Category Archive: Metal Spinning

Emerging Trends in Metal Spun Products

Metal spinning, or turning, has a long history in metalworking processes. It is generally used to create pieces with cylindrical, conical, or domed shapes by rotating a flat piece of sheet metal on a mandrel at high speed. Tooling is used to shape and remove material until the desired form, profile, and thickness are achieved. The process can be done manually or with the aid of CNC machines and robotics.

Metal spinning continues to evolve and expand into new applications, and here we’ll examine its role in some emerging manufacturing trends including sustainability, compatibility with additive manufacturing, and its use in different industries.

Focus on Sustainable Manufacturing

Growing demand for sustainable manufacturing has an impact on the metal spinning industry. Many of the materials that are processed by spinning are recyclable, meeting the demand for environmentally-conscious manufacturing from customers and end-users. Metal spinning also generates low amounts of waste, and those scraps can be recycled.

Spun or turned components can be made from lightweight aluminum and are widely used in the aerospace and automotive industries. These components are durable, corrosion resistant, and contribute to improved fuel efficiency due to their low weight. Other materials, such as brass, copper, steel, and stainless steel are used frequently for roofing, fixtures, HVAC, lighting, and industrial equipment parts. These metals can also be recycled for improved sustainability.

Rise of Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, is a popular method of creating intricate or complex metal components with powdered metals. However, it is not always suited to high-volume production or making parts with perfectly smooth edges and surfaces. Metal spinning is a cost-effective and time-efficient process that can be used in combination with 3D printing or as an alternative to it.

Consider these factors when comparing these two methods:

  • Design freedom: Additive manufacturing uses a digital design file to create parts by depositing layer upon layer of material, allowing for complex and intricate structures. Spinning can also create components with intricate or complex profiles, smooth surfaces inside and out, and precise thicknesses.
  • Reduced waste: Additive manufacturing uses powdered metal materials in the precise amount necessary to print the component or product. Metal spinning is a subtractive manufacturing process, which generates metal scraps. Both types of materials can be reused; however, sheet metal scraps require processing to reuse.
  • Customization: Both processes can be used for small-batch or single-item manufacturing. Metal spinning can also accommodate high-volume production with automated tooling, and by eliminating the cure time common with 3D printed parts.
  • Complementary and hybrid approaches: Additive manufacturing is a good choice for prototyping and low-volume production prior to scaling up a project for production by spinning. What’s more, 3D-printed parts can be readily smoothed or polished to a critical finish with metal spinning. It’s also possible to use 3D printing to produce complex, custom, or specialized tooling used in metal spinning operations.

Growing Demand in Diverse Industries

Many industries depend on metal spun products, parts, and components, including:

  • Construction: Architectural elements such as decorative pieces, lighting fixtures, and roofing components can be made by spinning sheets of copper, steel, or brass.
  • Aerospace: Metal spinning can produce components with a high strength-to-weight ratio, such as aircraft engine components, fuel tanks, and rocket nozzles.
  • Automotive: Components such as lighting parts, exhaust systems, and wheel covers for the automotive industry can be created with aluminum and other metal spinning.
  • Electronics: Functional electronics components such as heat sinks and enclosures can be produced using metal spinning.
  • Medical: Metal spinning is ideal for producing sterile containers, medical equipment parts, and instrument housings with stainless steel and other metals.

We can expect metal spinning to remain a standard method of manufacturing in these and other industries.

Metal Spun Products From Metal Craft

Metal spinning is an environmentally friendly, cost-effective, and efficient manufacturing method. It is a trusted and reliable stand-alone process or it can be used in conjunction with additive manufacturing and other operations to create high-quality products.

Metal Craft provides metalworking services that include metal spinning as well as 5-axis laser cutting; progressive, deep draw, and fourslide stamping; finishing and cleaning services; and engineering support. We work with aluminum, brass, copper, steel, and stainless steel materials and use CNC and other automated equipment for reliable results.

Contact us to request a quote for your next project.

