Aluminum CNC Machining for Custom Parts

Custom Aluminum Parts

3Q Machining has more than 10 years’ experience in machining aluminum parts.

It will be beyond your expectation with 3Q Machining’s precision machining and fast delivery.

 

Aluminum alloys are the one of most widely used non-ferrous metal materials,it is low density, light weight, easy processing and diversified surface treatment effect. About 80% of the rapid prototypes are made from aluminium alloys.The density of aluminium alloy is 2.7 kg/m that only one third of the density of steel (7.85 kg/m).

Aluminum alloy is good forming ability by numerical control processing, bending, stretching,it enables this material to be used in a wide range of applications,such as auto parts,medical devices,engine parts etc.

Advantages of Aluminum CNC Machining:

  • Excellent corrosion and chemical resistance
  • High strength-to-weight ratio
  • Good heat and electrical conductivity
  • Easily machined
  • Reflects heat and light
  • Recyclability

Material

Conductivity (S/m) at room temperature

Copper

59.6 million

Aluminum

37.7 million

Zinc

16.9 million

Iron

10 million

Carbon steel

7 million

Titanium

2.4 million

Stainless steel

1.5 million

What Aluminum grade should be best suitable for your project?

Aluminum 6061:This grade is mainly contains magnesium and silicon, so it concentrates the advantages of the aluminum of 4000 series and 5000 Series,6061 is a cold-treated aluminium forging product, which is suitable for applications requiring high corrosion resistance and oxidation resistance. It has good usability, easy coating and good workability.

Aluminum 5052:The main characteristics are low density, high tensile strength and high elongation.It can be easily drawn or formed into intricate shapes,Suitable for bending and welding.

Aluminum 7075:This is commonly known as “super hard aluminium”,one of the highest strength aluminum alloys.Good mechanical properties and anodize reaction,but it is not weldable and has limited resistance to corrosion ,it is ideally used for highly stressed parts,, representative uses are aerospace, die processing, mechanical equipment, tooling fixtures, especially for manufacturing. Aircraft structures and other high-stress structures requiring high strength.

Aluminum 2024:The characteristics of aluminium2024 ishigh hardness,also the content of copper is the highest, about 3-5%. 2024 series aluminium barmost common used for Aviation material, which is not often used in conventional industry at present.

Aluminum 6063:Commonly known as an architectural alloy. It is suitable for all kinds of industrial structural parts with high strength and corrosion resistance, such as trucks, tower buildings, ships, trams, railway vehicles, furniture, machinery parts, precision die manufacturing, electronic parts and precision instruments, SMT, PC board soldering tin carrier electronics, etc.

Alternatives to aluminum in CNC machining

Businesses may seek alternatives to aluminum for CNC machining for any number of reasons. After all, the metal has a few weaknesses: its oxide coating can damage tooling, and it is generally more expensive than alternatives like steel, partly due to the high energy costs of aluminum production.

Here are some potential machining alternatives to aluminum, with an emphasis on their differences and similarities to the popular silver-gray metal.

aluminum cnc machining 01

Aluminum

Stainless steel cnc machining

Stainless Steel

Brass cnc machining

Brass Copper

Titanium cnc machining

Titanium

Steel & stainless steel

Better than aluminum for:

  • Strength
  • Temperature resistance

Worse than aluminum for:

  • Machinability
  • Weight

Steels and stainless steels are widely used materials in CNC machining. Because of their high strength, steels tend to be favored for high-stress applications and those that require strong welds. Steels are resistant to very high temperatures, and stainless steels can be heat treated to enhance their corrosion resistance.

However, while machining steels are engineered for improved machinability, aluminum remains the more machinable of the two materials. Steels are also heavier and have a higher hardness than aluminum, which may or may not be desirable depending on the application.

If temperature resistance is a key consideration and weight is not, steel may be an ideal alternative to aluminum.

Titanium

Better than aluminum for:

  • Strength-to-weight ratio

Worse than aluminum for:

  • Cost

Titanium may be used as a like-for-like replacement for aluminum since its primary advantage is an exceptional strength-to-weight ratio — also one of the main benefits of aluminum. Titanium has a similar weight to aluminum but is almost twice as strong. Like aluminum, it is also highly resistant to corrosion.

These advantages are reflected in the higher price point of titanium. Though the material is an excellent choice for parts like aircraft components and medical devices, its cost can be prohibitive.

Titanium is a suitable alternative to aluminum when lightweight is a primary concern and, importantly, when the manufacturing budget has some flexibility.

