Your browser is out of date.

You are currently using Internet Explorer 7/8/9, which is not supported by our site. For the best experience, please use one of the latest browsers.

Back to Previous Resources Technical and Design Guides
Technical and Design Guides from Aldine Metal

Technical and Design Guides from Aldine Metal

With over 85 years of precision sheet metal fabrication experience, Aldine’s team of professional engineers and manufacturing specialists is ready to assist with your next project. Our team prioritizes a close partnership with our clients. This results in clear communication, a thorough understanding of each project’s requirements, troubleshooting, problem-solving, design enhancements, production efficiencies, cost savings, and more. We at Aldine believe in teamwork, both within our organization and with our customers. 

While we understand that many engineers are familiar with the technical and design aspects of sheet metal fabrication, we also believe that the more knowledge our clients have available about the potential and limitations of sheet metal fabrication and manufacturing processes, the better. This includes understanding the basics of sheet metal terminologies, composition, grades of materials, and fabrication processes, as well as more advanced knowledge of critical considerations such as sheet metal types and thicknesses, the k-factor, bend radii, orientation and relief, hole placement, hardware allowances and specifications, U-channel strength, weld requirements, hemming, riveting, finishing, and more.

Important considerations during the design process also include:


  • What is the intended use of my product? What are the anticipated loads and stresses it will be expected to handle? Will it be used indoors or outdoors? Will the environment be dry, humid or wet?
  • What are the required properties of my product? Some key concerns include its strength, weight, corrosion resistance, conductivity and thermal properties, and more.
  • What is the best fabrication process? Often, the best fabrication method depends on the material and the design’s welding, cutting, and forming requirements.
  • What is my budget? Material cost and availability can fluctuate, and the price and ease of sourcing are important factors to consider.


One question we are often asked is, “What is the difference between sheet metal fabrication and sheet metal manufacturing?” While both are frequently considered one and the same, they are not. Fortunately, Aldine both fabricates and manufactures, and can answer the question!


Sheet metal fabrication is the process of manipulating metal sheets by bending, punching, cutting, welding, and other techniques to create individual components. This process results in custom pieces such as metal enclosure doors, drawers, boxes, cabinets, chassis, panels, covers, packaging machine components, and more. Fabricated components can be made from stainless steel, aluminum, steel, copper, and brass.

Sheet metal manufacturing is taking sheet metal component parts and assembling them to form a finished product. Some of the finished products include custom metal enclosures, custom electrical enclosures, control boxes, custom cabinets, mil-spec products, electrical panel cabinets, server racks, medical-grade enclosures and equipment, and more.


Both sheet metal fabrication and manufacturing services are ideal for various products serving industries ranging from commercial and military to electronic, medical, packaging, railroad, and more. Remember that sheet metal can also be used to manufacture small control boxes to large, walk-in or weather-resistant custom metal enclosures.

In addition to providing education on custom sheet metal product manufacturing considerations, Aldine’s technical and design guides help to answer common questions such as:


  • What are the processes of precision sheet metal fabrication and manufacturing?
  • What is the difference between fiber laser cutting and traditional sheet metal cutting?
  • What is the difference between metal machining and custom metal fabrication?
  • What is the best sheet metal cutting process for my application?
  • What details do I review before sending my custom sheet metal enclosure design out for a manufacturing quote?
  • How do I choose the right metal for my sheet metal enclosures?
  • What information does a custom sheet metal manufacturer need to provide a quote?
  • What do I look for in a high-quality precision sheet metal enclosure manufacturing partner?


If you are not finding answers to your questions in our technical and design guides, please reach out to Aldine’s experienced engineering and manufacturing professionals - we are here to help with your next project!

Technical Guides

Technical Guide



Design Guides