If you are designing a product, there will be many considerations to bear in mind at every stage. You must ensure that the product can do the intended job. You must check that each element of the design is robust enough to endure for the expected lifetime of the product. You may need to check that the aesthetic qualities of the product are suitable, particularly if the item will be used somewhere highly visible. Beyond these concerns, you must ensure that your chosen manufacturing company is capable of creating the product. It is frequently at the manufacturing stage that many otherwise good designs prove to be problematic.
What makes a good design?
If you are working with metal, a metal fabrication company must bend, cut, and shape the product to produce the desired finish. Metal fabrication may appear simple, but it relies on having the right equipment for the job. You may need a laser cutting machine to cut your chosen design into metal. You will probably need to have the metal drilled or bent into the final shape and perhaps have an oil or paint finish applied to the metal. For the metal fabrication company to meet those design requirements, they must work with the metal to create the product, and not all metals are equally easy to use. The company equipment must have the ability to work with the type and thickness of the metal you use, and their equipment must be able to do so in a readily repeatable way. Having a design that can only be successfully reproduced 80% of the time will lead to vast amounts of waste and push the overall costs much higher.
Which metal do you need?
While a metal fabrication company will be capable of working with most metals, they may suggest a particular metal for your project. Naturally, your engineering team will have chosen a metal because of the specific characteristics it possesses, such as strength, rigidity, cost, etc. What they may not have factored into their plans is workability. It is always worth bringing the metal fabrication company into the discussions at an earlier stage. They can explain the capabilities of their machines and talk about how the choice of metal could impact the project costs. If any parts of the suggested design could unduly affect the metal fabrication costs, they could suggest an alternative approach that achieves the same purpose at a lower cost or without such a time-consuming production method.