CNC Machining -2021 Comprehensive Guide

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Are you starting in the field of CNC machining? Don’t have any experience and knowledge about it? Whether you want to create a single piece of prototype or you want to start a big project? Your decisions have much importance as it can significantly affect the pricing and product accuracy. So educating yourself about CNC machining fundamentals and application will help you in decision making. You need to have basic knowledge and understanding of all terms and software to understand your project better. By keeping essential aspects and working environments in your mind, you can find superior quality parts and tools.

What is CNC Machining?

CNC machining (computer numerical control machining) refers to industrial and manufacturing applications. It’s a precise, automotive, and accurate method for producing custom machine parts. We use the CNC manufacturing process to produce both prototype and one-off quantities and high volume parts production. This process employs machine tooling and computerized software for removing layers of material for the creation of custom designs and shapes. We can produce a wide range of materials such as plastics, foam, glass, and wood. CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing processing method, and because of its automotive nature, you can produce high accuracy, cost-effective and precise parts.


What Kind of Software is Needed For CNC Manufacturing?

We need three types of software to make the optimization and accuracy of products.

  1. CAD Software
  2. CAM Software
  3. CAE Software

1:CAD Software

The essential industrial CAD art is mostly known as the computer-aided design used to create project design, 3D solid parts, drawing 2D vectors. It’s a starting point for your CNC production. In this process, we can create technical drawings that increase the productivity of the designers. It’s beneficial for the modification and analysis of the design. It can improve the design quality and also helps with creating a manufacturing database.

There’s various CAD software, but you can use all packages for creating designs. CAD software also determines the part properties and verifies the part designing. With CAD software, we can reproduce products even without a prototype. For the CNC machining part, you may require an electronic version of your desired parts, and with the service of machining drawing, you can easily change your 2D pdf into a full CAD design. Some companies are providing this service at some additional cost.

Some CAD programs are:

  • Solidworks
  • Autocade

CAD software uses in many applications such as aerospace, metal workers, marine, agriculture, architecture, automotive, construction. CAD software can operate in two ways; one is vector-based graphics for illustrating objects of traditional drafting. In the second method, we produce raster graphics in which a designed object’s full appearance can show. Like other manual drafting technical methods, its output gives information about processes, dimensions, and material. It’s an industrial art that can design figures and curves in 2D space and 3D space. We design solid curves and spaces with it.

The models and designs that we generate in CAD software utilize CAM software. In the CNC machining method, we use these machining programs for the creation of parts.

2: CAM Software

CAM refers to computer-aided manufacturing. We use it to extract CAD model information to create machine programs. We can run a CNC machine with CAM software without any assistance, generate a tool path, and produce a g-code, a CAM software feature. Post-processor can edit the type of g code to make sure it meets the required type. The quality of speed and feed calculator has much importance in CAM software, and its low quality can badly affect parts quality. Feed rate means the relative velocity along with the workpiece. The speed rate depends on:

  • The Features
  • Cutter Diameter
  • The Material Used In Machines

CAD software proves effective and makes it possible to run CNC machines without any assistance. An expert engineer only can perform these programs that have trained in these software languages. The quality of products doesn’t depend on software languages. CAD software proves helpful for the evaluation of the automated finish part. We can manufacture parts by inserting a model of 3D CAD into a virtual setup. Some of the commonly use CAM software are:

  1. Edgecam
  2. HSMWorks
  3. Solidcam
  4. Mastercam

3: CAE Software

CAE software is a computer-aided Engineering software program that CNC engineers employ during the pre-processing, post-processing, and analysis stages of the product development stages. We can use this software as a supportive tool such as planning, diagnosing, repairing, and modifying the product design. Some types of CEA software are:

  • Multibody Dynamics Software (MBD)
  • Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Except for these three software, we can find all these software aspects in one software that we can refer to as CAD/CAM/CAE software. Engineers can use this software for the fabrication process, from design to analysis and finally to production steps.

What Is A CNC Machine? How Does CNC Machining Work?

