When you order parts made with Xometry's Sheet Cutting manufacturing service, we offer several part processing and finishing options to meet your needs. The sections below will cover some of these options in detail.
At our discretion, the parts may be tabbed together on the source sheet, to each other, or to a support structure. You are then responsible for separating the parts from the sheet. Laser and waterjet cut parts may have fine burrs after cutting.
As Cut is a good choice when you want to save money, when the parts are not going to be touched or seen, or when you wish to do your own finishing on the parts.
Note: In some cases, the parts may arrive detabbed if we feel it’s easier to make or ship them that way, but this is not guaranteed unless you order one of the detabbing options.
Example of as cut parts attached to stainless steel source sheet:
Note the burrs visible inside the “X,” typical of laser cutting.
Note the burrs along the cut line, as well as burrs caused by laser spatter (slag) in this part.
These may be present unless the deburring option is chosen.
With this option, your parts will be guaranteed to be separated from each other. There may be a leftover vestigial tab from where the parts were connected to the source material sheet (see below).
Separated can save you a lot of time from manually de-tabbing parts, especially when your parts are made from thicker material, and you’re not concerned with burrs.
Note: Laser and waterjet cut parts may have fine burrs after cutting (see the section on As Cut).
Separated with Tabs Removed
As with the Separated option, parts will be guaranteed to be separated from each other; however, with Separated with Tabs Removed, the tab will be ground off. This saves you time manually de-tabbing parts and removes the tab when it’s not needed for fitment or other purposes.
Note: Laser and waterjet cut parts may have fine burrs after cutting (see the section on As Cut). The area where tabs are ground or sanded off may have a slightly different texture or appearance than the rest of the part.
Separated with Basic Surface Cleanup
This option is recommended for parts that will be handled or used in mechanical applications where burrs could become problematic, such as with aerospace or medical-industry parts. Parts will be separated, the tab will be ground off, and all burrs will be removed, including laser spatter (slag).
Additionally, a simple surface cleanup will be performed on all parts to mitigate handling scratches, discoloration due to the laser process, etc. The parts will be cleaned with an appropriate solvent, such as water, isopropyl alcohol, or acetone, to remove any surface debris and surface markings from the material manufacturer.
The surface finishing method used will be at Xometry’s discretion and may include hand sanding, tumbling, bead blasting, or using a finishing machine. If there is a particular surface finish you need for your parts, choose one from the finish drop-down menu.
Note: When you choose a finish other than Standard (e.g., anodized or powder coated), Separated with Basic Surface Cleanup will be applied automatically.
Other Bare Metal Surface Finishes
For the best possible appearance on bare metal parts, you may wish to add an additional mechanical surface finish such as Bead Blasted or Tumbled. Keep in mind that for these or for any finish that is chosen from the Finish list, the Separated with Basic Surface Cleanup de-tabbing process will be applied automatically.
Parts are finished in a blasting cabinet with a high-pressure stream of fine glass beads, typically using 80-grit media applied between 70-100 psi. This gives the surface of the parts a uniform matte or satin-like cosmetic appearance.
We do not recommend glass bead blasting before applying chemically processed coatings such as anodizing and chem-film, as glass beads can become embedded into the surface, interfering with their application.
Parts are finished in a vibratory or rotary tumbler with tumbling media. This provides an even stippled finish over the face of the entire part. It also tends to round sharp corners and edges.
In addition to mechanical finishes, we offer other options for metals such as anodizing, chem-film, metal plating, electropolishing, powder coating, and more! Visit our Metal Finishes Gallery for examples and learn more about our other metal finishes.
Visit our Sheet Cutting Services page to learn more about Xometry's sheet metal offerings.