How Much Does CNC Machining Cost?

Table of Contents

How Much Does CNC Machining Cost?

When we start a custom machined part project which needs CNC Machining Service, we should know the cost of CNC machining service are varies depending on the type of [material, size, quantity, complexity, and the machine type be used]. 

It could be as low as $100 to start a rapid prototype,  or as high as $1000 more, but how to calculate cost of cnc machining? It usually be charged from $10 per hour to $30 per hour  for machining cost plus raw material cost of each product unit, then you can find out how much does custom part cost in total with CNC machining service.

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How Much Does CNC Machining Cost? 

Table of Contents of This Article

01. Type of CNC Machine and its Machining Cost

There are many different types of cnc machines in a CNC machine shop, and the most common cnc machines including of cnc milling, cnc turning, cnc lathe, cnc grinding, cnc router. We mainly considering the precision and cost per hour when we decide which type of cnc machine should be used for a custom machined parts, here’s some typical cnc machines:

How much does cnc machining cost

3-4-5 Axis CNC Milling Turning Machining Price List:

  • The typical cost rate of a 3-axis machining cnc milling machinery (including of the operator salary 10$) is 20$ to 30$ per hour.
  • The 3-axis CNC Turning is usually priced lower at 20$ per hour because its machinery cost is lower and operation is simpler.
  • The average cost of 4 axis or 5 axis CNC milling machining from 35$ to 50$ 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 engineering drawings, 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.
How Much Does CNC Machining CNC Lathe CNC Milling Cost?
How Much Does CNC Machining CNC Lathe CNC Milling Cost?

02. Raw Material Costs which used for CNC Machining

Most of materials can be machined by CNC Machining with different custom designs, including of aluminum, titanium, steel, brass, plastic, or wood etc. CNC machining, being a subtractive manufacturing technology which has considerable waste as material is removed from the original block. 

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

Aluminum Steel cnc machining Raw Material Costs

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 (CNC machinist Salary)

CNC Machining needs good experience engineer to build product drawing 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 set-up cost is one-time charge, 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.

4. additional costs

There some aditional costs and aspects that you need to considering before start the projects:

  1. Timing: if the timing is urgent, you should choose a cnc machining shop where near you to save communication and shipment time.
  2. Shipment cost: if your machining part size is very big, it’s better to choose a cnc machining shop near you to save shipment cost, except for you have enough lead time to waiting for sea shipment.
  3.  Surface treatment: there are different surface treatment to meet different needs, it also impact the final product unit cost and quality.
More question you might have for the costs to make your custom machining projects, you can get support via sending email to: 

How to reduce/save cnc machining cost

There are many ways that you can affect the cost of CNC machining per hour, depending on how you plan your project. Here are ways to affect CNC machining cost then you can figure out how to save cnc machining cost for your projects:

1. The type of material you will be using

Material cost for cnc machining is a major factor in determining the overall cost. The cheapest material for cnc machining is wood, while aluminum machining is most popular machining choice for different industries.

The choice of material for CNC machining should be based on its characteristics such as hardness, strength, toughness, and corrosion resistance. You need to know that these are some of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a metal or plastic for CNC machining.

In order to save cost, we should choose the right material for cnc machining. It is important to know that not all materials are suitable for cnc machining. For example, if you want to make a prototype quickly, then a cheaper metal material like aluminium is the best choice. But if you want to produce large quantities of products with high precision, then steel would be the best option.

2. The size of material you will be using

The size of the material you will be using for cnc machining is an important factor that will have a direct impact on your cost. The more material you use, the higher your cost will be.

The most common types of materials used for cnc machining are steel and aluminum. Steel is more durable and stronger than aluminum, but it also costs more per pound to buy. Aluminum is cheaper but can’t handle as much abuse as steel.

3. The type of cnc machine you will be using

CNC machines are used to turn raw materials into finished products. The cost of a CNC machine is determined by the complexity of the machine and the size of the machine.

There are 5 types of CNC machines: turning, milling, lathe, router and wire EDM.

  1. CNC Turning Machines: These machines are used to produce items with cylindrical features such as pipes, bolts, shafts and so on. This type of CNC machine can be very expensive due to its complexity in design.
  2. CNC Milling Machines: This type of CNC machine is used for producing items with flat surfaces like parts for automobiles or plastic sheets.
  3. CNC Lathe Machines: This type of CNC machine is mostly used for producing items with cylindrical features like shaft.

You might need to read what does cnc machining meansto get details of cnc machining price list.

4. The complexity of the part geometry

The complexity of the part geometry will determine how much it will cost to cnc machine your parts. The more complex your part is, the more expensive it will be to machine it due to more time for cnc machinist to program and machine it with more advanced cnc machines, so technically, you should try to design the part as simple as it can be, for example, you should try to reduce chamfering, try to reduce curve line, these usually take more time to be machined.

5. The delivery time frame required for your production run

The delivery time frame required for your cnc machining production run to save cost is usually determined by the quantities of the project and the size of it. You should also take into account how long you need it to last as well as how much you are willing to spend on it.

The sooner you need then it would cost higher for your cnc machining projects both production & shipment.

If your expectations for the project are clear, and have professional CAD drawing with all details & dimension tolerance, then it will be easier to find a cnc machining service shop who can provide what you need at an affordable price.
Anyway, working with an experienced CNC machining company that is always the best way to save your design cost and cnc machining cost to make the custom parts precisely and fast from prototype, trial run production, mass production to final shipment.
Author: Mose Li

Author: Mose Li

Director of Project Engineering at 3Q Machining

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