CNC machining is a manufacturing process that is used to create products from raw material. This process is also known as computer numerical control (CNC) machining or CNC milling.
It’s important to note that CNC machining is not limited to metal or plastic, they can also be used for woodworking projects or other materials, you can rely on it to create any custom machined parts or prototype sample with high precision no matter how complex the design is.
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How much does custom CNC machining cost?
Custom CNC machining is a process that allows you to create any custom machined parts. The cost of CNC machining varies depending on the type of machine, the material it’s made from, the working time it takes to complete, the surface treatment you require, and the quantities of whole order.
1. The types of machine
Different types of machine have verity of prices that from $2000 to $200000, that means choose right machine is first step to save cost of your custom machining projects, we can simply evaluate it based on the part‘’s geometric shape:
- A manual machine is a type of machine that has no computer control. It is used for simple operations such as drilling, milling, and turning. The cost of manual machining is $20 to start and usually charge $15 per hour.
- A 3 axis cnc machine is a type of automatic machine that can be controlled by a computer to perform complex operations such as milling, turning, and drilling. It has three axes which move in different directions to allow the cutting head to work on different parts of the workpiece. The cost of 3 axis cnc machining is $100 to start and usually charge $20 per hour.
- A 4 axis cnc machine is a type of automatic machine that can be controlled by a computer to perform complex operations such as milling, turning, and drilling. It has four axes which move in different directions to allow the cutting head to work on different parts of the workpiece. The cost of 4 axis cnc machining is $150 to start and usually charge $30 per hour.
- A 5 axis CNC machine is a type of machine that can be used for custom machining parts. It works by rotating the workpiece and cutting it with a tool in order to create the desired shape. The tool moves along five axes, which are X, Y, Z, A, and B axes. This allows for more precise cuts than what would be possible on a 3 or 4 axis CNC machine. The cost of 5 axis cnc machining is $200 to start and usually charge $50 per hour.
2. The types of raw material
Custom machining parts are made from a wide variety of raw materials. The type of material used in the manufacturing process will determine the cost and the quality of the final product.
1. Metal is one of the most common raw materials for custom cnc machining parts. It is durable, versatile and easy to work with, which makes it a popular choice for companies that need to produce high-quality products. However, metal requires more expensive equipment than other materials and it is difficult to recycle once it has been used in production. The most common metal material prices for your reference only: aluminum 6061 cost around $1.80 ~ $3.00 per kg, stainless steel cost around $3.30 ~ $4.80 per kg, titanium cost $80 ~ $110, brass cost around $2.3 ~ $2.80.
Aluminum is the most common metal in machined parts. The price of aluminum has increased in recent years due to a global shortage, but it is still the cheapest material for machined parts.
Stainless steel is a popular choice for machined parts because it’s cheap and sturdy. It’s not as expensive as titanium, but it’s not as strong either.
Titanium are used in high-end applications where strength and durability are needed, such as machine components or medical devices. However, it is much more expensive than aluminum or steel.
2. Plastic is also a popular choice for custom machining parts because it can be easily molded into specific shapes without breaking or cracking like metal would do under similar circumstances. Plastic also costs less than metal and can be recycled many times before it becomes unusable in production.
3. Wood is one of the most common raw materials used to create custom furniture parts. It is inexpensive and can be easily cut, drilled, or shaped with a cnc router.
3. The quantity of order
The quantity of order for machining parts will have a significant impact on the cost of production. The more parts that are ordered, the lower the per-unit cost will be. However, if this number is too low, then there may be no profit to be made at all due to the high set up cost or tooling development cost.
Companies should therefore find the right balance between ordering too many and too few parts to maximize their profits, you can ask a quote based on different volume to evaluate a best quantity to order: 1~10pcs; 50pcs; 100pcs; 500pcs; 1000pcs; 10000pcs; 30000pcs; 50000pcs; 100000pcs
4. The types of surface treatment
Surface treatments are a crucial part of the manufacturing process. They are used to enhance the appearance, improve corrosion resistance, and provide protection against wear and abrasion.
The cost of machining parts also depending on the surface treatment. For example, a roughing process will be cheaper than a finishing process. The roughing process is more likely to leave machining marks and burrs on the surface, while a finishing process will give the part a smooth finish.
The 10 common types of surface treatments for machining parts are:
- 1. AS-Milled
- 2. Grinding
- 3. Electro discharge machining (EDM),
- 4. Polishing and mirror finishing
- 5. Sandblasting
- 6. Anodizing
- 7. Painting
- 8. Plating
- 9. Powder coating
- 10. Water transfer