Starting a new Custom Fabrication project? Let us help!
Planning and executing a custom fabrication project can be intense with so many budget concerns and moving parts. David Flatt LTD has over 25 years of custom manufacturing experience, making them expert custom fabricators with the latest technology, including a CNC cutting machine to turn your ideas into reality. We can help you every step of the way and have collaborated with artists on large scale productions, produced experiential events, and manufactured custom furniture and displays. If you are in need of expert advice, you’ve come to the right place. Meet Zac, Production Manager of David Flat LTD, as he shares his experiences.
How Did You Get Started In Custom Fabrication?
My former line of work was in stage design and production of concerts and other live events. I got into manufacturing and fabrication because of wanting to have stuff built for shows I was working on but never having the right person or company to do it. I found most of the vendors I interacted with to be unreliable and just didn't work at the rapid speed that I needed. So, I just kind of started learning everything that I wanted to make.
Tell Us About Your Custom Fabrication Shop
We have a pretty diverse custom fabrication shop with a lot of skilled laborers. We have a full finishing spray room where we spray lacquer, polyester, and other finishes. Plus, we have a full metal shop where we offer cutting, welding, bending, and pretty much all wood and custom metal fabrication.
The MultiCam 5000 Series CNC Router is really the star of our shop. It's a pretty unique machine, with an oversized dimension of 5’X10’ (standard is 4’x8’), allowing us to cut larger materials. It also has two spindles so we can cut at twice the speed of other CNC cutting service shops.
It allows shops like us to have the latest and greatest technology that used to be reserved for large industries like aerospace, automotive, stuff like that. One-offs and prototypes are less prohibitive to produce. It used to be crazy expensive to create one prototype, and then you had to create and sell thousands of units to cover your costs. Now, we could almost create one for the same price as multiples.
What Kind of Projects Do You Typically Take On?
Trade shows are kind of the heart of our business. Of late, we are branching out more into the maker space; working with small manufacturers and small designers in projects like Opendesk for open-source plans. The files are available online for people who want to make something themselves for personal use. They also offer a service of connecting you with a local maker if you don't have the capacity to make it. And we are one of their local NYC CNC companies. And we can make any of the designs from the Opendesk site.
One of my favorites was the Gummy Bear project. A childhood friend of mine is a pretty well-known artist and he's done these gummy bears sculptures on a much smaller scale. But he came to me with a crazy idea to make one 14’ tall and ship it to the desert. We did it. It went out to Burning Man last year. It was a huge hit. It really pushed the boundaries of everything about the shop. I mean, we were assembling this thing within inches to the top of our ceiling. We used the same approach as a 3D printer, except our layers were much thicker because they were sheets of plywood.
What Really Sets Your Shop Apart?
We have a shop of skilled and creative designers. So, we can take anything from a napkin sketch to just an idea that you have in your head that we've listened to you talk about and turn it into something that could actually be built. We care for each one of our projects as if it was our own personal project that we're working on. We take on jobs that most other shops say can't be done. We like to say “yes” to creatives.
Our turnaround time is very unique for our industry. Oftentimes, we'll hear from customers that we delivered the job to them before they even got quotes back from other vendors. So, speed is a strong point for us. If somebody submits a file to us at 12:00 at night, we can't sleep until we take a look at it, answer it, and see what's going on because we're excited by it. We really love what we do.
How Would Someone Start the Process for a Custom Fabrication?
We make the process really easy! All you need to do is submit an inquiry through the form on our website. Simply drop your name, contact information, a little brief summary about the project and then upload any related files to it. A lot of times, we'll get back to them within the hour. We look forward to providing custom fabrication services for all of your needs.