CNC machines can create parts out of various materials like plastic, wood, aluminum, metal, and other hard materials. It is using almost every industry for the production of parts. CNC means Computer numerical control, and it relies on the digital instructions that we made on CAD, CAM software. The code written on the g-code, controller of the CNC machine can understand and read. G- code can assist workpieces parts and CNC toolings where they can go. If you want to use CNC machines’ full power, your CNC engineers must be skilled in metalworking and software programming. CNC machines use CAM generated programs. It allows you to set up and organize workflow. CNC machines are tools that we use for cutting material according to the control program.

Modern machines can handle multiple toolings and can make many types of cutting. CNC machines make it possible to produce precision parts. Still, if you want to create ultra-precision parts and need high quality, you may require expert engineering personnel and advanced machinery for this purpose. Now you can complete your task efficiently and efficiently. There’re many types of CNC machines, but the most common use CNC machines are:

  1. CNC Mills
  2. CNC Lathe

1:CNC Mills

CNC mills use a cylindrical tool to create desired parts and for the removal of material. We use leadscrew and handwheels to join cutting tools onto a workpiece. Cylindrical cutters can rotate in various axes so it can produce the finished parts. CNC mill machines mostly have three to five axes for the production of finished pieces. The computer program can move and rotate the workplace and cut the desired shape. The more complex parts require five-axis milling machines, and for the simpler parts production, you need three-axis milling machines.

CNC milling has a large variety of sizes and types. This makes it possible to run on different axes. Which axis would use for your parts is decided by your selected manufacturing company, affecting your parts’ cost. They chose according to the nature of your parts and design. Many other factors may involve in this decision.

The old cutting process was much slower, which we used to perform with gears and levers, than this automotive cutting process. New methods are much faster and can hold multiple tools for making various types of cuttings. For the cutting of more complex parts, CNC mills perform better than CNC lathe.

2: CNC Lathe

CNC lathe is the oldest manufacturing method that can turn the workpiece and move the cutting tools. Despite its belonging to the oldest technologies, it’s one of the most recommended ways to manufacture a cylindrical part. In this process, the spindle rotates, and cutting material starts work around this. CNC lathe is also known as CNC turning. The basic lathe has two axes, y and z, but we may have to add more axis to fulfill the need when we counter the production of more complex parts.

For the problematic parts, we may require more axes to add. Lathe machine can mostly use to create symmetrical parts and objects such as cones, cylinders, and spheres. Except for the x and y lathe, some CNC machining companies also have y lathe. One advantage of this y-axis is that it doesn’t create holes in the parts and objects’ center lines. It also makes the possible movement of lathe across the job. Some CNC machines offer you multi-functionality, and it performs all types of cutting. Driven tools can mount lathe and enable milling and drilling operations. Some lathe operations are:

  • Threading
  • Boring
  • OD Grooving
  • Parting
  • ID & Parting

The Difference Between CNC Router And CNC Mill Machines

For the building of custom parts, you choose CNC routing and CNC mill machines. Both machines can provide you with consistent work and high-quality components that you can’t get with manual workers. Make sure that you know all the different features and characteristics of both manufacturing machines. Both machines have the same functionality, but you can find capacity variations in these machines. Some of the main difference between the CNC router and CNC mill are:

1: Speed

Speed is one of the variables that you can find in these machines. For the production of many copies, you will find a CNC router best for your work. With the help of a router, you can develop your parts in a short time frame, and the router can operate much quicker than CNC mill machines. CNC machines work better for high-quality precision, but it will perform this function for an extended period.

2: Material

The cutting of soft material such as plastic, foam, and wood can perform well with a CNC router, but you can choose a CNC mill for hard material.   CNC mill cut the hard material and metals much better than CNC router machines. We suggest a router for the basic cutting of soft material, but a CNC mill recommends more intricate and precise parts.

3: Requirement For Precision & Quality

Quality and precise requirements may vary for different parts, and you need to choose a CNC router and a CNC mill for this purpose. Components such as airplanes, military, aerospace, and medical instruments require high precision and super quality, so you can choose CNC mill machines to perform better with five or more axis. But if you need some standard quality products and it’s not crucial for precise, CNC router is good and can perform a great job.

4: Space & Area Capacities

Both machines have different space capacities for the material. If you’re starting your project, make sure your selected machine has the capability and required area for your material. You can choose a CNC router for large wood blocks and foam material as they have a large cutting area. For more in-depth cutting material, cut and rich detail CNC mill does it well.

