The concept behind custom fabrication is not existing pattern and material repetition; it’s all about designing something new. In custom fabrication, designers must combine functionality with form. They need to consider material limitations and work with existing systems. Most important, designers must determine the best ways to fabricate products at fair costs with minimal trial and error. Design, construction, and final delivery or installation are all part of this process, requiring careful consideration when hiring design firm professionals to handle your custom fabrications. Four initial short list factors when hiring a company for your custom design needs should include:
- Skill set
Work with custom fabrication company leaders who hire designers with various skill sets. Can they show you samples from similar jobs? Do they have references from comparable project types? Do they design with skilled CAD or CAM skills — or do you need to bring your designs to them?
Also consider the materials your fabrications require. Do the designers have experience using the materials you need? Can they work with the size specifications your jobs require? In researching firms, determine if employees have worked on similar parts for other uses.
Do fabricators paint and finish the final products in-house? Does their work include installation? Do they guarantee their work or have an in-service warranty?
Employees at the company you work with should accurately estimate and track the time it takes from design to final shipment or parts installation. Professional fabricators will know the ins and outs of what it will take to make your custom builds because they need to know how they will impact and flow with the rest of their business.
Be aware that a delivery time frame needs to include creation, modification, testing, and final product preparation. Asking the fabrication company employees to produce designs in less time than normal could mean eliminating process steps. Short-cutting can lead to additional delays and potential flaws in custom products, so make sure you prioritize getting these jobs done right along with how long they will take and the cost to get them done.