Brass Copper

Brass

Better than aluminum for:

  • Some aesthetic applications

Worse than aluminum for:

  • Cost

A metal with a golden appearance, brass is a highly machinable metal available at a slightly higher price point than aluminum. It is commonly seen on parts such as valves and nozzles, as well as structural components, while its high machinability makes it suitable for high-volume orders.

Copper

Better than aluminum for:

  • Electrical conductivity

Worse than aluminum for:

  • Machinability

Copper shares several material properties with aluminum. However, the superior electrical conductivity of copper can make it preferable for various electrical applications. While pure copper is difficult to machine, many copper alloys offer similar machinability to popular aluminum grades.

Aluminum CNC Machining Processes

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Question & Answers for Aluminum CNC Machining

Plastic: ABS, PC, ABS+PC, PP, PS, POM, PMMA (Acrylic), PAGF30, PCGF30, Teflon, DHPE, HDPE, PPS, PEEK. 

Metal: Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel (17-4, Inconel 625 & 718), Magnesium, Titanium, Zinc, Brass, Bronze, Copper. 

These are the most common materials for CNC prototyping and production parts. Besides that, we can work with any type of machinable plastic and metal we can purchase from the stock market. 

What’s more: We are able to create a custom plastic block or bar for the material such as PA GF50, PPS GF50. To discover further plastic materials we can do, please contact our team.

CNC machining starts with a computer, on which designers prepare a part using CAD (Computer-aided Design) software. This digital part is then converted into a format that can be recognized by a CNC machine.

Instructions are sent to the CNC machine in the form of  “G-Code” after which the machine can start cutting.

Most CNC machines have a “worktable” and work holding device to keep a block of material — known as the “workpiece” — in place. The worktable may or may not move, depending on the style of the machine.

When machining starts, the cutting tool makes contact with the workpiece, cutting away layers of material. The tool and/or workpiece is moved and/or rapidly rotated according to the G-Code instructions so that cuts are made in exactly the right places until the part is finished.

CNC machining is a fast, accurate and versatile solution for making end-use plastic and metal parts in any quantity, without the need for investing in hard tooling or expensive set-ups. No matter how simple or complex the parts.

Color: Pantone Number

Logo: AI

Drawing: DWG/STP/IGS/SOLIDWORKS etc.

Sample lead time: 7days

Tooling lead time: 35 days

Production lead time: 7~30days

Usually we book the shipment with your appointed forwarder, or can ship to your warehouse with our shipment company

We also working with DHL/FEDEX/UPS for  long term relationship to have competitive express shipment with fast delivery.

As-Machined: The most popular and cost efficient way for inner functional components. Fine and even tool path is also good for aspect parts.

Bead Blasted: The part is left with a matt appearance. Range of 120 to 320 beads allows us to create different roughness to the surface.

Anodized: Type II creates a corrosion-resistant finish. Parts can be anodized in different colors—clear, black, red, and blue are most common—and is usually associated with low silicone element series of aluminum. Type III is thicker and creates a wear-resistant layer in addition to the corrosion resistance seen with Type II.

Powder Coat: This is a process where powdered paint is sprayed onto a part which is then baked in an oven. This creates a strong, wear- and corrosion-resistant layer that is more durable than standard painting methods. A wide variety of colors are available to create the desired aesthetic.

CNC machines include CNC mills, CNC turning machines (or lathes), CNC routers, and Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM) machines.

CNC mills have rotating cutting tools that are moved to different areas of the workpiece to make cuts and can be used to make many different pats. CNC lathes work the other way, rotating the workpiece against a stationary cutting tool, and are used to make cylindrical parts.

CNC routers are similar to CNC mills, but have less power and cannot cut the hardest materials. They can, however, be faster than CNC mills.

EDM uses electrical discharges (sparks) instead of a sharp cutting tool to cut material. No physical contact is made between the tool and the workpiece.

CNC machines are often defined by their number of axes. More axes mean they can move their tool and/or workpiece in a greater number of ways, giving greater cutting flexibility and the ability to make more complex parts in a shorter time.

3Q Machining is known as one of the best CNC machining companies in China in terms of quality, speed, and customer service. With high-quality CNC machines, we can easily achieve +/- 0.02mm of tolerance and can even get within +/- 0.01mm. But keep in mind that it can have an impact on the cost.

MOQ: From 1 piece to ~3000pcs each color each part

Sample payment: 100%

Tooling payment:50% deposit, 50% balance after sample approval

Product order payment: T/T 30% deposit, 70% after pre-shipment inspection

It’s no problem to arrange third party inspection before shipment, please book the inspection date 7 days in advance

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