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Metal Finishes: Assess the Capabilities of a Fabrication Shop

Categories: Informational
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Metal FabricationWhen commissioning a job order from a metal fabrication shop in Indianapolis, you have to choose the right shop for the job. Many factors go into such a decision, one of which is the finishing capabilities of the shop. Metal finishing serves not only to aesthetically enhance your ordered products or components but also to protect them from corrosion and prepare them for paint coatings.

Finishing Capabilities

Now, for your ordered components to receive the correct finish that you want, you can assess the finishing capabilities of your metal fabrication shop choices. You can ask about what machinery they use for metal finishing. You can also ask what method of finishing they use to achieve desired finishes.

Different Finishes

Of course, you have to know about metal finishing itself to assess fabrication shops thoroughly. Metal finishes can be categorized either by their finishing method or by surface roughness. Regarding surface roughness, you can have a sanitary finish, fine finish, or a mirror finish. Finishes by method include sand blasting finish, powder coating finish, and metal grinding finish, among others.

By Surface Roughness

The food industry uses sanitary finishes since such a finish prevents bacteria growth on the metal. Most industries, which may include you, uses fine finishes that combat corrosion as well as enhancing the durability and structural integrity of the metal components. Finally, the mirror finish not only serves the same purpose as a fine finish; it also enhances aesthetic look.

By Method

On the other hand, sandblasting, or abrasive blasting, in general, uses abrasive media such as sand, steel shots, and others to pelt surfaces at high speed, smoothing out the surface. Power coating, in contrasts, uses melted plastic powder to create a textured, matte, or glossy finish.

When you already know what type of metal finish you want for your order, you can better assess and decide which fabrication shop you will choose. You will end up with the right fabrication shop for your job order in this way.

Surface Preparation and Finishing of 3D Printed Metal Parts

Categories: Computers & Technology
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3D Printer in Action3D printing technology brought many new possibilities and opportunities to different fields and industries. In the world of metal fabrication, you can now actually 3D print metal parts. 3D printing allows you to produce parts that have more complex shapes or geometries.

You can produce parts with fewer components as well limited assemblies. Just like any other metal part, the 3D-printed parts you made still need surface preparation if you plan to paint it or at least some surface finishing work.

Prepare 3D printed metal part surfaces

You can perform surface preparation on your 3D-printed metal parts. The preparation can ensure that the protective coatings applied to the parts will bond well with the metal. You can use abrasive blasting cabinets for your surface preparation. Abrasive blasting is an effective method to clean metal parts.

At the same time, blasting cabinets can help you contain the blasting process as well as recycle the abrasive media used in the process.

Finish part surfaces: match techniques

When it comes to the surface finishing of 3D-printed parts, you can remember that different kinds of finishing applications work best for different metal parts. You can use one or more finishing techniques based on your metal part’s material grain size, printing technique, and geometry.

Simplify design

3D printing allows you to produce usually multiple part builds in one build or one build into several part builds. To allow for easier finishing, you can simplify the design of your build as much as possible. In this way, the finishing techniques you will use can handle the dimensional requirements of the printed parts.


Ultimately, to know which finishing techniques work best with certain printed parts, you can conduct tests and experiments. You can print metal parts for such experiments and use the finishing techniques you usually use on them. You can analyse the results, limitations, and strengths of each finishing method then.

The finishing of 3D printed metal parts can prove difficult for fabricators, but you can learn how to do it well with enough research and hands-on learning yourself.