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What kind of tolerances can be achieved with sheet metal fabrication?

The achievable tolerances in sheet metal fabrication depend on various factors such as the type of material, thickness, cutting method, forming method, and finishing processes.  Generally, sheet metal fabrication processes can achieve tolerances in the range of +/- 0.005 inches to +/- 0.125 inches.  However, it is important to note that achieving tight tolerances requires advanced techniques and precise equipment.


Here are some common tolerances achieved in sheet metal fabrication processes:


Laser cutting: +/- 0.002 inches to +/- 0.005 inches

Waterjet cutting: +/- 0.005 inches to +/- 0.030 inches

CNC punching: +/- 0.005 inches to +/- 0.010 inches

Bending: +/- 0.005 inches to +/- 0.010 inches

Welding: +/- 0.020 inches to +/- 0.050 inches


It is also important to note that achieving tight tolerances may increase the cost of the fabrication process, as it requires advanced equipment, skilled labor, and quality control measures.  Therefore, it is important to consider the desired tolerances and their impact on the final product's function and cost.


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