When Does it Make Sense to CNC Machine Parts?
- When tolerances and assembly are important – CNC machining makes the most sense to use when tolerances are tight and material properties are fundamental in end use or testing. If tolerances are less than +/-.005”, CNC machining is the way to go because it can achieve tolerances in the range of microns.
- When Functional & Performance Testing are Critical – Whether it’s a plastic snap fit or tool steel for a shaft spline, CNC machining is really the only way to deliver parts with production materials and finishes to test the market.
- When Mid-High Volume Quantities are Needed – Ten to 100 parts is the sweet spot. However, over 300 parts is where economies of scale truly come to life to save costs. Why? At around 300+ parts, all the set-up times, programming costs, tools and overhead are amortized into the noise. That means if there is $400 worth of one time set-up to make just one part, then it only costs $1.30 per part in quantities of 300. For 4 parts, it costs $100 per part.
Various Material used for rapid prototyping
The materials used for prototyping are many and different. The most widespread are: wood, steel alloys (from simple construction steel up to stain-free, modified marks), non-ferrous metals (copper, bronze, aluminum, tin and so on), ABS plastic, Polypropylene, Polyethylene, acrylic glass (PMMA), even some high-grade alloys ( Inconel and other nickel alloys that offer great strength and heat resistance) are used to manufacture some aerospace prototypes. CNC machining technologies have a wide girth here. The cutting tools and the machining equipment is developed so well that you can produce a part of virtually any material as long as it is not flexible.
No hesitate to contact me(email@example.com) when you have some good designs want to make it into reality.