Hand Spinning vs. CNC Spinning

Metal spinning is a rimless metalworking technique that stretches back from the era of artisans and craftsmen in the past to today’s mass manufacturers. While techniques in the past were forged in manual work, modern processes use a combination of both hand spinning and processes governed by CNC machinery. By rotating a metal workpiece at high speeds around a fixed axis, metal-spinning tools can cut and shape the metal into an axially symmetrical product. In mass manufacturing, the first stages of metal spinning are completed by automated machines before being finished by hand. This process is popular across multiple different industries. 

In this guide, learn more about the similarities, differences, and applications of both hand spinning and CNC spinning processes.

Hand Spinning vs. CNC Spinning: Similarities

Metal SpinningBoth hand and CNC spinning operate off of the same basic principles. They transform workpieces of metal into a range of shapes, such as tubes, bell-shaped parts, and spherical components along a fixed axis of symmetry. Both processes are also fast, which make them especially advantageous for creating prototypes. 

In fact, spinning is one of the fastest processes for forming metal goods; other popular processes such as metal stamping can’t keep up. This increases the efficiency of spinning-based production processes, as does the minimal amount of waste the process creates.

Hand Spinning vs. CNC Spinning: Differences

hand spinningHand and CNC-spinning processes do have some crucial differences that you can use to determine which is the right fit for your next project. 

Hand spinning is a much more manual process than its modern CNC alternative. The technician controls the spinning speed while operating forming forces to produce the final shape. This allows for fine-tuned control and artistry. It’s also more cost-effective for the production of prototypes, unique pieces, and small-volume orders. 

Because hand operators exert less force on the metal, it also tends to be used with fragile or ductile metal that need a more delicate touch like O-tempered aluminum and some stainless steels. It’s also the preferred choice for precious and semi-precious metals.

CNC-metal spinning, on the other hand, is controlled predominantly by automated CNC machinery. These machines interpret instructions from a design file and follow those strict steps to create virtually identical part after part. The machinery controls hydraulic presses that force the metal workpiece into shape, and it determines how long the hydraulics are engaged and how fast the workpiece spins. It offers complete accuracy in a way manually controlled processes can’t guarantee.

Because of this consistency, CNC spinning is the preferred choice for manufacturing products that need high volumes of identical parts within strict tolerances. CNC machinery can also exert more force through the hydraulic presses, making it a superior choice for hard materials that are difficult to form. However, it can also handle metals with >2% ductility.

Hand Spinning vs. CNC Spinning: Applications

Hand-spinning processes commonly form these products:

  • Beverage can prototypes
  • Satellite parts
  • Aircraft parts
  • Semiconductor manufacturing equipment parts
  • Antennas

CNC spinning processes are used to form large volumes of high-precision products in these industries:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Clothing
  • Food and beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Military components
  • Mining

Contact Us at Metal Craft S&S for High-Quality Metal Spinning

Both hand spinning and CNC spinning processes can craft high-quality metal products across multiple different industries. At Metal Craft S&S, we offer hand spinning and CNC spinning services. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or request a quote for pricing details.

The Value of a Custom Metal Spinning and Stamping Partner for Commercial and Industrial Lighting Needs

Lighting is a critical element of industrial and commercial facilities. In addition to illuminating working and living spaces, it is used to encourage purchasing behaviors in consumers, establish conditions that boost employee alertness, morale, and productivity, and create areas within facilities that are both functional and aesthetic. The design, configuration, and luminescence level of a lighting system are generally tailored to accommodate the unique requirements and restrictions of the specific application.Commercial Lighting

The following article outlines the differences between the lighting systems used in commercial and industrial facilities with regard to the applications in which they are used. It also provides an overview of the custom lighting products and engineering capabilities available at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping.

