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Choosing the right material for your custom machined part
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Choosing the right material for your custom machined part

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining is a versatile, high-precision traditional manufacturing process ideal for medium to high volume production of complex parts. CNC machining is a subtractive process, which means the machine cuts a solid piece of material to make a finished part, rather than depositing material gradually as in additive manufacturing methods. With CNC machining, manufacturers can quickly produce CNC prototypes and durable parts for specific applications.

Material selection is a very important part of any manufacturing process, but engineers and product teams must be extremely diligent when selecting materials for CNC machining. Since this process is compatible with a wide variety of materials—from metal to fiberglass to wood—it’s easy to mistakenly choose a material that’s adequate for the project but not the best fit. When it comes to custom machined parts, choosing the right material is one of the most important things to do to save you money.

Key Considerations For Selecting The Right Material For Your CNC Machining Part

Consider manufacturing time and cost

If you want to keep your overall cost low, you need to seriously consider the type of material you use. High-strength materials such as steel require higher-grade milling and turning equipment. Also, if you have a custom machine part that requires extreme precision, such as a pneumatic valve for a medical machine, it will take more time to manufacture to ensure that every turf, turn, notch, etc. is precise.

Consider your usage environment

Whether you need to keep custom machined parts in an external environment or an internal environment, it is important to know which materials are better suited for different environments. For example, if you need a part that can be used outdoors, your custom part is best made of stainless steel rather than carbon alloy to avoid rust and corrosion.

Consider performance temperature

Depending on the environment in which the part will operate, there may only be certain materials that can withstand significantly high or low temperatures without decomposing. Some materials expand with even the smallest temperature changes, so it is important to know which materials are strong and stable enough to operate at different temperatures.

You will also need to consider any specifications required based on the environment in which your part will be used (such as medical, military or food production) to ensure it meets these standards and requirements.

Consider weight requirements

The next thing you should consider when choosing a material for your custom machined part is the weight of the material. Heavy steel or iron is heavier, so if your application is weight sensitive you may want to use a material that is strong but doesn’t lean (ie polymers, some alloys).

Consider strength requirements

Similar to how material weight affects how you choose to manufacture a part, the strength of a custom machined part can also vary by material. When choosing the right material for the job, you need to consider factors such as endurance strength (the ability to absorb stress), abrasion resistance, hardness, and tensile strength (the ability to pull objects).

Contact CNC Prototyping Shop For Your CNC Machining Needs Today

Choosing an appropriate material for a CNC machining project involves balancing numerous factors, and it can determine the success or failure of your product.

If you want help choosing the right material for your CNC machined part or product, Please contact us today.