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Sheetmetal Prototype Vendors

Page history last edited by John Edmark 4 years, 8 months ago

John Edmark added to the top of this list in July of 2016:


Original message:

I’m looking for someone to fabricate a base (riser) for an exhibit I’m building. It consists of a 14"x14”x2” square steel base of cut, bent and welded ~0.08” mild steel that I will then have powder coated (see  attached photo.) I’d appreciate any recommendations, preferably, but not necessarily, local. I’d be having them make 1-3 parts.




From Mike Lin:

I'd recommend Luigi Oldani, a good friend and fabricator based in Oakland.
Luigi Oldani <oldanidesignstudio@gmail.com>
510 658 6839


From Tom Cohlmia:

I've had good experience with EM Manufacturing.
They're located out near Stockton, but for practical purposes they're pretty "local." There's also Eclipse Metal Fabrication, Vander-Bend, and others.


From Peter Russo:

SMP (metal fabrication in SF), Joel Hirschfeld (metal fabrication in Alameda), and Champion Powder Coating (in SF) are all great.

SMP is a full machine shop w/ CNC, water jet, etc., and Hirschfeld is more of a welding shop, but that base should be no problem for either.
Champion can powder coat just about anything, and they’re reasonably priced and easy to work with (and originally recommended to me by Kevin @ SMP, I think).

Standard Metal Products (SMP) / Kevin Binkert

Hirschfeld Fabrications / Joel Hirschfeld

Champion Powder Coating


From Anne Fletcher:

Oldani Art Studio in Oakland.
Don't let the name fool you.  They are artists, yes, but also mechanical engineers (sound familiar?) and primarily do custom steel fabrication for restaurants and other places where aesthetics matter.  Plasma cutting, welding, furniture, structural elements, etc.  

They can work from engineering drawings or napkin sketches.  Rates are reasonable, and depending on their load, turnaround can be quick.  They work closely with a powder coater, and can be a one-stop-shop.

Tell Luigi I sent you!


From Art Sandoval:

  Eclipse -  cheap, fast, you may need to stay on them if you need tight tolerances/complex assemblies, and they’d be ok doing small quantity, are often the best value
·        And I would second EM that is on the list – great consistency


*****************END OF EDMARK'S ADDITIONS***********************







Hello all,

A friend of mine here in New York is looking to get some smallish, complicated sheet metal parts prototyped. Laser cut probably with lots of bending.

Are there any online vendors out there–or Bay Area ones that can work well remotely? I suspect that there's not much here in New York...




Stephan von Muehlen

Director of Design and Co-Founder

EnergyHub, Inc.

t. 718.522.7051

e. vonmuehlen@energyhub.net





  1.  These guys rock!!!




    Super fast and not too expensive!  We’ve used them quite extensively and they usually turn stuff around in less than a week.



  2. Check out Brunk industries: http://www.brunk.com/index_medical.html



    Last year I used a shop up in Ithaca to do some small, somewhat simple, but precise 1/2 Hard stainless parts with multi-axis bends that they knocked out in 3 days (or thereabouts) and were spot on.:   1-607-277-7070



    They had a web front end on a human-arbitrated quoting system, so you could get a quote back faster if you called an hour or so after you submitted the CAD Solid Model.


    Brian Rulifson

    Consulting Product Design Engineer


  4. Hi Stephan,

    We've had good luck with www.DPT-Fast.com making some of those sheet metal parts that I showed you. They weren't cheap, but they had several tough bends and came out accurate. -- DPT-Fast are now QuickSheetMetal, part of QuickParts (edited 4/17/14)


    It's been a long time now, but I also had good luck with CNC punch press fabrication of sheet metal parts done by Babinec Sheet Metal http://babinecmetal.com/  They made a dozen LCD frames for me.


    David Cowan


    55 Washington Street, suite 654

    Brooklyn NY 11201

    718 260-0069

    815 328-2855 fax



  5. Stephan,

    I have used these guys quite a bit in the past for prototype sheet metal parts. 


    Small and precise are right up their alley.  They can work from 2D or 3D data and work well via email/FTP.


  6. I have just the guy for you.  His name is Tim.  He does really nice work.  He's great about working with you to make your parts easier/cheaper to put together.  They do exactly what you are asking for.
    "Tim Herlihy" <tim@creativemfgsol.com>
    Tell him I sent you.


    Chris Luomanen | Thing Tank LLC

    72 Missouri Street San Francisco CA 94107

    thing-tank.com | 415.335.0670

  7. Hey Stephan -

    Not sure how small or how complicated your parts are, but we've used Rapid Sheet Metal (www.rapidsheetmetal.com) for several projects in the past and they have been great for those.  I'm not sure how their prices compare to other shops (usually a couple hundred dollars per part), but they're reasonable for the quality we get back.  Their standard turnaround is about a week (a little more if you want powdercoating or silkscreening), but can do next day turnaround if you pay expedite fees.  They're in New Hampshire, too.


  8. Hey Stephan,


    I’d highly recommend using Rapid Sheet Metal in NH. They’ve done a bunch of complicated prototype sheetmetal for me over the years and they’re super-fast.




    Hope things are well with you!




  9. Hey Stephan,


    I’d highly recommend using Rapid Sheet Metal in NH. They’ve done a bunch of complicated prototype sheetmetal for me over the years and they’re super-fast.




    Hope things are well with you!



  10. Hello Stephan, 
    We have used Haig Precision for lots of proto sheet metal.   They are local here. 


          They have an online quote system. If you can design the part so that their CNC benders & punches can make it the prices are Unbelievable cheap. 


          Abraham Farag | CEO | Sparkfactor Design. 
          t. 866.969.7373 ext 89  | m.408.425.3962 | www.SparkfactorDesign.com
Flexible Product Design Resources


  1. effo steffo,
    i've had really good luck with EM manufacturing:
    they are super fast and work to match the net formed shape from your 3-D file (so you don't have to detail as rigorously in a drawing for prototypes).


  2. I am a big fan of Spacesonic.


    They are very capable, lots of lasers, NC press breaks, welding grinding, painting… Anything sheetmetal except plating and anodizing.

    NOTE: I have never actually made anything through them, but I have known them for a long time and they are good people.  (used to live very closeby in San Carlos)


  3. If there is prospect of production business of some volume try Estes Laser in Schaumburg Ill. 

    Estes Laser & Mfg Inc. 930 Lunt Ave, Schaumburg, IL 60193 (847) 301--8231 (no website that I can find, edited 4/17/14)

    Steve Tokarz runs the company and they do fantastic work and understand how to do quick temporary form tooling. Steve used to run the prototyping and short run production shop for Flextronics in Chicago. 

    -dave titzler




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