A Brief History of Metal Fabrication

A CNC laser cutting through a metal pipe

So many of the products we use each day are made using various metal fabrication processes. This was true for our parents, our ancestors, even ancient civilizations dating back thousands of years and will almost certainly be true of our predecessors.

Humans have gotten a lot of different uses out of metals for nearly as long as civilization has existed. Here’s a brief history of metal fabrication:

The Early Days

Archeologists have discovered metal tools dating back to 9,000 BCE or earlier. It was around that time that copper was discovered, and gold and silver soon followed. Humans began to use these metals to create tools, jewelry, currency, and art. In the Bronze Age, humans began to use bronze to fashion swords and armor. In the Iron Age, they began using the smelting process to transform iron into metal products such as weapons and infrastructure. This is where we begin to see fabrication take place.


In the late 15th century, artist and innovator Leonardo da Vinci drew up the plans for a machine that would roll lead for stained glass windows. He never built such a machine, but by the 17th century, such a machine was in operation, mostly rolling iron.

By the end of the 18th century, hot rolling mills were in use. This was an important innovation because the Industrial Revolution in Europe created a huge demand for iron, and eventually steel. These were used to create machine, railroad, steam ships, and other contemporary innovations.

Modern Uses

In the years since the Industrial Revolution, metal fabrication has only become increasingly prominent. Blacksmiths, iron workers, welders, boilermakers, and other metal workers used their respective processes to create specific products. As we moved into the information age, technology again improved our metal fabrication capabilities. Processes such as fiber laser cutting, and press brake forming have allowed fabrication shops to work more precisely and efficiently.

We’ve gone from individuals using copper to crudely fashion tools to the sheet metal industry being worth more than $1.5 billion per year in the United States alone. If this history lesson reminds you that you or your company is in need of metal fabrication services, Fireblast Global is the place to call. We use the most modern technology in metal fabrication to ensure your order is processed efficiently and correctly. Give us a call at 800-716-1977 to learn more today!