calculate sheet metal fabrication costs

How do you calculate sheet metal fabrication costs?

Sheet metal fabrication is one of the most popular manufacturing processes for prototyping and volume manufacturing of metal products. In today’s highly competitive market, understanding the cost structure of a product is critical to improving the process and the right pricing strategy. The cycle time, as well as the process of sheet metal fabrication, broadly consists of:cutting, roll forming, bending, welding, stamping, laser cutting, possible assembly of parts, painting, and packaging. We have broken down the various cost components through a comprehensive analysis, providing detailed calculations for each process (including CNC undercutting, bending, and surface painting) and providing a scientific approach to sheet metal fabrication costing.

What costs need to be considered for a sheet metal fabrication project?

Sheet metal fabrication is a cost-effective metal fabrication option. Still, some costs in the sheet metal fabrication process may increase or decrease the price of a project. Multiple processes may be required to realize a design that requires complex geometry or intricate shapes, which can add additional costs. The type of sheet metal chosen can also affect the price. Within the field of sheet metal fabrication, there is a very large selection of metals to choose from, each with unique properties that may or may not be suitable for a particular application. Depending on the material, a surface treatment may be required, which can also affect cost. Another factor that affects cost is the number of parts ordered. All those mentioned above are core factors that affect the final cost of a sheet metal fabrication project.

Calculation of Sheet Metal Quote

Sheet metal fabrication prices are based on job time:

Laser cutting is $8/minute, and each small hole is calculated at $1.

CNC Pricing: $5/minute

CNC bending pricing: $1 per side, double for large sides.

Cold work welding costs $70 per day, based on 50 kilograms per working day.

The above calculations require a high level of general quality and understanding of industry dynamics but are difficult to operate.

stainless steel laser cutting cost

The sheet metal calculations below are empirical formulas that do not take into account the manufacturing process:

Material price = Reaming and punching kilograms x market material price.

Processing Cost Calculation: without considering the process, taxes, management costs, and freight.

Benchmark calculation: 3200RMB/T cold rolled steel plate t=2.0 1804-m 7 grade IT7.

Cold work processing cost: 8.0~8.4RMB/KG, workers’ work output of 50KG or more per work.

Cold work includes:Grinder cutting, Old-fashioned shearing machines, Old-fashioned bending machines, Flame piercing, Old-fashioned electric welding, An outsourcing price of 7.2~7.5 RMB/KG.

The above processing factor base is set to 1.

For CNC plate cutting, punching, CNC bending, and CO 2 shielded welding, the outsourcing cost is 2.5~3.5, and the factors are considered according to the number of processes and complexity.

Laser cutting is twice as much as punching:

When the plate is not equal to 2, the processing cost is calculated as equal to 2.

When the plate is less than 1.2, the processing cost is multiplied by 2.5 to 3.5.

When the market price of the material fluctuates, the processing cost basis remains the same.

If the sheet metal is fully assembled and not welded, the count factor is multiplied by 0.75 to 0.85, which is generally larger;

If the tolerance grade is increased to 1804-f, the count factor is multiplied by 1.5 to 2;

For batch deburring and passivation, the counting factor is multiplied by 1.1 to 1.5;

Surface spraying price of 20 ~ 30 yuan / m 2;

Surface three-layer paint processing price of 15 to 20 yuan / m 2;

If there are special requirements and manufacturing difficulties, the rate of the finished product must be considered and must be multiplied by the rate of the finished product coefficient;

The above appraisal price is the standard appraisal price, i.e., the scrap rate is within 3%, and the profit is about 28%35%.

After the deduction of taxes, the profit is about 18%23%.

Where there is a profit requirement, the corresponding multiplier factor must not be less than 1.75.


Sheet metal is a cost-effective and versatile product manufacturing process for companies engaged in manufacturing. This article focuses on the core factors affecting sheet metal manufacturing costs and provides reference calculations and formulas based on our many years of experience in the industry. Hopefully, this will help you quickly understand the cost of sheet metal fabrication to select the right manufacturer and pricing range for your product.

Estimating sheet metal fabrication costs is no longer complicated when working with us. We have expert engineers who have been involved in sheet metal fabrication for more than a decade. In addition, we offer specialized sheet metal fabrication services such as CNC machining, aluminum extrusion, and surface treatment. Therefore, if you need any related support, please get in touch with us.

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