Commercial Lighting Applications vs. Industrial Lighting Applications

Industrial Lighting As indicated above, lighting systems are used in commercial and industrial environments. While commercial and industrial lighting systems consist of the basic same components, they are used in different types of facilities for different purposes. For example, in the commercial sector, lighting systems are often used in the following facilities for the following purposes:

  • Government institutions to brighten areas highly trafficked areas such as lobbies, hallways, and halls
  • Hospitals to improve employee visibility during delicate procedures and ensure personnel remain awake and alert
  • Offices to keep employees alert and encourage productivity
  • Retail stores to create bright and inviting environments for customers
  • Roads and sidewalks to improve visibility for drivers and walkers
  • Schools, colleges, and universities to provide lighting conditions that improve the functional and aesthetic qualities of the various areas

In the industrial sector, lighting systems are often found in the following types of facilities:

  • Chemical manufacturing plants
  • Ethanol plants
  • Grain processing/storage locations
  • Inspection/defect detection areas
  • Loading/unloading areas such as loading docks
  • Manufacturing and warehousing facilities
  • Marine locations such as coastal facilities, oil rigs, and ships and shipyards
  • Mines
  • Outdoor stadiums, arenas, and sports fields
  • Paint/power/blast booth facilities
  • Petrochemical plants
  • Pulp/paper mills
  • Water and wastewater treatment plants
  • Wet/damp areas such as elevator pits, food and beverage processing plants, and wash bays
  • Woodworking shops

Custom Lighting Products at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

At Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping, we specialize in manufacturing custom metal components for customers across a wide range of industries. We’ve produced lighting fixtures and lighting reflectors for industrial and commercial lighting systems for over 50 years. This extensive experience, combined with our state-of-the-art metalworking equipment, allows us to deliver solutions for highly specific or unique lighting applications.

Metal Spinning Lighting

While we generally use aluminum for our lighting components due to its light material weight and reflective surface, we can also accommodate brass, copper, stainless steel, and cold-rolled steel. We also offer plating, anodizing, and metalizing services to customize the lighting fixture or reflector to meet the customer’s exact needs.

Engineering Capabilities at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

Equipped with several years of industry experience, our engineering experts have the knowledge and skills to help customers bring their lighting concepts to life. Our engineering capabilities include:

  • Design assistance. We provide advice and support throughout the design process to ensure the final product meets your needs. We accept a number of different file formats to make it easy for you to submit your designs.
  • Reverse engineering. If you have a preexisting design or product, we can reverse engineer the design so you can modify or refine it to better suit your current specifications and standards and/or reduce production costs.
  • Value engineering. Upon request, our engineering team can evaluate your existing products and services to determine whether it could and should be optimized to improve functionality and/or production and operating costs.

Custom Industrial and Commercial Lighting Solutions at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

If you need custom metal components for your industrial or commercial lighting system, Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping is here to help. Equipped with decades of metalworking experience, we can produce lighting fixtures and reflectors in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit nearly any lighting system. To learn more about our manufacturing capabilities for lighting systems or discuss your application requirements with one of our experts, contact us today.

Why Use Metal Spinning for Furniture Applications?

Furniture Metal Spinning

Metal furniture and fixtures offer stability and strength, especially for rounded bases and tubular structures. Metal spinning—also known as spin forming or metal turning—is a technique that shapes these parts by taking a flat piece of metal, usually in the form of a disc, and molding it to fit a form as that form and disc spin at high speed. 

These spun-metal products have clean, sleek lines and smooth surfaces that are strong and durable. They are commonly used in many decorative items and commercial and industrial products, ranging from lamp bases to candlesticks to furniture and table legs. Metal spinning is a highly customizable process, allowing both artisans and automated lines to produce accurate forms.

Why the Furniture Industry Uses Metal Spinning

Metal spinning is a perfect match for the furniture industry, as there is little to no waste  (cutting, grinding, etc) when metal is spun into a shape. The process of metal spinning for furniture is relatively swift, if automated, and produces durable items.

You can create almost any rounded shape with metal spinning as long as you find a suitable blank form. The spinning can be done by hand to form unique items or by mass production to create several identical forms of one shape. Either way, the process is very versatile and cost-effective. For the furniture industry in particular, metal spinning produces aesthetically pleasing pieces without breaking a company’s budget. This is essential for furniture manufacturers who want to mass-produce items.

