Working with metal sheet can be exciting for DIY enthusiasts due to the material's versatility. Unlike other types of materials commonly used by DIY enthusiasts, sheet metal can easily bend depending on the shape you want it to take. However, achieving the required form for each project requires a bit of not only skill but also strategic decision making in your choice of sheet metal fabrication equipment.
That being said, although various metal fabrication tools can achieve bending of a piece of metal, the ease of producing the curves depends on factors like shape variation. This article articulates the different scenarios you could use a particular fabricating tool over another.
A roll former is a metal fabrication machine that allows continuous bending of a long strip of sheet metal. As the piece of sheet metal passes through rollers mounted at various points on the equipment, it is gradually bent. If your DIY project requires longer sheets of bent metal, then a roll former is the right metal fabrication machine you should hire.
Additionally, if your project requires large numbers of identically curved metal sheets without compromising on the consistency of the curves, a roll former is the best equipment to achieve the objective. Furthermore, due to the uniformity in the calibration of the machine, the tool gives you an opportunity for mass production, which has a more promising commercial viability as opposed to single-unit production.
There are DIY projects that are more complex and require a lot of different bending on the same sheet of metal. In such a case, it would render unproductive to use a roll former. A press brake, therefore, unlike the previously mentioned fabrication machine, is best used for projects that require the production of smaller, non-identical fabrications. For instance, if you have bought a new air conditioning unit and want to use a square duct instead of a circular shaped one, a press break would be the ideal choice to shape your sheet of metal. It is because such a project requires the bending of sheet metal at various points along the strip.
Moreover, the myriad of bend capabilities offered by the press brake makes it the best choice of equipment for specialty bending. Most importantly, however, is that you should only use a press brake machine when your objective is to produce different parts of a component. Additionally, when you want to get creative with your DIY project, the press brake allows you to fabricate metal required for niche applications due to the dexterity of the tool.