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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.

Leaders in Metal Spinning & Stamping

For over 40 years, Metal Craft has been a leader in the metal industry. Through constant dedication, we’ve honed our skills and accumulated the expertise to provide our customers with the high-quality service they expect.

We can make both ornamental and functional parts. From urns and spear tops for flag poles, to roofing and vacuum components. We work with aluminum, brass, copper, steel and stainless steel. We also offer wood and steel tooling, as well as a variety of value added services. We can spin, stamp and hydroform parts up to 48 inches in diameter in a broad range of thicknesses. All of this is to ensure that we can provide exactly what our customers are looking for.

Our expertise allows us to apply these resources in the best way possible. Working with Metal Craft in the design stage enables you to take advantage of our years of experience in achieving the final result. The possibilities truly are endless.

So whether you need a big part, small part, low volume, high volume or you’d like to introduce a new product line, look no further—Metal Craft will be the right shop for you.