In both cases, a metal forming process must be applied to the gold in order to make it usable. Beginning several thousand years ago (and on an industrial scale little more than one or two hundred years ago) methods of metalworking were developed to make tools, weapons, building materials, toys, jewelry, electronics, furniture, transportation equipment and many other utilities for life and leisure. Each fabrication process accommodates different kinds of metals and makes different kinds of shapes.
There are two main categories of metal fabrication. The first, heavy fabrication, involves the production of metal products for use in large applications. Fabricated metal products for use in bridge construction, ship building, aerospace vessel design and other large-scale applications all belong to this category.
All other fabricated metal products for use in smaller-scale applications belong to the category of light fabrication. Stainless steel kitchenware, metal trim and aluminum grating are all examples of light fabrication. The processes by which both light and heavy fabricated products are created include roll forming, press braking, punching, bending, stamping and many others. Roll forming is among the most common metal shaping processes, and it is used to create all manner of metal shapes.
It is a cold forming process, which means that it can shape metals without the application of extreme heat. Roll forming systems involve a long series of rollers of varying configurations; each roller system in the sequence is positioned in a slightly different way, which gradually bends the metal passing through them. By the time the metal passes through the last set of rollers, it has been bent into its final shape.