5: Price

CNC router is cost-effective as compared to CNC milling machines. CNC mill is more costly as they give you more intricate and precise parts. It also provides a short timeframe, accurate, and sharp cut.

Both CNC mill and CNC router are computer-controlled machines, and you can get all the benefits and advantages of automatic machines. For example, you get error-free products and can produce the same piece of products over and again. It would be best to choose a skilled operator for your project who can easily control and manage any operational issue during the process. A skilled mechanic can know the signs of problems and know well how to resolve all these issues such as shaking, burning, and tip jumps, etc.

The Process Of CNC Machining

The CNC machining process is pre-programmed in which tools and machinery control and monitor through computer software. This process can control a wide range of heavy machines such as lathe, mills, router, and grinders. Following are CNC machining processes you can use for your parts manufacturing.

1: CNC Turning

CNC turning is a subtractive process of custom parts manufacturing. It’s a very complex, detailed, and precise method to put the chunk’s material bar. When it rotates with the help of a spinning tool that material removes for the manufacturing of your desired parts, it can perform with the help of a lathe or use a turning center for cutting wood material. Because of their different operational systems, you use CNC lathe to produce oblique, cylindrical shapes, and complex geometry. CNC lathe has an advantage over 3D printers and CNC mill. It can make multiple parts fastly and with one stroke of material. It is a quick process to adjust speed to gain high accuracy and create metal patterns. This process can’t perform by hand, so CNC turning makes it possible to use the latest technologies and gives you products according to your demands and requirements.

Types Of CNC Turning:

Some types of turning are as under:

  1. Taper Turning
  2. Straight Turning.
  3. Knurling & Grooving
  4. Parting & Threading
  5. Spherical Generation

In this process, we can manufacture various objects such as car engine pistons and ball bearings.

2: CNC Milling

CNC milling is a mechanical process in which cutting tools material removed from the workpiece. This procedure starts with a CAD drawing or 3D drawing model, and it creates a wide variety of cuts and operations. One advantage of CNC milling is that you can cut different materials for the manufacturing of custom-designed parts. CNC is the best choice for the industries that require precise components like the military, medical and aerospace industries. CNC milling utilized vertical CNC or horizontal CNC. It depends on your specification and requirements for the milling operations. Once the process initiates, the machine starts cutting tools at a speed of more than 1000Rpm. This process is suitable for shaping stock pieces. It’s also best for finishing or secondary processes. It removes material for making desired parts. CNC milling enables us for the cutting of a wide range of material, and some of the material is:

Metal: aluminum, brass, carbon steel, nickel, copper, stainless steel, and bronze alloys

Plastics: ABS, acrylic, nylon, PTFE, PVC, Polycarbonate, Acetal, and Phenolic

Precious metals:  Inconel, Platinum, Monel, silver, and Superalloys

For achieving tolerance and high precision of a part, you may need several matching rotations. To complete a fabrication process for the most intricate and complex parts, you may require multiple machining setups. Some common CNC milling operations are:

  • Angular Milling
  • Face Milling
  • Plain Milling
  • Form Milling

1: Angular Milling/Angle Milling

This process uses a milling cutter of a single angle to produce angular characteristics and features such as grooves, serrations, and champers.

2: Face Milling

The milling axis of the cutting tools is perpendicular to the surface of the workpiece. Face milling uses face milling cutters with teeth, and it uses to create flat surfaces. It can be supportive for both vertical and horizontal milling machines. It has two other side milling types that use side milling cutters and end cutters that use end milling cutters.

3: Plain Milling

In plain milling, wide and narrow cutters can use. It depends on the specification, size of the workpiece, and depth of the cutting. The removal of large amounts of material is not easy; it needs to employ a cutter with coarse teeth: slow speed and fast feed rate required in the plain mill to manufacture custom-designed objects.

4: Form Milling

In form milling operation contours, outlines, and irregular surfaces involved and use fly cutters or formed milling cutters for the convex, concave cutters applications. We can create beads, contours, complex and intricate parts in form milling applications.

3: CNC Grinding

CNC grinding is a performing tool in which a rotating wheel uses for the cutting of material from the parts. It stands for computerized numerical control. It means it gives you high precision and perfect quality tools. It can use during the finishing process, and most pieces created with CNC grinding are cylindrical, but it also has the capacity to manufacture other types of parts. We can generate ball bearings, metal workpieces, transmission shafts, and other metal and working pieces requiring high precision and quality.

