Need something created like a custom glass and metal table for an office space? How about a steel canopy for your carport? Maybe you have an idea for a birthday present to build a roll cage frame, weld it onto a go-kart body, and then mount it to that old 3.5 HP lawnmower engine out in the shed. If so, then you need someone who can take the materials available to them and piece the puzzle together into a finished product – a fabricator.
Mechanical fabricators create metal structures by drilling, welding, rolling and cutting metal and joining it with other metal or materials and pieces into one final item. Fabricators might also work with wood, plastic, or other material. Welders are not necessarily fabricators, but as a fabricator, welding may be one process used to complete a project.
Fabrication can be work. If you are one who likes to solve a problems by creating something new, fabrication is exciting work creating from different parts and materials. It may even be a creative outlet for the fabricator.
Fabrication in Pop-culture
Rosie the Riveter – This U.S. cultural icon represented working women in the factories and shipyards during WWII. American women joined the industrial workforce to become fabricators, filling the void created by men fighting in the war overseas. Rockwell’s painting here iconically illustrated Rosie the Riveter (Image 2).
- American Restoration – Rick Dale, a metal artist and owner of Rick’s Restoration, an antique restoration shop, restores old cars. He also uses many different materials to breath new life into antiques like an antique gas pump.
- Orange County Choppers – Given a task to build a custom cycles for clients, these guys design and fabricate one-of-a-kind chopper style motorcycles. These machines are fully functioning pieces of art.
- Mythbusters – One of our favorite examples of fabricators, this show would test the validity of a popular myth or news story using scientific methods. These fabricators and special effects wizards would design and build whatever tools or resources needed to complete the tests. Depending on the results of their investigation, the experiments would be categorized ‘Busted’, ‘Plausible’, or ‘Confirmed.’
Fun With Fabrication – We Show You Ours
The fabrication specialists at Duotech Services were asked about the following: 1) Their most proud personal fabrication that was not work related, 2) what fabrication project did you have the most fun with, and 3) what fabrication project challenged you the most.
They responded with some great answers and we shared them below. We hope that you will also share yours in the comments section below.
Daniel Rogers, Vice President of Engineering
- I machined and welding my steel and stainless cable deck railing (See Image 3)
- Aluminum, plastic, and composite cover for the Caterpillar test stand (Click Image 4 to watch time lapse video of test stand build)
- Table for the Caterpillar inspection station that held the lasers
Rich Peoples, Lead Mechanical Engineer and Fabrication Manager
- At my home I installed a wood stove including tile underneath, a heat shield behind it, and a chimney for the stove pipe
- I designed a ring drive mechanism to transport a large annular casting precisely under a laser sensor
- Machining a leaky waveguide antenna array for a fire control radar system
Sergei Gubarev, Mechanical Assembler
- Built a 6 x 8 ft. dog house for a BIG dog
- Designed and fabricated a large rack for holding and organizing aluminum stock for our fabrication shop
- I am helping design and build a SWAT robot for our Sheriff’s Department. The SWAT robot will be equipped with 2-way communication radio, two cameras, a smoke bomb, siren, headlights, AT9 transmitter controller and a monitor using a Solo camera. (See Image 5) This robot will allow two teams to communicate from different locations of an area. It will be able to deploy a non-lethal smoke bomb using grippers, a pair of spotlights, and siren.
We showed you ours. Now show us your fabrication examples in the comments section below
Blacksmith = Original Fabricator
Blacksmiths are metal fabricators. They’ve been around since before the Iron Age. They heat-up, beat, bang, fold, punch, and cut metals to make tools, weapons, and shoes for horses. These metal experts could fabricate complex weapons and make armor. Today, blacksmiths are still designing metal art, creating wrought iron fence and making practical items like iron and steel tools and hardware.
Mr. Fix-it = Fabricator
We fabrication for work. We fabricate for fun. Sometimes we fabricate for necessity. Fabricators are Mr. Fix-its or Handy Man at home. They may be fixing some leaky copper water pipe with flux and a torch. You might be fixing your own tools or bending, cutting, or shaping some material to fulfill a particular work need. It could be just designing and building a chicken coop (Image 6).
Machining, Fabrication, and Prototyping
From concept to implementation, Duotech’s capabilities encompass your entire project. Our in-house machining and fabrication capabilities shorten design cycles and allow us to provide Repair Services, Engineering Services, and Build-to-Print according to the customer’s exact specifications with a commitment to speed and responsiveness. Duotech is ISO9001:2008 and AS9100C certified.