Sheet metal manufacturing is a general term that refers to creating parts out of sheet metal. This is different than making parts out of stock metal.
The difference is that sheet metal is a lot thinner than stock bars, rods, and plates. The definition is a little ambiguous, but at 7-swords, we consider any metals under 1/4″ sheet metal, and anything over is a standard plate.
Since the material is a lot thinner, the physics at play are a little different. There’s no stock, reliable way to grip a sheet that’s 0.100” thick without bending and deforming it on a CNC mill. In addition, thinner plates can’t be machined the same way as plates — machine speeds need to be turned down, workholding changes such as vacuum chuck, and other operations are possible to use.
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