What are tabs? How can they be removed?

We use tabs to keep your parts from falling out of the parent sheet during laser cutting, waterjet cutting, or CNC routing. You can remove tabs by sanding them off by hand or using a metal file.

Tab and lead-in/out addition is an automatic process, so we’re unable to provide custom tab or lead-in/out placement.

Micro Tabs in Laser and Waterjet Cut Materials

For laser cut and waterjet cut materials, we cut a bit of additional material about 0.010”-0.015” thick on the outside of your parts to create micro tabs. It’s easy enough to break parts out of the sheet by hand but strong enough to hold them in during machining. 

Micro tabs in laser cut parts are easily removed with a file.
Micro tabs in laser cut sheet metal

Fixture Tabs in CNC Routed Materials

CNC fixture tabs will be a bit larger. We will create a small tab that is approximately .187″ wide, with a depth that is half the material thickness.

Fixture tabs in CNC routed materials can be removed through clipping, filing, or sanding.
Typical fixture tab in CNC routed MDF

Remove tabs by sanding them off by hand or using a metal file. You don’t need to add micro tabs to your design because we automatically do it for you during nesting. We make sure all tabs and lead-ins are outside your part geometry so your design remains true to what you originally sent us. Tab and lead-in/out addition is an automatic process, so we’re unable to provide custom tab or lead-in/out placement.

Finishing Service Considerations

Please note, we do not provide tab removal with parts that have finishing services such as powder coating, so the tabs will be visible through the finish.

Micro tabs in laser cut powder coated parts will not be removed prior to coating, so they will be visible.
Micro tab on a laser cut powder coated part

In Summary

What are tabs in CNC cutting?

We use tabs to keep your parts from falling out of the parent sheet during laser cutting, waterjet cutting, or CNC routing.

How should I remove tabs from my CNC cut parts?

Remove tabs by sanding them off by hand, or using a metal file. You don’t need to add micro tabs to your design because we automatically do it for you during nesting. We make sure all tabs and lead-ins are outside your part geometry so your design remains true to what you originally sent us.

Can you provide custom tab or lead in/out placement?

Tab and lead-in/out addition is an automatic process, so we’re unable to provide custom tab or lead-in/out placement.

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We proudly use hardware by PEM

Flush Standoff, 4-40, .250" Zinc plus Clear Chromate

Aluminum: 5052, 6061, 7075 Steel: Mild, G30

SKUSO-440-8
Thread Size4-40 x .250″
Hole size in sheet (+0.003/-.0.000).168″
Minimum sheet thickness0.040″
Maximum sheet thickness.125″
Fastener materialSteel
Minimum distance hole C/L to edge0.230″
When determining the distance between two or more fasteners, you can calculate the distance by the formula, C/L to edge + 1/2 the diameter of the second mounting hole..345″
Recommended panel materialSteel/Aluminum
Coating typeZinc
Length.250″
Aluminum material ranges (5052, 6061, 7075)0.040″-0.125″
Steel material ranges (CRS, HRPO, HR)0.048″-0.119″

We proudly use hardware by PEM

Flush Standoff, 4-40, .250" Passivated

Stainless Steel: 304, 316

SKUSO4-440-8
Thread Size440
Hole size in sheet (+0.003/-.0.000).166″
Minimum sheet thickness0.04″
Maximum sheet thickness.125″
Fastener material400 Stainless Steel
Minimum distance hole C/L to edge0.230″
When determining the distance between two or more fasteners, you can calculate the distance by the formula, C/L to edge + 1/2 the diameter of the second mounting hole. Example shown with x2 of the same hardware..313″
Recommended panel materialStainless Steel
Coating typePassivated
Length.250″
304 Stainless Steel material ranges0.048″-0.125″
316 Stainless Steel material ranges0.060″-0.125″