How Metal Spinning Is Used in the Furniture World


Any time you see a rounded base or a tubular structure made of metal, especially steel, copper, brass, alloys, or aluminum, you’re likely looking at a piece that was formed through metal spinning. These include bases for:

  • Lamps
  • Flag Poles
  • Crowd barriers
  • Stools, chairs, and table legs
  • Display stands
  • Lids (e.g., metal trash can lids)

Metal spinning is also used for tubular lamp shapes, candlesticks, vases, and similar items.

Metal spinning using CNC machinery is another matter. This combination of metal spinning and computer-controlled tools produces nearly identical items with specifications that are all within a certain tolerance. This is the path you want to take if your company plans to mass-produce items for sale.

Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping for All Your Metal Spinning Needs

You can form round bases and tube-like forms for furniture and fixtures through a number of methods, but metal spinning offers the best value. It is efficient and allows individuals and companies to create products that are both attractive and practical. 

Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping provides metalworking services in both the U.S. and Canada

Contact Us today to learn more about the metal spinning process or to get started on your next furniture project!


Metal Spun Bases; What You Need to Know

metal-spinning-stoolMetal spinning is a technique for fabricating parts with a circular cross-section from a flat metal disc or cylinder. Metal spinning is also often referred to as spin forming or metal turning. Metal spinning is commonly used in the fabrication of various metallic bases for a wide variety of commercial and industrial goods.

Where Are Metal Spun Bases Used?

Metal spun bases are a natural fit for applications requiring a symmetrical, round component as a base or for finishing. They are widely used in the following applications:

  • Bases for mannequins and display stands in the clothing industry
  • Flag stands, pole bases, or fencing bases for construction projects
  • Bases for chairs, tables, bar stools, and various restaurant furniture
  • Display cases and stands in grocery and retail stores

Aluminum, brass, copper, steel and metallic alloys are all used to make spun bases. Metal spinning with computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines can produce various bases from any of these metals with strict tolerances.

Furniture manufacturing uses metal spun bases for their visual appeal as well as robustness. Steel is usually the metal of choice for furniture manufacturing due to its machinability and strength. Steel parts are also very durable even under fluctuating ambient conditions and high loads. Furthermore, steel parts have an appealing finish that can be maintained for a long time through simple and easy cleaning methods.

Aluminum and brass are used for products that need a high polish—aluminum is used for commercial products while brass is more suitable for decorative purposes. Copper is appropriate for light fixtures and roofing parts due to its high thermal conductivity.

Advantages of Metal Spinning

The main advantages of metal spinning are as follows:

  • Low waste. Spinning generates much less waste than other manufacturing methods and the generated scrap can be easily retained and recycled. This is true for manual spinning as well as precision spinning with CNC machines.
  • Reduced costs. Spinning tools cost a much less than the tools used in other manufacturing processes, giving metal spinning a cost advantage over competitive forming methods.
  • Durability. Spun parts are essentially a single piece with no seams which makes them very sturdy and durable.
  • Speed. The short turnaround time and flexibility of the spinning process makes it an attractive and economical process for volumes ranging from prototyping through high volume production.
  • Versatility. Though the process is simple, it can be used for fabricating a wide variety of shapes. Basic spun shapes such as dishes, domes, flanges, hemispheres, and whole spheres can be combined to make more complicated shapes. A virtually endless variety of products of differing shapes, sizes, and finishes can be fabricated when spinning is used in combination with welding.

Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping has been in the metal spinning business for more than 50 years. We are skilled at hand spinning, as well as spinning with modern CNC machines. We also have in-house hydraulic metal stamping presses, enabling us to meet a broad variety of metal forming needs. Metal Craft can be your one-stop shop for bases, stands, and other metal products.

Contact Us today with information about your  next project.


5 Tips to Optimize Your Metal Spinning Design

Similar to the way a potter fashions a bowl or vase from clay on a spinning pottery wheel, metal can be spun on manual or CNC lathe to produce a variety of parts and components. Metal spinning is an advantage when you need seamless items or particularly strong structural parts. The process is ideal for production volumes ranging from short-lead prototypes to mass production.

