Metal is a ubiquitous material in all kinds of building and fabrication. Therefore, understanding the properties of metal and its principles and practices, or working with its many varieties is a valuable skill. The introduction to the metalwork facilities is an exciting new avenue through which students can incorporate metalwork in their prototyping and model-making projects. Additionally, metalworking capabilities expand the applications of the Metal Laser cutting services offered by Fab Lab.
This metalwork overview aims to provide students with the necessary information to safely and successfully implement metal fabrication concepts and practice into their work. The document covers skills from designing with metal and choosing materials through to final finishes. The notable exception being the process of welding itself, which is not accessible to students. However, students can be engaged in assisting Maker Spaces technicians to complete this stage of the process.
While some metalwork processes are relatively straightforward, others such as laser cutting and welding requires specialist training and expertise. Although, students are able to utilise a wide range of metalworking capabilities, some processes must be performed by qualified staff.
Metal Laser Cutter
Cut off saw – used for cutting metal stock into components.
Linisher – pedestal 'sander' used for cleaning metal or preparing surfaces for welding.
Magna-Bend – magnetically charged metal sheet bending tool.
Angle grinder – for cutting, shaping and cleaning.
Random Orbital Sander – for cleaning and polishing.
Hand Drill – for drilling holes.
Drill Press – as above, but with improved accuracy and efficiency.
Blind Riveter – for fastening sheet and hollow section metals.
Media Blaster – for cleaning metals, including removing rust and coatings.