CNC grinding is an old invention, and it started before many centuries. Initially, it has a pedal that turns the grinding wheel. Now, these paddle wheel machines don’t exist. Today’s grinding machines have improved in construction, designing, and applications. Most grinding machines use electricity for their work. Both machines’ main functionality and purpose are the same; they use to remove the material from the workpiece by turning off the grinding wheel.

Types of CNC Grinding Machines

Some type of grinding are:

  • CNC Surface Grinders
  • CNC Roll Grinders
  • CNC Centerless Grinders
  • CNC Cylindrical Grinders
  • CNC Internal Grinders
  • CNC Crankshaft Grinders

You may require some particular kinds of grinders and machines, such as cutter grinders and tool grinders, for specific types of operations and work.

They make for sharpening tools, reamers, cutters, and taps. We can attach many attachment tools with these grinders to increase their working capacity and make them more valuable.

Such as jig grinding machines designed to locate and grind the holes and tapered. They have a high-speed spindle for driving and holding the grinder wheel. The same system that we use for the jig borer utilized for these machines. For the utilization of rough material, we use a vertical grinder. It’s the best for working on those projects that need quality tools and a high level of precision. Vertical grinders can work for internal grinding, face grinding, and outside grinders. They can perform many functions for various projects and provide you with high-quality, precise pieces.

Which Materials Use for CNC machining?

You have a project and ready to start your project, and you’re choosing CNC machining for the project. It can fulfill all your expectations and requirements, and you can get the desired result. But wait a minute, are you choosing the right material for your project? There’re numerous facts and things to consider before the selection of the right material. It’s very confusing to choose a suitable material that can suit and fulfill your needs. You must answer some questions to ensure that your material fits according to your requirements and specifications. What applications it will use for the finished products? How much its need for operational stress for withstanding? How much corrosion and resistance this piece require, and what type of dimensional tolerance require for your piece?

CNC machining is suitable for a large type of material and can produce parts from metals and plastics. Different materials have different characteristics and can affect the quality of your part. Some types of materials are as following:


Plastic has a wide range of physical properties, and it can use due to its lightweight qualities. Plastic mostly uses because of its electrical insulation characteristics and due to chemical resistance capabilities. You can get various types of parts as per your requirements and quality concerns.


PVC is the right choice for construction work. It’s water-resistant and has a long life cycle. It’s lightweight and has excellent water resistance, hardness, and mechanical properties. PVC can use for outdoor purposes because of its corrosion resistance and durability features. It’s very cost-effective and used in various industries.


It has many characteristics, and these characteristics make it suitable for various industries. Thermoplastic with high strength and impact resistance makes it one of the best choices for manufacturing bottles, pipes, and jugs. It also helps us to create prototypes before injection moulding. It’s lightweight and good for the manufacturing of pipes and outdoor construction. HDPE has 0.93-0.97 g/cm3 density.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel finds a bit difficult in its CNC matching usage. It has a self-repairing quality that makes it resistant to scratches, rust, and water. It also uses for power generation, material processing, and transportation purposes. Stainless steel alloy is easy to polish and weld. They have non-magnetic and magnetic characteristics.


Brass is the best metal alloy for low friction applications. Its golden appearance makes it suitable for creating things that need a glamorous look. It’s a non-magnetic metal alloy and has good electrical conductivity. It belongs to the easily machinable material, so it’s suitable for high volume operations.


Although it’s a costly material and can damage the tooling, it’s the right choice due to its corrosion resistance and strength. It uses in various industries like automotive, medical, electronics, and aerospace. For the manufacturing of custom design parts and prototypes, aluminum is cost-effective.

Factors That Should Consider For Material Selection

Do you want to produce perfect products that meet the demands of contractors, mechanics, and customers?  For this purpose, make sure you know the CNC machining process, its material, and how it is machined? It’s a critical issue if you don’t know which material is the best fit for your operation and how much it’ll be costly for your work? Some factors that you should consider are:

1: Temperature & Its Requirements

The role of temperature is very critical in the selection of material. Different materials have different heat and temperature requirements. Some material can’t hold up against high temperature, and some material has much durability and doesn’t melt or freeze at high temperature. PVC may be the right choice for some projects, but it’s not better for all types of work. As it melts under high temperature and can’t hold up against high temperature. Although it has a good rating for fire resistance, PVC’s working temperature is about 176° F, and working more than this temperature makes its stability impossible.

