Shown in the images below I have designed a small stainless steel apparatus with accompanying hollow metal cylinders ontop.

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I'm looking into larger quantity production and simply CNC'ing these would be cost prohibitive. I was thinking that pressing the steel into shape would be more cost effective, but I'm unsure how I'd go about adhering the hollow pipes to the top side. Would I do some type of welding to get these on with a solid airtight connection all the way around?

  • $\begingroup$ What are your dimensions and can you compromise to use standard pipe components (section of pipe, flange, bell bottom (I think the end is called)), then weld. $\endgroup$
    – mart
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 21:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How to manufacture this part shouldn’t be your question - How to manufacture a part that fulfills your requirements (which we don’t know) is more important... $\endgroup$ Commented May 31, 2018 at 22:13
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    $\begingroup$ The right answer also depends on how many you plan to make. The best way to make ten is almost certainly not the best way to make ten thousand or ten million. $\endgroup$
    – Mark
    Commented May 31, 2018 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ no, standard parts will not do. The only requirement is that it must be air tight. So how would I go about adhering these tubes to the part? What type of welding would I use? $\endgroup$
    – Sam W
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ @SamW did you read Mark’s comment - how many do you need to make? There are different approaches... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 5:36

1 Answer 1


The tooling to make part-specific press dies is going to be very expensive to set up, especially for stainless steel and I suspect that you would have to modify the design somewhat to make it a viable pressing.

By far the best solution for anything other than pretty large volumes is going to be having them fabricated.

You might be able to find the main body as an off the shelf pressing otherwise just weld a cap onto a length of tube.

The plate on the base could be laser cut and the tubes on top are just lengths of tube, both of whcih could be TIG welded on.

That is all pretty straightforward. The only slight complication is the rounded shoulder at the top of the main cylinder. The simplest solution would be to just simplify the design to a flat plate cap on the end of a tube. If it absolutely needs the radius then you could get it machined or pressed. It should be simple enough not to be too cost prohibitive. For example a simple dished shape for the cap would be vastly easier to tool than a press die for the whole part.

To expand on what I've said in the comments this looks like a fairly straightforward welding job, especially as the volume would certainly justify making a fairly sophisticated jig but you can let the manufacturer worry about the fine detail.

the only possible issue I can see is that it is a bit tight for space in the gap between the two small tubes it get in to weld it but that doesn't look like a major issue.

  • $\begingroup$ That is good point and probably optimal cost effective solution optimising cost. It would be a lot of welding. I had thought to make 250 or so of them if they aren't higher temp parts you could solder or braze them maybe even like dip them in a bath of the tin or what ever and then position them all again and reflow them. $\endgroup$
    – user10585
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ If brazing is acceptable then you might be better off making them in brass or mild steel and having them plated. Having said that 250 units of that in stainless would be by no means a huge job for a fabrication company. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 9:13
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah I think a laser cutter and welding manually is gonna be best solution for most cases and smaller numbers like 250. And agree that stamping is gonna prob have lesser performance compared to a cylindrical welded solution and is only really justified for extremely large mass production type runs. $\endgroup$
    – user10585
    Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 10:42

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