With metal spinning, pieces of flat circular metal are carefully shaped into disks that can be further modified to make common items such as:

  • Stainless steel bowls
  • Commercial lighting
  • Brass instruments
  • Gas cylinders
  • HVAC Parts
  • Roofing parts
  • Aerospace parts
  • Satellite dishes

Exact shaping of the metal is dependent on additional tools used with the lathe, such as the complex rollers that smooth the metal form over mandrels. Nearly any type of metal can be used for metal spinning, including brass, copper, aluminum, carbon steel, stainless steel, or titanium. When cold form manipulation doesn’t produce optimal results, heat can be applied to improve the workability of the metal as it is spun.

Best results may be achieved by carefully following the best practices for metal spinning planning and design.

1. Define Object Function

If you don’t know exactly what you’re designing, you’re more likely to waste time and materials during the spinning process. It’s important to note that metal can only be spun on both circular or semi-circular shapes, so the process can, in fact, work for designs that require sharp corners. Once the final goal is determined, a design can be created that will leverage metal spinning’s precision and customizability.

2. Pick Your Material

Metal spinning works with a variety of metals, but selecting the appropriate materials for your specific job will ensure the best results and minimize wasted metal. Different metals can have vastly different end results, depending on the thickness you wish to achieve. 

Very small changes in diameter or thickness can make a part unusable for your engineering project. In addition, some metals are more likely to get rigid as they are spun. Knowing what metal is best for your application and using a material that’s well-suited to your needs will ensure optimal end results.

3. Consider Material Thickness

Depending on the type of metal you use and the height of the sidewalls, the sidewalls of your object will thin and could vary as much as 25%. You’ll need to carefully consider the amount of pressure you apply from the mandrel to the raw metal.

A larger corner radius will be easier to create and stronger than using tighter corners, so you’ll want to avoid sharp corners in your finished part. The formed radius of the end object should be at least 2–3 times the material thickness for best results. The radius in the corners can in some cases equal the metal thickness, but may vary as much as 30%. The thickness of the bottom will be of equal thickness to the original metal blank.

4. Specify Your Tolerances

Metal spun parts don’t necessarily need consistent thickness throughout. Designs should also note that part diameter can be impacted by roundness and flatness. In parts that are less than 1 foot in diameter, a tolerance of +/- 0.005 inches may be achieved. Less than that diameter, you can expect +/- 0.01 inches, while 2–4 feet requires +/- 0.02 inches and 4–8 feet must have a tolerance of +/- 0.03 inches.

Manufacturing your metal-spun part from a tolerance of +/- 0 .01 of an inch for every foot in diameter is an achievable goal.

5. Cost Factors

Many metal forming methods are not cost effective at low volumes, but you can save time and money by metal spinning prototypes or a short runs. A cost/benefit analysis can help you identify savings for your unique design, especially considering different tolerances or sizes. Creating parts is fast with metal spinning so lead times may be shorter, but it’s important to create a design that facilitates fast and accurate production.

Parts created through metal spinning can be made smaller if needed and are often stronger than those created through other processes. Spinning may improve the properties of the raw metal by aligning the grain structures of the metal more advantageously for your application. Depending on the exact use case, metal spinning can be a more cost-effective way to create one-off parts and prototypes than other metal forming methods.

Metal Spinning from Metal Craft S&S

Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that specializes in the production of high-quality parts for our customers across the United States and North America. If you’re ready to bring your metal spinning design to life, please request a quote to get started.

Advantages of CNC Metal Spinning vs. 3D Printing 


cnc-metal-spinningCNC metal spinning and 3D printing are two manufacturing techniques used to create identical custom parts. While the end products can often appear similar, the mechanisms behind the processes and the quality of the end products are vastly different. Before finalizing your next part design or production order, it is important to know and consider the differences between the speed and price of two processes so that your team can choose the right manufacturing method for your application.

Speed & Price

First and foremost, metal spinning outperforms any existing 3D printing methods in both turnover rate and unit cost for both long and short run orders. 

