What is metal spinning?

  • Metal is shaped over a mandrel or form (chuck) on an automatic or manual spinning lathe, using force and various tools.
  • Spinning can create pans, bowls, cans, cones, convex/concave, neck downs, and many other shapes.
  • It takes a very skilled craftsman many years of training to correctly shape and finish a hand spun piece.


What are the advantages of spinning?

  • Several operations can be performed in one set-up cutting the cost's of setup's.
  • Forming parameters and part geometry can be altered quickly, at less cost than traditional metal forming techniques.
  • Tooling costs are comparatively low compared to other metal forming methods.
  • Creates less waste and scrap than other methods.
  • Lead times are usually shorter than stamping and pressing due to tool designe and manufacture.


What can effect the cost?

  • Higher production volumes greatly impact the unit cost as it allows for automation and better distribution of set up costs over the production run.
  • Specifying critical dimensions on the part allows AD Metal Spinning to design tooling and plan production to best fit the needs of the part. Many critical dimensions can have a negative impact on overall cost.
  • Generous tolerances can eliminate steps such as trimming. Cost can be driven up by the tendency to over tolerance parts when critical dimensions can be avoided.


What is the difference in tooling?

 Steel tooling


  • longer life, larger runs, less wear (10000 – 25000 units)
  • Produces the highest quality parts
  • tighter corner radii and complex shapes
  • The initial costs are higher cost up front

Dynablock (wood composite)


  • good shelf life
  • does not warp or split
  • Produces very good quality components over short production runs
  • Producess very little or no ply marks like wood
  • Initial tooling costs are slightly more costly than wood
  • can deteriorate quickly on corner radii, beaded or other high pressure areas




  • A Very limited shelf life (2-3 years if used sparingly)
  • Produces good quality part on limited runs (100-500 units)
  • ply marks can be seen on parts over time and if used excessively
  • not recommended for small to middle sized part sizes
  • Wood is lowest tooling cost option

How is material affected by spinning?

  • Metal Spinning requires O-temper and/or soft alloy materials
  • Material will thin during spinning process, by how much depends on the matirial been used
  • Brass/stainless parts will not run the same as other materials (flare) and need extra care during the product manufacturing prosess.


What are some limitations of spinning?

  • When utilizing existing tooling we cannot change the physical characteristics of the spinning itself given the way tooling is cut/designed
  • Minor changes in dimensions or configuration may mean that new tooling would be required

 How do holes affect the spinning process?

  • A center hole is of benefit as it simplifies spinning process
  • More holes of different sizes in varying locations add to the overall part costs

Holes on walls of parts

  • - if needed, consider using a slotted hole versus a round hole if possible. This can help reduce difficulties during the metal spinning prosess.


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