Metal CNC Machining Service

CNC Milling, CNC Turning, CNC Routing, Water Jetting, Laser Cutting

Process Overview

Metal CNC Machining is the process of a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Machining center processing CAD/CAM data to selectively cut material away from a block of raw material.  CNC Machining centers are commonly referred to by the number of axes the cutting tool or platform are capable of moving in.  The higher the number of axes, the more complex geometries are possible.

Viable CNC Processes for Plastic

cnc1

CNC lathe2

Process At A Glance

Common Materials

Aluminum 6061, Aluminum 7075, Stainless Steel 316, Titanium 64

Standard Tolerance

+/-.005" (0.125mm)

+/- 0.0005" (0.0125mm) achievable

Stock Surface Finish

32 µin Ra  (Turning)

64 µin Ra  (Milling)

Lead Time

8-15 Business Days

Maximum Size

36" x 36" x 36" (900mm x 900mm x 900mm)

Minimum Layer Thickness

n/a

Minimum Feature Size

0.001" (0.025mm)

 

Minimum Wall Thickness

0.04" (1mm) dependent upon material

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
CNC Machined parts - in this case a CNC Turned part, generally deliver excellent stock surface finish and very tight tolerances

Advantages

  • Material variety - If a material exists as raw stock, it can be cut by a CNC Machine
  • High precision and accuracy - CNC machines are more capable of reliably achieving extremely tight tolerances than 3D Printing (nearly as accurate), or Casting (least accurate)
  • Affordable for small batches - While setup typically dictates that machining isn't cost effective at unit volumes of just a few - and the one-off nature of a machining center makes it sub-optimal for large volumes - it is an excellent option for small batch production runs of ~10-100

Limitations

  • Sub-optimal for very small and large volumes - Setup for CNC Machining tends to make it less cost effective than 3D Printing for one-off projects.  At large volumes, investment casting tends to be more cost effective.  However, at both ends of the spectrum, if extreme precision is called for (e.g., <0.003" tolerances), machining can still be the optimal choice  
  • Precision Comes at a Cost - Machining of extremely intricate designs slows down CNC Machines and can call for many tool changes.  Intricate details are better handled by 3D Printers and Molding processes

Example Machines

  • Roland 5-Axis Mill
  • Fadal VMC 40
  • Haas 5-Axis
  • Flow Mach3 B 4020
  • Mitsui Seiki 30 x 60 CNC Mill
  • 4500 Watt Mitsubishi 3-axis laser cutter

Example Materials

  • Stainless Steel 303
  • Stainless Steel 304
  • Aluminum 6061
  • Aluminum 7075
  • Titanium 64