Mosi Li
Mosi Li

Director Project Engineer at 3Q Machining - China top CNC Machining Custom Part Manufacturer

CNC machining, also known as computer numerical control machining, is a manufacturing process. This process uses a tool to cut away material from a workpiece according to the specifications of an operator. The CNC machine moves the cutting tool along the desired set of points on the workpiece according to a program. It can mill, drill, or carve out pieces from solid blocks of metal or plastic.

You can easy to find CNC Machine Shop everywhere to make your custom machined parts from 1 pcs or hundreds, but a question pop up “How much does cnc machining cost?” for people who start to try cnc machining service, let’s take a look and it might be more accessible than you may think.

What Is CNC Machining? What is CNC stand for?

What Is CNC Machining?

CNC Machining is a manufacturing technique for removing material. It uses sharp cutting tools, available in a variety of shapes and sizes, which are precisely controlled by a computer. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control.

CNC Machining generally including of different processes of CNC Milling, CNC Turning, CNC Drilling, CNC Lathe,EDM, Wire-electrode Cutting, and Surface Treatment. Read More…..

CNC Machining Is Accessible Easily. Despite the advantage of 3D printing, CNC machining is still the most cost-effective manufacturing technique of on-demand manufacturing, especially for metal parts. Let’s check their cost break down details.

We will take a look into the cost details of CNC machining (including design, machinery, labor and raw material costs) and compare it to 3D printing prototype sample, CNC Machining is more accessible than you may think.

CNC Machining Applications:

There are many applications of CNC machining, but the main use is in the manufacturing sector. CNC machining provides an efficient way to complete jobs in a fraction of the time it would take with hand tools. With this process, you can make items like car parts, plane parts, and more.

CNC Machining Applications: use of CNC

How much does cnc machining cost

It is a challenge to find a reliable cnc machine shop that has a clear process and transparent pricing. This section discusses the challenges of finding a cnc machining shop with transparency and how to navigate it.

The market of CAD/CAM is saturated with new players every day that promise high quality, long-term support, and more competitive pricing. With all the options available, it can be overwhelming for any business to choose which one will best meet their needs. However, there are certain steps that can make this decision easier.

01. CNC Machining Machinery Costs

CNC machinery come in different variations. Depending on their machine architecture and capabilities the typical machine per hour differs.

Aluminum CNC machinery
  • The typical cost rate of a 3-axis machining cnc milling machinery (including of the operator salary 10$) is 50$ per hour.
  • The 3-axis CNC Turning is usually priced lower at 40$ per hour because its machinery cost is lower and operation is simpler.
  • The average cost of 4 or 5 axis CNC machining from 75$ to 120$ or higher due to its high machinery cost and complex operation.
In general, we should choose a simpler CNC Machinery to manufacture our custom parts based on the material and part design, also quality requirements, with a rich experience engineer that can help you to define which CNC machining method we should choose to have best cost and good quality, also fast delivery.

02. CNC Raw Material Costs

Most of materials can be machined by CNC Machining with different custom designs, including of aluminum, titanium, steel, brass, plastic, or wood etc.

Aluminum Steel cnc machining Raw Material Costs

The cost of your material is often given per 6″x6″x1″ sheet. The cost of some popular plastics per sheet are:

  • ABS costs $17 per block
  • POM (Delrin) costs $27 per block
  • Nylon 6 costs $30 per block

The cost of some popular metals for CNC machined parts are:

  • Aluminum 6061 costs $25 per block
  • Aluminum 7075 costs $80 per block
  • Stainless steel 304 costs $90 per block

CNC machining, being a subtractive manufacturing technology, has considerable waste as material is removed from the original block. 

It’s important to know that you will be charged for the use of a whole block. Where possible try to make as many parts of your design fit into one block as you can. This will mean you have fewer blocks to use overall and save you some cost in the order.

03. Labour Costs of CNC Machining

What Is a CNC Router

CNC Machining needs good experience engineer to build product drawing  (ProE, Solidworks, UG, or CAD etc.) with details including of dimensions, tolerance, raw material, surface treatment requirement etc., then have technique engineer to build machining program by MasterCam for operator to machine the custom parts with right CNC Machinery, the design cost is one-time charge set up cost, hence 1pcs order means same design cost with high volume order

Labor in CNC machining is primarily connected to start-up costs (CAM programming, process planning), but these are one time charge costs and are eliminated by higher production volumes.

CNC machining technology has not changed significantly during the past few years. Incremental improvements in machine design, tooling, consumables and CAM software lead to an optimization of the production cycles, improving quality and but not significantly affecting the cost of CNC machined parts.

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