CNC spinning operations can form a product according to the designs faster than 3D printers can build the parts from an existing blank. 3D printed parts have to be run through additional steps before they are ready for distribution. These additional steps include removing supports required during the creation process, washing and polishing the products, and a curing period (to ensure the product is solid and the layers bind together). 

The additional processing required for 3D printed parts increases the turnaround time, making 3D printing less efficient and cost-effective than CNC metal spinning. When speed matters, CNC spinning is the better choice. With this process, operators can also control production time by prioritizing speed over accuracy and vice versa.

CNC metal spinning is also the ideal choice for mass production. 3D printed pieces cost the same per unit, which can offer some advantages for prototyping and small orders. However, it is not suitable for large production runs. CNC spinning, on the other hand, is a process that can quickly scale up for lower per unit prices on larger orders.

Size, Precision, and Purpose

3d-printingCNC metal spinning is a forming process that takes a stock piece of material, or blank, and forms the material to reach the final design. 3D printing, on the other hand, is an additive process that builds the product layer by layer. Although the characteristics of each process make them suitable for particular applications, CNC Metal Spinning offers advantages over 3D printing in regards to size, precision, and purpose.


Industrial and commercial equipment, engines, and machinery are large systems that require proportionally large components. While CNC metal spinning processes can quickly produce large and heavy parts, as an additive process, 3D printing is less suitable for producing large parts as the material layering process takes considerably more time than the material removal process used in CNC spinning. Although 3D printed products can be scaled up from small prototypes, they generally do not exceed the dimensions of a small refrigerator.


CNC machine tools produce smoother edges and surfaces compared to those produced by 3D printing processes, enabling the production of higher quality parts that do not require further processing operations. 


Due to their rougher finish and other limitations, 3D printed components work best as fit and finish parts. On the other hand, the smoothness of CNC spun parts’ surface enables them to be used with precision components and tools.

Contact Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping Today to Receive a Quote

CNC metal spinning outperforms 3D printing when it comes to speed, precision, and smoothness. It is suitable for manufacturing large and heavy components and large production runs. Even with Selective Laser Melting (SLM) 3D printing technology, which allows for the creation of metal products, the results cannot match the accuracy and speed of CNC spinning

Since 1964, Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping has provided CNC metal spinning capabilities for the manufacturing of metal components. 

Request a quote or Contact Us today to get started on your next metal spinning, stamping,


Why Metal Spinning Is the Optimal Choice for Your Roof Drains This Season

Metal Spinning Roof Drains vs. Multiple Welded Pieces

Automated metal spinning from a certified metal spinning supplier is indispensable for producing roofing parts such as roof drains, and here are the top reasons why, below:


  1. It is more cost effective than multi-part drains, as the production time is significantly shorter, and there are fewer materials involved with the metal spinning process. It is also more versatile, less time consuming, and design changes are easily
  2. Metal Spinning roof drains also prevents any possibility of leakage from damage caused by inclement weather or improper welding of multiple pieces.
  3. The automated metal spinning process also allows the cylindrical roof drain component to perform in all conditions and bears no welding line, ensuring optimal strength and appearance.

This low-cost process efficiently allows you to create large volumes of cylindrical roofing components with minimal waste, and the innovative design from its tooling allows easy changes to be made to the production process at minimal expense.

Contact us or Request a Quote today to see more about our metal spinning roof drain solutions.

The 411 on Roof Drains at Metal Craft Spinning and Stamping

Over time a flat roof may collect too much water, which will cause flooding.  You can easily prevent this by installing a roof drain. Roof drains are used to convey stormwater from the roof to the retaining area or the drainage sewer. Stormwater is generally received from the roof drains and moved to one of three places:

  1. Your city’s sewer system
  2. A retention pond or reservoir
  3. Left on the ground to naturally evaporate

Automated metal spinning can create roofing drains with a wide range of diameters as well, which is why manufacturers use metal spinning to build roofing products for all shapes, materials, and applications.

Custom Roof Drain Solutions at Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping

Roof drains formed by automated metal spinning can be made of several different types of materials, but aluminum roof drains are by far the most common option.

It is relatively inexpensive but provides solid protection against leakage, and the material allows for inexpensive, high-volume production with shorter turnaround time for your next project, no matter what your required volume.

