Metalworking

Metalworking is the process of shaping and reshaping metals to create useful objects, parts, assemblies, and large scale structures. As a term it covers a wide and diverse range of processes, skills, and tools for producing objects on every scale: from huge ships, buildings, and bridges down to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry.

Turning a bar of metal on a lathe

The historical roots of metalworking predate recorded history; its use spans cultures, civilizations and millennia. It has evolved from shaping soft, native metals like gold with simple hand tools, through the smelting of ores and hot forging of harder metals like iron, up to highly technical modern processes such as machining and welding. It has been used as an industry, a driver of trade, individual hobbies, and in the creation of art;[1] it can be regarded as both a science and a craft.

Modern metalworking processes, though diverse and specialized, can be categorized into one of three broad areas known as forming, cutting, or joining processes. Modern metalworking workshops, typically known as machine shops, hold a wide variety of specialized or general-use machine tools capable of creating highly precise, useful products. Many simpler metalworking techniques, such as blacksmithing, are no longer economically competitive on a large scale in developed countries; some of them are still in use in less developed countries, for artisanal or hobby work, or for historical reenactment.


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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Metalworking, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.