Design and Technology (D&T) KS3: Cutting a shape from metal

This short film explains the different ways to cut metal, depending on your design.

There are a range of hands-on methods for cutting metal and getting the result you need. This short film runs through a few of the most common.

Teacher Notes

Points for discussion

Discuss any other equipment which could be used to cut metal (and when it might be preferable to use these methods), for example:

  • Sheet metal guillotine
  • Nibbler
  • Hand-held grinder/cutting wheel
  • Abrasive wheel

Discuss the affect of using different grades of file, for example first cut, second cut.

Discuss the use of different shapes of file, for example square, half-round, round, triangular, for different shapes.

Discuss the different types of blade to be used for different thicknesses of metal, for example teeth per inch, or which is better, a hacksaw or junior hacksaw.

Discuss issues related to quality control – when is an item good enough/finished?

Discuss how to fix the component correctly in the vice to avoid excessive or wasteful vibration and noise.

Suggested activities

This activity can be fitted into any course of study which involves the manufacture of metal components, for example:

  • Blades and tangs for garden tools
  • Making a bottle-opener or multi-tool blade from steel or aluminium flat bar
  • Manufacture of a wide variety of components for KS4 Iterative design and build projects
  • Making a brass ‘net’ to be folded into a candle stand
  • Cutting a shape to be made into a pendant or bag tag.

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching design and technology (D&T) at KS3/KS4 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and 3rd/4th levels in Scotland.

More from this series

Marking shapes on metal
Drape forming
Line bending