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Sheet Metal Cutting

Sheet metal cutting, one of the sheet metal manufacturing processes, is sometimes referred to as shearing. Sheet metal can be cut in various ways. Nowadays, sheet metal cutting has turned to computers for precise cutting in sheet metal manufacturing. In most cases, sheet metal cutting is done via CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) laser cutting or multi-tool CNC punch press.

How does X Rapid Technologies produces rapid prototypes via sheet metal cutting?

X Rapid Technologies utilizes major types of sheet metal cutting services in sheet metal manufacturing for both sheet metal prototypes and short-run parts, including waterjet cutting, plasma cutting, wire cutting, and laser cutting. We offer a wide selection of materials and surface treatments. High precision and high efficiency of rapid prototypes in sheet metal can be easily met via sheet metal cutting services at X Rapid Technologies.

Advantages of sheet metal cutting services

1. Makes straight line cuts on sheet metal

2. Can cut complex shapes

3. Excellent edge finish

4. Improved efficiency

5. Cost-effective

Limitations of sheet metal cutting services

1. Less than ideal for harder materials

2. It is not totally burr-free

3. There will be possible deformed edges, twisting, bowing, and cambering

Applications of sheet metal cutting services

Sheet metal cutting is the most commonly employed process in sheet metal manufacturing in automotive, industrial, medical, dental, art, robotics, consumer products, aerospace industries, etc.

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Material Options for Sheet Metal Cutting Service

Aluminum, stainless steel, mild steel, copper and zinc, etc.

Comparison of Different Cutting Techniques for Sheet Metal Manufacturing

Cutting Technique Description Pros Cons Application
Flame cutting It is the oldest cutting technology, suitable for cutting metals with a thickness from 1mm to 1.2 meters.
  • Low costs
  • Low cutting speed
  • Relatively large thermal deformation
  • Relatively wide cutting slit
  • More waste of raw materials
Commonly applied in the rough machining processes in sheet metal manufacturing
Plasma cutting It is a processing method that uses the heat of a high-temperature plasma arc to melt (and evaporate) the metal part or part of the incision of the workpiece and uses the momentum of high-speed plasma to remove the molten metal to form an incision.
  • Higher tolerance
  • Higher cutting speed
  • Smooth cutting edges
  • Excellent tilt control
  • Arc radiation, smoke, and noise are generated during the cutting process
  • Relatively more expensive machines
Plasma cutting with different working gases can cut various metals that are difficult to cut by oxygen cutting, especially for non-ferrous metals (stainless steel, aluminum, copper, titanium, nickel), the cutting result is better.
Wire cutting Its full name is Wire Electrical Discharge Machining. It belongs to the category of electrical processing. Its basic working principle is to use a continuously moving thin metal wire (called electrode wire) as an electrode to perform pulse spark discharge on the workpiece to remove metal and cut it into shape.
  • Very high tolerance
  • Wide applications
  • Can machine complex shapes
  • No burrs
  • No special tools needed
  • Reduction of material damage
  • Cannot machine on the bottom
  • The process is slow
  • Cannot cut non-conductive materials
  • Cannot process horizontally
It is widely applied in machining various complex and precise small parts in sheet metal manufacturing and other prototyping processes as well as molding making.
Waterjet cutting It uses a high-speed waterjet doped with emery for sheet metal manufacturing.
  • Available for many materials
  • Can cut sheet metal with large thickness
  • Can cut explosive materials such as ceramics and glass; competitive in cutting steel and aluminum materialsVery high tolerance
  • Relatively high costs
  • Slow cutting speed
  • Not environmentally-friendly
Generally speaking, among all the sheet metal cutting services it is most suitable to use waterjet cutting for materials with complex patterns, thick, difficult to cut, fragile, and heat-resistant materials.
Laser cutting Laser cutting uses a focused high power density laser beam to irradiate the workpiece, so that the irradiated material quickly melted, vaporized, ablated, or reached the ignition point, and at the same time, with the high-speed airflow coaxial with the beam to blow away the molten material, to cut the workpiece. It belongs to thermal cutting.
  • High cutting speed
  • High tolerance
  • High flexibility; no need to change tools
  • Less deformation of the part
  • Most laser cutting machines are very expensive compared to other sheet metal cutting services
  • Slower cutting speed for thicker materials
As a precision processing method, laser cutting can cut almost all materials, including metal sheets in two dimensions or three dimensions.

Why Choose X Rapid Technologies for Sheet Metal Cutting Services?

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Wide Options

We offer one-stop sheet metal cutting services coupled with a variety of materials and surface treatments for sheet metal manufacturing.

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Custom Solutions

Your sheet metal cutting solutions are personally customized. Our professional engineers will offer the optimal sheet metal cutting service per your requests.

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Reasonable After-sales Service

Any problems found within 3 days after receiving the parts will be properly solved. Your 1-on-1 project manager can always be reached on a 24-hour time scale.

Sheet Metal Cutting FAQs

To make rapid prototypes via sheet metal cutting, please send us files in CAD, STP, STEP, IGS, or X_T format. 

The lead time for creating a one-off rapid prototype in sheet metal material is usually no less than 3 days. It varies for different projects. We will estimate the lead time during the quoting phase.

Sure. We have served the international markets for over 10 years and delivered over 10,000 rapid prototypes in sheet metals and low-volume parts globally. Witnessing numerous sheet metal parts going to the global markets is an honor and delight for us.

In addition to sheet metal cutting service, we majorly provide sheet metal forming, sheet metal stamping, and sheet metal welding services to process all kinds of rapid prototypes made in sheet metals. 

Of course. You can look at our rapid prototypes in sheet metals on our Case Studies page. Or contact us for some pictures of rapid prototypes in sheet metals.