The melting point of your selected material should be less than the operational temperature. Otherwise, you may face many problematic issues during the manufacturing process. Polyisocyanurate is a good fit for high-temperature projects and can hold up against high temperatures. So it’s important to know whether the material can hold up against the high temperature you’re selecting for your project? Can your material handle the variations and any other operational issues? What’s its melting and freezing point? Its stability and strength can matter for your finishing parts, so make sure you have checked all steps before starting your work. High temperature has many negative impacts on your parts, and it can damage your parts badly. Therefore it’s very important to know all about the material, its characteristics, its withholding capacities against high pressure and temperature, etc.

2: How And Where Will Your Parts Be Used?

It’s important to clarify where and how your material will use in the production procedure. We know that the same type of material used for various objects, and their capacities are other. The same material can give us different outputs and results. One common example of this is insulation. In this method, different types of materials may use for the same purpose. You should know where your part will use, and can it have the withholding strength against any condition? Use in the outdoor and indoor is very important and can affect the quality of your part severely. For outdoor usage, your part must have moisture and rust resistance. It’s important for its long working life. It also maintains its structural integrity and durability. To choose a material, make sure your material has full strength and abilities against any extreme conditions.

Many other factors should also consider such as stress capacity, require fasteners, dimensional tolerance, and the overall cost per production and stress load.

 Advantage of CNC Machining

Advantages of CNC are countless, and some of them are as following:

1: Friendly Budget & High Quality

Where high quality and low cost require, CNC will be one of the best choices. It uses for prototypes and has less upfront cost than other manufacturing methods. You get high quality and superior physical properties for your part. The CNC machine works around the clock. It stops only for maintenance and repair.

2: High Accuracy & Less Labour

CNC machines use CAD and CAM software that makes them error-free. It means you get high accuracy objects having high tolerance. It eliminates all chances of error and flaws. The use of CNC reduces the labor needs for production. Some people can handle and manage all projects, and it can positively affect the cost of parts. One skilled operator or one programmer can execute the whole project. So less labor and human resources are the main advantages of this method.

3: Wide Range Of Material & High Precision

CNC machines have a wide range of materials for their manufacturing process. Other manual processes have many limitations. It allows you to choose the material according to your requirement and specification. You can choose a cost-effective material for your project. Automatic and digital characteristics make CNC machining unique from other traditional methods, and you can get a highly precise and superior tolerance part in the fastest and quickest way.

4: Minimal Maintenance & Better Safety

The CNC machines don’t require any particular maintenance like other conventional machines. It uses g-code that updates automatically. You just need to clean it lightly. As operators and engineers operate and control CNC machines from a distance. They don’t need to contact the tools directly. This makes them safe from any mishap. Operators of drills, punches, and lathe have to contact directly, and it makes them unsafe. So CNC matching provides better safety to their workers.

Limitations of CNC machines

CNC machining has some disadvantages and limitations as well. More complex parts may be more costly, and it has some tool, work hold, and size limitations. The untrained operator also can cause problems, and the accuracy of parts may be affected by the operator error. A well-trained operator can generate the best quality products. SO you can get your desired parts only when you choose a certified and authentic CNC machining company for your project.

CNC Machining Vs. Other Manufacturing Methods

Several methods used to manufacture plastic parts, and before starting your prototype, it’s essential to know which method is better for your needs. We are exploring some manufacturing methods you can find out which is fit for your work.

CNC Machining Vs. 3D Printing

  • CNC machining is compatible with many ranges, while 3D printing is compatible with plastic such as filament and plastic resin.
  • 3D print metal is softer, and it requires expensive machines for production. The price of prototypes is much greater than CNC machines and other methods.
  • You may compromise on strength in 3D printing because it’s not suitable for all industries.
  • CNC machining provides high accuracy products and precise parts, while 3D printing is more concerned with the production of more complex parts.
  • CNC machining is a subtractive type, and 3D printing is an additive type of manufacturing. It means the operating systems of both machines have different requirements and machinery needs.

