Sheet Metal in the Aerospace Sector

Mar 6, 2024 | 3D printing | 0 comments


Sheet metal fabrication has many applications in the aerospace sector. It is useful in forming parts for airplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). These industries rely heavily on precision and accuracy, which is provided by sheet metal fabrication services.  For any part produced in sheet metal, the fabrication process is relatively the same. All you need in a 2D file for placing your order, and then you can expect to receive your parts in about 6 days. Read on for more info about sheet metal, the processes, the benefits, and how you can apply it to your aerospace projects.

Understanding Sheet Metal Fabrication

To start your sheet metal project, you will need a 2d .dxf file that you can upload to our instant quote page. Then, you can place your order and receive your parts in about 6 days, depending on the specifications of your order. In addition, if you are not satisfied with your parts, please contact us and we will do our best to fix the situation.

In addition to one of the fastest lead times in the business, we offer a variety of materials for sheet metal fabrication. We have aluminum and steel options available, with different product finishes for you to choose from. Once you select which material would be best for your project, you can choose your desired finish. It is often useful to remember the parameters of your project when selecting a finish for your parts. Read below for a complete list and description of our finishes.

To achieve all our sheet metal fabrication projects, as well as offer our variety of finishes, we have to use several different types of machines. We have laser cutting, water jet, and bending sheet metal equipment. Each machine is operated by our team of expert technicians, ensuring your parts are in the best hands.

Specifics of Aerospace Sheet Metal Fabrication

When designing parts for your aerospace sheet metal project, you will want to ensure that they not only meet all applicable standards, but that they also meet tolerances and design requirements. Each of these specifications are necessary to meet to ensure the success of your project. Here is a list of all our requirements for sheet metal project design files:

Minimum Bend: 1 Times Sheet Metal Thickness
Minimum Hole to Edge Distance: 2 Times Sheet Metal Thickness
Minimum Hole to Hole Distance: 6 Times Sheet Metal Thickness
Minimum Bend Edge to Hole Distance: 6 Times Sheet Metal Thickness
Minimum Feature to Countersink Distance: 8 Times Sheet Metal Thickness
Minimum Countersink Depth: 1 Times Sheet Metal Thickness
Relief Cuts: 1 Times Sheet Metal Thickness
Cutting Feature: ± .00787’’ (0.2 mm)
Bend Angle: ± 1.0°
Bend to Edge: +/- 0.010” (0.254mm)

Description of sheet metal finishes:

  • Raw- no finish, shipped as machined
  • Anodized- addition of thin, non-corrosive layer, smooth, even appearance
  • Powder coated- addition of thin paint layer, protective, available in different colors
  • Bead blasted- removes tooling marks, creates smooth, even surface, matte finish
  • Chemical film- chemical coat applied to protect against corrosion

Challenges and Solutions

One challenge with aerospace projects that sheet metal helps to overcome is the challenge with heat management and other temperature conditions. We suggest choosing a material that meets your requirements for your project and will also provide an improvement to your aerospace parts. Improving the weight of your product is another major benefit of sheet metal fabrication. Thanks to the customizability of all sheet metal and 3D manufacturing techniques, you can decrease the complexity of and overall weight of parts by combining multiple parts into one and saving space.

Applications of Sheet Metal Fabrication in Aerospace

There are many specific parts in the aerospace field that can be made with sheet metal fabrication techniques. First, aircraft structures, like wing frames, landing gears, and fuselage supports are improved with sheet metal fabrication. Engine components are also possible with sheet metal techniques, such as engine covers, rods, and mounting blocks. Interior fittings, parts for a cockpit, and other details are also possible with sheet metal. Finally, the aerospace industries can benefit from sheet metal to help produce spare or repair parts for airplanes and UAVs.

Future Trends and Innovations

Future trends of sheet metal fabrication are likely to yield improved functionality, prototyping capabilities, and more cost-friendly options. Additionally, automation and robotic processes are sure to play a role in the future production of sheet metal fabrication. Aerospace production requires precision, accuracy, and speed to be useful for real-life projects. The more precise, accurate, and faster that production can be, the more applications can be found for aerospace industries.


Sheet metal fabrication is sure to experience continuous improvement and new benefits are constantly being found. Experience JawsTec’s sheet metal fabrication capabilities and technology today. Place your order and make your aerospace ideas a reality!

Learn more about sheet metal production!


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