Although on the surface, sheet metal fabrication might not seem like a particularly interesting subject, it has a long and varied history involving Egyptian artefacts, knights, and Leonardo da Vinci. Fun trivia aside, sheet metal fabrication has played a fundamental role in the development of many different technologies throughout human history, and it deserves to be celebrated. This week, we celebrate the important role sheet metal fabrication has played throughout history with 10 interesting facts.


  1. Metal working can be traced back to prehistoric times (fourth-fifth millennium BC) with metals that occur in nature being cold worked with stones.
  2. The ancient Egyptians were particularly prolific sheet metal fabricators and used the technology to create stunning gold and silver jewellery.
  3. In the 14th century, Leonardo da Vinci was one of the first to pioneer press, roller, and cutter technology, which was used for the manufacturing of coins. He made around 1500 of these kinds of machines during his lifetime.
  4. The press rocker was widely used throughout Europe from 1645, and the technology remained in use until the early 20th
  5. Sheet metal working was a highly valued skill historically, as sheet metal was used to create the plate armour worn by cavalry.
  6. The first hydraulic press was developed in 1770 by English industrialist Joseph Bramah.
  7. Water wheels, manpower, and steam are just two examples of the energy sources that have been used to power sheet metal machinery throughout history.
  8. At the end of the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution drastically increased the demand for sheet metal and lead to crucial innovations such as the assembly line and press brakes.
  9. Puddling was an important process for producing bar iron without charcoal in the 17th It involved heating up cast iron and using it to liquefy other materials in a reverberation furnace. However, because it relied on flame power, it was ultimately ineffective and abandoned.
  10. A popular colloquial term for sheet metal workers is ‘tin bashers’ or ‘tin knockers’, which refers to their hammering of panels when installing a tin roof.


ACRA are proud to offer sheet metal fabricators a range of quality new and used sheet metal machinery. To learn more about our capabilities, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling 03 9794 6675.