

Sheet Metal Fabrication: is a term that may encompass rolling, bending, assembly, welding, insertion…any sheet metal work term that helps to bring your CAD drawing to life.

Finishing: are the surface finish options available on your sheet metal part. Common options used are Powder Coating, Polishing, Painting, Sand Blasting and Sand Buffering.

Welding: is a term that is defined as a process where at least two pieces or metal are placed together, then fused/melted together using heat to create a solid joint. This process can be achieved with or without a filler material depending on the technique being used.

Tig Welding: is Tungsten Inert Gas Welding. This process uses a non-consumable Tungsten electrode to produce a weld joint. Good option for thin weld joints that require precision control.

MIG Welding: is Metal Inert Gas Welding that uses a consumable, like a metal wire to join metal pieces together. Can be a good option for long, continuous weld joints.

Spot Welding: uses an electric current to create a spot weld, a small weld point that joins two pieces of metal together forming small, separate weld joints.

If you don’t see a Sheet Metal Term here don’t worry…we do all kinds of sheet metal work. For sure we will have a Sheet Metal Project Solution for you 🙂 to learn more about our Sheet Metal Capabilities. to start your project review today 🙂


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