Like most other metals, stainless steel can also be fabricated and formed in the desired design or shape. The equipment used for fabricating other metals and stainless steel is often the same, with the only difference lying in techniques used for the fabrication process. Stainless steel fabrication could be undertaken for industrial, commercial, or purely decorative purposes. It is available in several different grades, with each grade demonstrating unique characteristics.
When sheets of stainless steel are fabrication, the process is referred to as sheet metal fabrication. Since stainless steel has a high work hardening rate, but it is malleable and can be subjected to several different fabrication techniques. Some of the commonly used metal fabrication techniques on stainless steel include: cutting, shearing, bending, machining, welding and more. However, it is important to note at this point that the equipment being used for fabricating stainless steel would need to have more power than equipment that is used for fabricating carbon steel.
The process
We shall now elucidate in brief, the techniques involved in stainless steel fabrication:

Drafting and design: Specialized software is employed to design various components so that the exact fabrication techniques can be planned in accordance. Software such as SolidWorks is used for three dimensional designing, whereas AutoCAD could be used for rendering two dimensional images.
Cutting: The stainless steel would first need to be cut into appropriate shapes. These shapes are referred to as ‘work pieces’. Conventional cutting techniques using plasma and water-jets are fast being replaced with laser cutting. Shearing and saw cutting are two other common techniques used to cut a work piece in the desired shape.
Punching and piercing: The process of creating holes or perforations is enabled using punching and piercing techniques. Punching is a cost-effective technique for creating holes of different shapes of sizes during medium and large sheet metal fabrication jobs. Single or multiple holes can be creating using punching, notching, perforation, and piercing operations.
Forming: It is at this stage that the work pieces are bent or rolled to change their physical dimensions. Bending can be carried out using press brakes or other bending machines. Hot or cold rolling is carried out to lend a curvature to sheet metals or strips. Metal is passed through a pair of rolls to change its cross-sectional dimensions.
Machining: This is one of the final stages of metal fabrication before the work pieces are joined together. The process of machining includes several operations such as drilling, tapping, counter-boring, and turning to remove unwanted material and lend the desired characteristics to the work piece.

In the final stages of stainless steel fabricators, the work pieces are joined together using MIG or TIG welding or spot welding. This task needs to be carried out by certified welders that are familiar with the characteristics of various grades of stainless steel. Once the entire component is assembled, it could be subjected to powder coating, wet painting, galvanizing, or electro-polishing to extend its service life.

Author's Bio: 

I have many years of experience in metal fabrication industry. Writing on stainless steel fabrication services and metal fabricating has given a new edge to my profession.