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I need to cut thin metal plates/shells:

  • < 1mm
  • and 1mm ~ 3mm

These shells are originally curved in a dome-like surface. Basically they're bowls.


I must start from the middle of the plate and make something like a drawing, as if the cut were a pencil. Basically, it's drawing on the plate with a thin cut, removing the least material possible (1 or 2mm wide cut is good).

And I need it to be clean: no sharp edges at the end, so people can handle it with their bare hands without worrying about anything at all.

Starting from the edge of the plate is not an option (this eliminates tools such as nibblers and hacksaws for instance).

And I cannot deform the plates.

I've seen this answer. There, the multipurpose tools seem to be an option.

The rotary tool I tried (a Dremel 3000 with disc 406) wears off so quickly I'll need tons of discs to get the job done. Are there proper discs for this that are truly meant for cutting steel?

So, what are the best cutting tools for that work?? Will thickness from 1 to 3mm change the tools needed? Are there torches that won't melt everything down?

What about the sanding tools for such thin line openings?

Thanks a lot :)

  • 1
    A drill is a common way to get started on inside cuts. – ratchet freak Nov 24 '16 at 11:44
  • ... and then after the drill, you can use the nibbler. – Daniel Griscom Nov 24 '16 at 15:08
  • 1
    Myself I would use my smaller plasma cutter with a guide (and yes it is very able to be done with practice or experience) but that is me. But my preferred method if I want very clean and precise holes would be to take it to my local CNC guy and he would laser or water-jet it for me (best tools for the job may not be your own). – spicetraders Nov 24 '16 at 20:56
  • I don't want to drill holes, that would spoil the "drawing". But in case I do that, will the nibbler keep both sides of the cut at the same level in such thin plates? – Daniel Möller Nov 25 '16 at 16:49

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