World Lead Chemical Etching

Metal forming and Tooling

Sheet metal forming & tooling manufacture

Photofab have been operating for nearly 50 years, providing a full manufacturing solution for all your metal product needs. We will take care of all of your sheet metal forming and tooling manufacture in-house, so you can trust us with your outsourcing needs.

Outsourcing to Photofab have been proven to increase our customers production levels and reduce lead times while keeping overheads and costs low.

Photofab’s accreditations

As a company, we also follow the 5S principle in order to optimise efficiency and organisation within the workplace, passing the benefits onto the customers.

Metal Forming and Tooling Benefits

  • 24 hour rapid turnaround service
  • Full manufacturing process (one supplier)
  • Option of forming with no Tooling Charge
  • Fold lines – reduces storage space requirement (form by hand as required)
  • Fold lines – reduces shipping cost if assembling overseas
  • Uni-Tools – hard tooled forming with universal tooling
  • Soldering and Spot welding
  • Full assembly option

Metal forming is the process in which the metal is modified into a different shape without adding or removing material.

Our metal forming department covers not only the bending of metal parts, soldering and spot welding, but also complex tooling manufacture using our in-house machinery to surface grind, mill and turn. We specialise in both prototyping and production runs.

Metal Forming & Tooling options

Option 1: Half Etch Fold Lines

We are able to etch lines into a part. These lines are only etched half way through the metal. By doing this, the metal can be formed.

  • There is no form tooling charge.
  • Ideal for simple angle bends.
  • The parts can be formed in house by us.
  • You can form the parts on site yourselves.
  • Least accurate method of forming.
  • More generous tolerances are normally required
Half etched metal forming

Option 2: Uni-Tool

Photofab have developed a “Uni-Tool”, which is an adaptable piece of hard tooling.

  • There is no form tooling charge.
  • Low part price
  • Fast turnaround.
  • Ideal for simple metal forming operations
  • Good for prototypes.
  • Good for runs of up to 200 parts.
  • Good for accuracy.
Formed Uni-Tool tooling manufacture

Option 3: Knife and Forking Prototypes

This is a hard tooling method, which uses several more complicated pieces of universal tooling and can cope better with more complicated parts.

  • There is no form tooling charge.
  • Ideal for more intricate forming operations.
  • Good for prototypes.
  • Good for runs up to 200 parts.
  • Good for accuracy.
Hard tooling manufacture for prototypes

Option 4: Hard Form Tooling

Hard tooling to fit one of the fly or toggle presses is made, which can only be used on one particular part.

  • This method incurs a form tooling charge – from £50 upwards.
  • Ideal for intricate forming operations.
  • Ideal for large quantities.
  • Very good for accuracy – generally to within +/- .1mm, subject to drawings
Hard metal Forming & Tooling

Screening Can Tooling

Photofab have designed a series of tools which are adaptable pieces of hard tooling designed specifically for screening cans, while also providing low cost options for spring fingered lids. This is suitable for parts up to 200mm in length and width, however the spring fingered legs need to be a minimum developed length of 3mm and rectangular for this method to be suitable.

Screening Can Tooling & metal forming

Soldering and Spot Welding

Photofab are able to solder and / or spot weld components, whether you require a seam soldered or two pieces spot welded together we can help.

General Tooling Services

Photofab regularly provide precision surface grinding of metal, along with milling, turning, reaming, drilling and much more. If you have a need for a discipline not mentioned, please do contact us using the form below and ask.

general tooling

Assembly

Our capabilities of assembling diverse components, allows customers to reduce their supply base using Photofab’s logistical control team. We have a highly skilled team who will take your requirements, manufacture the components from raw materials, then assemble to your specifications.

etching and metal forming

Ensuring excellent customer service

  • Dedicated account managers
  • Quotes turned around within 24 hours
  • Technical advice using our wide manufacturing experience
  • Rapid product turnaround and delivery
  • Ideal for prototyping due to low volume MOQ

In-house manufacturing also proves to be invaluable when testing prototype products. Issues can be easily discussed with our engineering and design departments and then modified to suit specific requirements. Instead of having to ship prototypes across the world, it can all be done quickly and easily onsite. This speeds up the whole process and cuts out what can often be weeks in between prototype creation and testing.

Why work with Photofab for metal forming & tooling?

We are world leaders in the development of photochemical technology to produce intricately shaped components. We have produced over 70,000 different components at the request of our clients over the years. We are highly regarded for our chemical etching process, but our engineers at Photofab offer many services that you can find here, and will offer advice to improve the product and reduce the costs.

If you would like to discuss your forming or toolroom requirements, please call us on 01480 226699. Alternatively, you can email us at sales@photofab.co.uk, or complete our contact form.

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Chemical Milling / Chemical Etching

Metal Forming & Tooling Manufacture

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Far East Supply Chain

Prototyping to High Volume

Short Lead Times

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Photo Etching

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If you can draw it, we can make it in thin sheet metal.

Photofab Accreditations