CNC Machining Vs. Plastic Injection Moulding (Molding)

  • CNC machining processes use CAD and CAM software, and it takes less time. Injection moulding needs manufacturing of mould, and it takes time and money.
  • CNC machining has a large variety of materials for manufacturing. It can use plastic and any other material like metal and brass. The soft material is not good due to the milling process. Injection moulding can use plastic, such as nylon and ABS plastic.
  • If you want to produce parts from hundreds to thousands, injection moulding should be your choice, but for the production of a few parts, CNC milling is cheaper than injection moulding.
  • CNC machining is also a quick way to create parts, but plastic injection moulding can produce more quickly, just in one setup. It is good for high volume components.

CNC Machining Vs. Sheet Metal Fabrication

  • For thin wall metals, you may find sheet metal fabrication good for your project. CNC machining can’t give you the desired results. For lightweight parts and cost-effective projects, sheet metal is good for you.
  • Both manufacturing methods use the same material, so the selection of material doesn’t impact the price of the project. When we consider the overall process, sheet metal is cost-effective than CNC machining as there is no computer and software involvement. So it’s the price is less than other methods.

Surface Finishes (Surface Treatments) of CNC Machining

Many parts require post-processing methods and surface finishing to improve the quality of the piece. It also increases the resistance, surface roughness, and wears resistance to your components. Some common surface finishes are as under:

As Machined Finish

It’s a standard surface finish and has 125 μin. You can reduce small tool marks and the flaw with a machined finish. It also improves the surface quality and aesthetic value of a product by reducing its roughness. Because of more manufacturing operations, tighter dimensional control, and other machining steps, the part’s price can increase to some extent.

Anodizing (Type II & Type III)

It adds a thin layer on the surface of parts that can protect your parts from rust and corrosion. It is non-conductive, hard, and it only fits with titanium and aluminum. Anodizing parts have the ability to dye it different colors such as black, red, blue, and golden. These colors enhance the pleasing aesthetic surface of the finishing parts. Type ll also refers to decorative and standard anodizing, and it gives parts more than 25μm thickness coat. The thickness of the coating relies on the color of the parts.

For black dyed parts, the thickness may be different from 8-12μm, and for the clear parts, it’ll be from 4-8 μm. Type lll can give coat consistency up to 125μm. This is the reason it calls as hard coat anodizing. Type lll is suitable for the functional purpose and gives corrosion wear resistance for ceramic coating.

Powder Coat Finishing

This method has a similarity to the spraying method. With powder coating, you can add a thin layer of protective polymers that make it more durable and sturdy than other coating methods. A wide range of color may coat with powder coat finishing, and it uses mostly in military applications. It has a higher impact of resistance than the anodizing method. This method is compatible with all metal materials. It also has some disadvantages, such as it’s not fit for small components and can’t easily apply to the components’ internal surface.

Bead Blasting Finish

It removes the tool marks and adds a satin surface finish on a machined part. It’s a manual procedure and mostly used for visual purposes. The main processor parameters are the size of the glass beads and air pressure. A skilled operator can give you the desired quality and good results. One disadvantage of bead blasting finish is that it can affect surface roughness and the dimension of the parts.

Tolerances of CNC Machining

We can’t produce the same parts of exact dimensions, and this difference between the two parts measures the standard tolerance limit. Tolerance limit means the acceptable range of difference between the dimensions of two parts. CNC standard tolerance is +/-.005 for metal parts, and some CNC machining companies use +/-.010 for plastic parts. The standard tolerance limit is very small, and it can ignore as it doesn’t affect the performance or dimension. A little variation of tolerance can improve and maintain in some cases. Some types of tolerance using in CNC machining are:

  1. Bilateral Tolerances
  2. Unilateral Tolerances
  3. General Tolerances / Linear tolerance
  4. Limit Tolerances
  5. Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD & T)

 Some Major Factor To Be Considered When Choosing Tolerance

  • Tighter tolerance can affect the machining cost, and it can also increase the turnout time for your parts. You will need special fixtures, jigs, long cycle time, increased scrape, and special measuring tools for controlling quality. Therefore it’s important to know that tighter parts’ cost may be doubled than the price of standard parts.
  • Tolerance depends on the material, and different properties of the material can affect the quality and final value of parts. Softer material will be harder for holding a specific tolerance because it’s hard to fix them in the tooling due to their flexibility. Some material may distort due to heat and friction.
  • Inspection of parts and certain features increase the manufacturing cost of the part. To provide you finer tolerance, more time, more pieces of equipment, and hard work require and ultimately increase the part cost.

