The process of welding uses heat and pressure to join metals and other materials together to form new shapes and objects. Material called filler is added to help meld the original pieces.

Welding is used in a range of industries. From automotive maintenance and production to shipbuilding, the skills welders have are utilized and valued.

There are a lot of techniques involved in the process of welding, including what is known as fabrication. Fabrication is defined as taking raw stock material to create an end product. This differs from welding because it covers the entire process of creating a product — from design and cutting to formation and finishing.

Since the two are so closely related, it’s not uncommon for welders to also know fabrication techniques. If you’re interested in finding out more about the process, keep on reading!

What Is Metal Fabrication?
Metal fabrication uses a variety of methods to build structures, machines and other products from raw materials. These materials can include castings, formed and expanded metals, flat metals, plate meal, and welding wire.

Items produced using metal fabrication can include:

Architectural metals
Hand tools
Car parts
Bolts, nuts and screws
Pipes and fittings
Forging and stamping projects
Many custom projects and parts are also produced using metal fabrication techniques.

Metal fabrication generally falls into three main categories: industrial, structural and commercial.

Industrial fabrication refers to the creation of pieces used in other equipment, which are often used by manufacturers.
Structural fabrication pertains to metal parts used in buildings, shops and skyscrapers.
Commercial fabrication refers to commercial goods and products, such as appliances.
Fabrication Process
There are many different steps in the fabrication process, some of which are interchangeable depending on what’s being produced. In all instances, the first step is to create a design to work from.

Depending on the scope of the project, some fabricators choose to work with hand-drawn diagrams. For more complex or detailed work, there are computer-aided design (CAD) programs that help with planning and testing models to match exact specifications.

With projects that have a number of parts or high complexity, working prototypes are often created. These help with visualization and allow customers to test them for real-world applications.