Metal Craft Spinning & Stamping has been a premier metal spinning supplier for roof drains for commercial and industrial markets to protect your roofing since 1969, and now employs two robots fully dedicated to the automated production of these components.

This allows for quick turnaround times and high-volume orders with virtually zero deficiency kickback. For 50 years, we have offered our clients high-quality products and premier customer service.

Contact us or Request a Quote today to see more about our metal spinning roof drain solutions. Our team experts are happy to assist you!

metal-spinningClick Here to download our free ebook, Metal Spinning: The Optimal Choice for Your Roofing Parts To read more about the benefits of Metal-spinning for your business.

Bringing Metal Spinning to The Modern Age

Metal spinning has evolved significantly over the years. Though the concept remains the same, modern equipment and advanced technology have transformed the process into a more viable and affordable option for the manufacturing industry.


What Is Metal Spinning?

is known by many names, such as spin forming, spinning, and metal turning. Regardless of the name used, it is a metal forming process which rotates a tube or disc of metal at a high rate of speed to produce hollow objects or components. A common factor in these hollow objects is their typically circular cross section. 

The best uses of metal spinning include creating prototypes and manufacturing parts which require high internal and external pressures. 

Traditional Metal Spinning Process

The basic concepts of the metal spinning process have not changed a great deal since spinning was first introduced as a manufacturing tool. The essential steps include: 

  • Mounting a mandrel chuck on the headstock of the lathe.
  • Mounting a follower block to the tailstock.
  • Clamping of a circular blank by advancing the follower.
  • Pressure is applied to the blank via a roller or other forming tool on the lever arms, using the tool rest and pin to provide scissor-like support and leverage to the lever arms.
  • The roller moves across the blank in a series of passes until it forms the completed part.

Modernization of Metal Spinning

metal spinning automation Manual metal spinning, which came to North America in the early 1800s, has evolved into a more modern process. The technological advances of our modern age have combined to automate the process, making it faster and improving repeatability. As such, automation has made metal spinning an even more reliable and cost-effective manufacturing option. 

Automated metal spinning makes use of computer numerical control (CNC) in place of hand spinning. CNC is a method of subtractive manufacturing technology, which follows a computer aided design (CAD) model along with a variety of cutting tools to remove material from a blank in order to produce the desired component. The major advantages of CNC spinning over hand spinning include: 

  • Higher level of accuracy and consistency over an entire production run
  • The mitigation of human error risks through the autonomy of CNC machining and reduced touches.
  • The necessity of fewer personnel for high capacity production runs
  • 24/7 operation using machines, which cuts back on manpower and operating costs. 

Besides these advantages, CNC metal spinning allows for the turning of a broader range of materials than hand spinning, including less malleable materials. The materials formed using CNC spinning include: 

metal spinning automationThis broad range of metals allows for a wider variety of manufacturing options and broadens the range of potential industrial applications which the process might serve. With CNC providing a more cost-effective option for producing parts, along with greater accuracy and consistency, it makes good business sense to incorporate it into your fabrication process when relevant to your design. 

Metal Craft specializes in the manufacturing of metal components of all shapes and sizes utilizing the metal spinning process. Contact our engineering department today to see how we can assist you in completing your project with metal spinning.

Spinning, Stamping, and Hydroforming: Which Works Best for Your Application?

Most manufacturers consider metal spinning, metal stamping, and hydroforming to be specialized and narrowly focused processes, but actually, these metal-forming methods are used in industries as varied as commercial construction, interior design, heating and climate control, and agriculture. Manufacturers use spinning, stamping, and hydroforming methods for products ranging from satellite dishes to funeral urns.

Understanding the benefits of each process as well as where they overlap will help you decide which metal forming technique best suits your application. Below, we’ve assembled an overview of the three main metal forming practices, and we also outline the ways they could benefit your production line.

Metal Spinning

Metal spinningmetal spinning, also known as metal turning or spin forming, is a fabrication process that uses a rotating spindle to form metal into axially symmetrical, hollow cylindrical products or components. The process can be automated using CNC technology, manual equipment, or hydraulic controls, and is used for shaping ductile, formable metals such as aluminum, copper, and brass. 

