Do you work with CNC machines? With CNC machining, planning is important. The high level of automation can lead to people new to the process assuming it will result in cheap, quick, and easily producible parts. However, the cost of running a CNC machine can be high if one is not careful. Here are a few tips on how you can cut CNC machining costs.
- Avoid deep pockets – A part that has deep internal cavities are expensive and time-consuming to manufacture.
- Provide relief to corner pockets – Relief each corner of the pockets to remove the pesky radius leaving a C or U shaped clearance.
- Deburr edges yourself – Edge work calls for an additional tool. To try and break corners and remove burrs, designers smooth external part intersections with corner radii or chamfers which can be expensive. You can opt to save by deburring the edged with an abrasive paper, file or a buffing towel.
- Avoid text until molding – Text engraving is a time-intensive operation. If possible, best avoid it.
- Be cautious of thin walls – Thin walls require extra attention. Thick solid sections are less costly to the machine and more stable.
- Design holes with standard size – Standard holes can be CNC machined accurately using standard drill bits. Non-standard sizes need to be machined by an end mill tool. This increases the cost.
- Use the right material – Consider the machinability of the material. Materials with high machinability can be CNC machined fast thus lowering cost. Ductile and softer materials are easier to machine.
- Limit length of threads – Longer thread lengths than necessary increase the cost of CNC parts.
Your design will affect the cost of CNC machining. Remembering all tips for cutting CNC machining costs can be difficult. However, the three overarching cost drivers are material costs, fixturing setups in number and complexity and machining time. If you consider this factors, you will cut your CNC machining costs.