Absolute precision. Functionality. Around-the-clock production. Uniformity.
These are just a few of the benefits you get when you use CNC machining to manufacture parts and prototypes. But keeping up with the speed of innovation comes at a cost. CNC machines and shop time can be a little more expensive than the more traditional manual machining.
But fear not, there are some simple, tried and true ways to cut your CNC machining costs. Here’s a look at four:
- Care for the corner pockets
Corner pockets create a conundrum for designers. Most of the time, the only way to create a perfectly sharp and square corner is to use EDM, which is slow and expensive. Another alternative is to use the smallest end mill possible, but even that will only give you so much depth.
A cost-effective approach is to give the corner pocket a little relief, which creates a U- or C-shaped clearance in the corner, increases the depth and allows you to use larger end mills. Taking care to create relief in the corners adds up to savings and fully functional corner pockets.
- Choose your words carefully
Words matter. They can help you build your brand, improve aesthetics and properly label your parts. But they can also come at a steep cost–especially when it comes to CNC machining.
Engraving text is incredibly time-consuming and costly. It requires a specialized ball end mill, which is used to trace characters and symbols. A more cost-effective way to include text on your project is to wait until molding, which can save you big bucks.
- Be careful and cautious with thin walls
Some parts are complex and require the ability to machine to a tight tolerance, which is typically anything with a feature 0.020 inches or smaller. And even though the best CNC machining companies have the ability to create complex parts to +/-.001″, anything tighter than 0.020 inches needs to be handled with care because they are much more likely to break during machining.
One way to reduce the risk of thin walls breaking is to work with the engineering staff to determine the most efficient and affordable CNC machining solutions for your project.
- Consider alternative materials
One of the easiest ways to reduce your CNC machining costs is to use a less expensive material that still meets all of your needs. Sometimes a part designed to be machined from steel can be manufactured from a less expensive type of plastic or aluminum without compromising functionality, aesthetics or lifespan.
Experience the benefits of CNC machining without all the costs
You want the best possible part at the best possible price. To find out how you can have both thanks to the power of CNC machining and tried and true cost-reduction strategies, connect with the engineering staff, QT Manufacturing at 972-221-0537.
You’ll learn how to get precision, functionality, around-the-clock production, uniformity and all of the other benefits while cutting costs so the project fits within your budget.