The metal spinning process is highly efficient and inexpensive, which makes it particularly useful for large-scale production runs. Since the tooling can be easily modified, adjustments can be made during production with minimal expense and downtime. In addition, the process produces very little material waste, further reducing production overhead. 

Metal spinning is used to create products with diameters as small as 1” and up to 8’, which allows manufacturers to create a variety of products, including musical instruments, mixing bowls, automotive components, lighting fixtures, roofing, and satellite dishes. 

Metal Stamping

Metal stampingMetal Stamping uses compressive force and pre-formed dies to create shapes from a flat metal sheet or blank. It is a highly efficient process that is easily automated and requires very little labor when compared to other fabrication methods. At its most basic, the metal stamping process involves feeding a sheet of metal between a press and the die tool. When the press is activated, it applies pressure to the metal, forcing it into the die to create the desired shape. 

Although the overall stamping process is simple, it requires the use of highly specialized equipment, depending on the product. To facilitate efficient and accurate fabrication, manufacturers have developed a variety of stamping techniques, including progressive, deep-drawn, and fourslide stamping, among others. Each method is engineered to produce specific products and parts. 

Metal presses can be used to create a variety of shapes and useful features through punching, bending, notching, and embossing. The versatility, accuracy, and repeatability of the metal stamping process make it ideal for manufacturing automotive components, farm equipment, fixtures, brackets, and ventilation system components. 


HydroformingHydroforming is a metal fabrication method that uses pressurized fluid to shape ductile metal into components using pre-shaped plates or dies. A tube or flat sheet of metal is placed inside the hydroforming chamber along with the die. The hydroforming press forces water into the chamber, pressing the tube or sheet against the die to create the intended shape. 

The hydroforming process offers a variety of advantages over other methods, particularly for shaping highly complex, intricate, or asymmetrical components from tubes of ductile metal. By creating components from one solid piece of metal, hydroforming produces stronger, seamless shapes with exceptional stiffness and durability. In addition, hydroforming allows manufacturers to create components using a one-step process, thereby reducing production time and increasing the amount of material that can be processed at a time. 

As a highly cost-effective and efficient manufacturing method, hydroforming is favored by manufacturers for lighting fixtures, satellite antennae, and a variety of automotive components. 

Which Method Best Fits Your Application?

When selecting the right metal forming method for your application, it is important to consider the intended application of the product being manufactured, as well as material requirements, product size, and production volume. Each technique offers unique benefits for specific applications.

Metal Spinning Benefits

Metal spinning is a highly efficient and cost-effective process that is ideal for use with products that involve high-pressure applications. The primary benefits of metal spinning include: 

  • Cost-effective for both high- and low-volume production
  • Creates products without seams
  • Increases product strength and reliability
  • Easy to modify part designs
  • Quick production for shorter lead times

Metal Stamping Benefits

Metal stamping is ideal for the creation of extremely precise components of varying complexity with high repeatability, which makes it an excellent option for both high- and low-volume production. Benefits of metal stamping include:

  • Exceptional precision
  • Good for complex shapes
  • Low-cost
  • Time efficient
  • High accuracy and repeatability
  • Excellent product quality
  • Minimal scrap

Hydroforming Benefits

Hydroforming is ideal for creating complex components with minimal need for secondary finishing, and is excellent for both large and small production runs. Hydroforming benefits include:

  • Versatile design options
  • Exceptional accuracy
  • Detailed components
  • Better material strength
  • Reduced need for secondary operations
  • Less material usage
  • Lightweight components

Can’t Decide? We Can Help

At Metal Craft, we manufacture metal components of almost any shape or size, offering a full spectrum of metal spinning, metal stamping, and hydroforming services. As fourth-generation metal forming specialists, we’re proud of our long-term business relationships with our valued customers. 

Contact us and let’s get started! Our highly trained experts will work with you to design and fill your next order, and we’re committed to exceeding your expectations.