So CNC machining cost calculation depends on many factors that involve in the overall manufacturing process. It’s essential to choose the necessary tolerance and select the right limit. It ensures flawless parts and CNC machining accuracy.

Cost Reduce Design For CNC Machining.

The cost of your parts depends on many factors. Some factors are as under:

  1. Time

Machining time is a major factor that affects the cost of parts. How long a part machined will be more costly.

  1. Material

Bulk material and ease of machines can also increase the price of CNC machining. Optimization of your design in the selection of material can reduce the cost for your parts.

  1. Tolerance:

Tight tolerance is more expensive and increases the cost. It’ll be better to choose standard tolerance for your parts that don’t require tight tolerance.

  1. Corner Radii:

Big internal radii are more effective for time-consuming. It can reduce the cost. So only choose small radii when you need them; otherwise, big corner radii are most cost-effective.

  1. File Preparation & Surface Finishing Requirements:

Process planning and startup decisions are also affecting the cost. So you need to choose it carefully. It should be on a friendly budget.

  1. Machine Set-Up & Wall Thickness:

Minimum numbers of machines set up can reduce the cost. Separation of geometry into the various parts can prove cost-effective. By increasing the wall thickness for thin pieces, you can reduce the price. It should be more than1.5 mm for plastic, and for the metal part, the recommended ratio is 0.8mm.

Application of CNC Machining

CNC machining has become a versatile and cost-effective process for the manufacturing of parts. It’s compatible with a wide range of materials and is using in many industries. CNC machine components are housing, shafts, bearings, handles, casings, heat sinks, enclosure, and this list is endless. Applications of CNC machining are applying everywhere, and it can find from aerospace parts to the medical industry. Some of the applications and uses of CNC machining are:

CNC Machining For Medical Industry

CNC machining provides safe medical material, and it suits one-off custom components. With high tightness and superior quality required for medical instruments, CNC machining is the best choice for this purpose. Some CNC machined parts are electronic enclosures, surgical instruments, implants, and orthotics.

CNC Machining For Aerospace Parts

CNC machining supplies aerospace parts for an extended period. Due to its compatibility with plenty of material, it provides you with high precision parts. It’s nearly important for safety reasons. Some parts are the fuel access panel, engine mount, fuel flow components, and gear components.


For 3D signage components, CNC machining works quickly and efficiently. You can work with a CNC router with various materials such as plastic, foam, wood, aluminum, and brass. The machined feature enables you to the creation of precise features.

Musical Instruments

The capacity of CNC machining for accuracy and precision makes it one of the best methods for manufacturing musical instruments. It requires a very high level of surface finishing and accuracy. Each piece needs to cut for the exact specification of your customers. For creating the musical sound, you need to create every piece with minute precision and attention.


CNC machining has the advantage of its versatility. It has become a demanding method for parts manufacturing. It has wide material compatibility, and its applications in various industries make it popular and cost-effective. It’s a very critical issue to choose the right CNC supplier for your project. Ensure your selected partner is the best and suitable for your parts that can provide you high-quality products and parts.

About Us

We are the industry leader in custom, quick-turn CNC machining services for rapid prototyping and production parts. Our online Service department staff will give you a CNC machining quote from 3D files within seconds. Then we make your machined metal or plastic parts and get them to your door in as fast as 1 day. We inspect the parts and guarantee their quality.

Our massive partner network means that whatever your part, we have a shop and a machine that can make it. We only choose famous material and surface treatment suppliers. With such a high number of qualified shops and over 40 engineering-grade materials available, using Lanli takes the guesswork out of CNC part sourcing. Our quality management system is ISO 9001:2015 and AS9100D certified. Our partners support the latest in CNC machining and turning processes, can support a high level of part complexity, and provide exceptional surface finishes. We can also machine and inspect your technical drawing, always ensuring you have the CNC machined parts you need, at-quality, and on time.

We welcome I pcs rapid prototype and bulk production. Whatever your order is small quantities or small quantities with various items, we welcome to cooperation with you.