When To Consider Custom Aluminum Extrusions

When To Consider Custom Aluminum Extrusions

There are many different reasons why a project may call for the use of a custom extrusion. The most common issue is in a prototype development scenario where there is a need to design a specific type of channel, trim or component that simply does not currently exist.

The other consideration is in retrofits or rebuilds of older equipment or components. For example, in remodeling a classic vehicle, an older model of RV or trailer or even a boat, sign or fixture there may simply be no option to buy the original equipment or component. In this case, working with a company to recreate custom aluminum extrusions may be the best option.

The Cost Factor

It will be important consider the cost of custom aluminum extrusions regardless of why it is required. When it is a true custom project and a die does not exist to produce the desired shape or size the price for the extrusion will include the development of the die.

With new technology and 3D modeling and design programs, the cost of custom die production is lower than in the past. This will add to the cost of the project, but it will also produce a die that can be used for future production as needed.

In many cases, a top company offering custom aluminum extrusions will have access to a complete network of extrusion dies that are already available. It is possible for retrofit types of requests that an existing die is available, which will be beneficial in both cost reduction and the speed to be able to start production.

Fabrication Issues

One workaround to avoid having to use a custom extrusion process is to fabricate or modify an existing extrusion. This often seems like a simple solution, but it has its own hidden challenges and costs.

Modifying or fabricating with an existing extrusion results in a significant amount of waste in developing the exact shape and dimensions required. This is often very detailed work that takes time and machining or welding, which may mean hiring a metal working shop to complete the modifications. In some situations, this can result in delays, additional costs in shipping and manufacturing and increased difficulties in coordinating deliveries and getting the project done on time.

It is worth a bit of time to consider the options when a custom extrusion is required. Talking to a company specializing in aluminum extrusions to order will provide the information needed to make cost comparison and determine which is the right choice for the project.

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