How should I bring this project to life, keeping in mind that I don't want to be handing my design over to multiple manufacturers, as I'm afraid of having my idea stolen. The metal product will be a small detailed item (no bigger than 3" long) with a removable section (think a sword and its sheath). To be made of titanium. I will first need it drawn in CAD, prototyped, and then manufactured.
I work with inventors on commercializing their inventions, which basically means bringing the inventions to market and protecting them along the way. I do the business and technology work my IP attorney partners on the legal work. Together with my partners we've worked on transactions with an aggregate value of over $500 million.
In this case, you may want to consider filing a design patent, which are typically pretty simple and inexpensive to file. Because it sounds like your product's uniqueness is mostly in its design and you have specific design specifications in mind, a design patent could be a good fit for you, if you do decide that you want to proceed with a more formalized protection plan for your invention.
Best of luck and always happy to discuss further on a call!