What is Fabrication?

Selin Cinemre Selin Cinemre April 17, 2024

3 min read

Allowing for versatility and precision in the creation of products, while maintaining cost-efficient, fabrication has become an integral part of the product design lifecycle. Autodesk Fusion offers a number of tools that help optimize and improve the fabrication process.

In the world of product development and mechanical engineering, fabrication and manufacturing are two of the most important industrial processes available. However, while these terms often get used somewhat interchangeably, they each represent distinct and unique processes.

Between these two, fabrication is a particularly important process that most designers will encounter at some point in their product design lifecycle. In this piece, we’ll take a look at fabrication, what it is, why it’s important, and how software tools like Fusion are vital in the fabrication process. 

Fabrication and its benefits

Fabrication is a process that helps to create finished products from raw materials through different methods

Within this, fabrication normally consists of combining multiple typically standardized parts into a new, single part. To do this, fabrication often relies on processes like welding, casting, and stamping to create desired shapes and complete assemblies. Fabrication is important in the context of product development because it allows for the creation of custom products that are tailored to specific customer needs.

Welding is a standard process in fabrication.

One of the main benefits of fabrication is that it enables high precision and accuracy in the creation of products. Through the use of specialized tools and equipment, fabrication represents a way to ensure that the final product is of high quality and meets the required standards. At the same time, the fabrication of materials like metal tends to be relatively cheap.

Another benefit of fabrication is its versatility. The process can be used with a variety of materials, including metals, plastics, and composites. This means that fabricators can create products for a wide range of industries and applications. Fabrication, using various materials like metals, plastics, and composites, can create unique and highly customized products. This feature proves especially useful in industries such as architecture where the demand for custom metal structures is high.

These benefits make fabrication a cost-efficient method in engineering for creating prototypes to test products before initiating full-scale production. In the context of product development, fabrication occurs before production and serves to allow for the refinement of designs before they go into full-scale manufacturing. 

Accounting for complex geometries and nesting elements

To help ensure successful fabrication efforts, strong design software that supports fabrication efforts is necessary. Here, Autodesk’s Fusion is one of the strongest fabrication software in the industry.

Nesting automation in Autodesk Fusion.

Fusion has a wide range of features that make it an ideal tool for fabrication. For instance, it allows for the creation of complex geometries, which can be difficult to achieve with traditional manufacturing methods. The software also allows for the simulation of different manufacturing processes, such as welding and machining, which can help to optimize the fabrication process.

Beyond this, Fusion’s offers a suite of Fabrication and Nesting tools that allow for the optimization of the fabrication process. Designers use the Fabrication tools to create sheet metal parts and assemblies, utilizing specialized features like folding, punching, and bending. On the other hand, they use the Nesting tools to optimize material use during the fabrication process. The software analyzes the shapes and sizes of parts and then nests them together in a way that minimizes material waste. This can help reduce material costs and lead to more efficient fabrication processes.

Fabrication with Autodesk Fusion

Fabrication is a necessary part of the design lifecycle of any product, and supporting this requires strong fabrication software. As you enter the fabrication phase of your next product design, consider using Autodesk Fusion as your design tool of choice. Contact us today to learn more!

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Product Design & Engineering

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