How to Reduce CNC Machining Costs

Many entrepreneurs and businesses that get into CNC machining realize the challenge of managing costs of the entire process.

It is the reason for popular requests to write an article on How to Reduce CNC Machining Costs

First, we have to understand that the solution for minimizing CNC machining costs will always have two major dimensions – the fixed costs that could apply to all CNC operations and the variable costs that you can minimize with tips that we provide here.

It will be important to categorize your machining costs and break them down based on parts, materials, operational strategies. That being said, we are going to elaborate on the most critical costs that you can reduce directly in CNC machining.

Reduce CNC Machining Costs

Reducing Startup Costs

The primary issue of concern for entrepreneurs that are new to CNC machining is the startup cost, including setups and CAD file generation, which are fixed costs.
Since such costs are fixed per unit of a CNC machine, there is a need to capitalize on economies of scale. You can simplify the CAD File generation by acquiring designs that are simple. As such, you should also stick to machines with simple geometry to minimize startup costs.
Focus on simple parts that you can acquire easily or even locally.
When it comes to selecting them, ensure that your parts will work in a wide range of scenarios of production.
You can then focus on the dimensions to ensure that the machine is suitable for scaling operations.

Pockets - Use Rounded Internal Corners and Thicker Radius

Cutting sharp corners for your pockets can increase the machining costs to a significant extent, especially when you scale up your production.
Therefore, you can minimize the costs by using rounded corners for the internals of your pockets. Furthermore, the internal edges of pockets that you cut with a tip should have a thicker radius; about one-third of the cavity depth.
Minimize the depth of cavities for cutting.
You should keep it at about two to three times the diameter of the cutting tool. You should also focus on the dimensions of the cavities and ensure that the depth of a cavity does not exceed four times its length. You can also increase the thickness of thin walls.
When creating metal parts, the walls should be at least 0.8 millimeters and 1.5 for plastic costs. You should also focus on threads and minimize their length to about three times the hole diameter. Also, ensure that your holes are of standard size for good and better results to be achieved.
Use Rounded Internal

Avoid Tighter Tolerances and Minimize Setups

The other strategy for minimizing costs for machining is to allow a broader tolerance in your design.
It means that you should avoid strict tolerances as it may compel you to use other specialized tools, which could be expensive to acquire. You should allow for broader or more open tolerances to avoid the risk of rampant misfits between your parts.
You should also use the minimum number of machine setups to reduce the costs of machining. Having the least number of setups helps you deal with less complexity and minimizes the initial investment, as well as the technical operational costs.
You can focus on the parts’ design to ensure that most parts require a similar CNC setup. When you minimize the need for newer setups, you also speed up the machining process to be in place.

Consider Alternative Materials and Avoid Complex Finishes

You should select the most cost-effective bulk materials for machining to minimize costs. Aluminum 6061 is a great example as it has high machinability and low cost.

Plastics, acetal, nylon, and ABS have very low machinability despite their low cost of acquisition. It is advisable to avoid them whenever it is possible to use an alternative material.
You can also go for metals that have a high level of machinability and makeup for acquisition costs using economies of scale.
Material parts with special inscriptions or letters will be difficult to machine and require longer machining time. Therefore, you should avoid including letters or complex inscriptions on the parts.
If you must include letters or unique inscriptions, consider using engraved lettering. Embossed lettering will increase the amount of waste material as you will be removing a lot more to create the letters. You won’t need to cut deeper into engraved lettering.
When it comes to finishes, avoid special finishes that require newer setups. Go for finishes that are the end result of machining. It is possible to integrate them into your initial design of parts and decisions that you make about the targeted outcome. Unspecialized finishes will speed up your process and reduce technical costs, as well as material costs.

Why Choose US?

At CNCNOW we have a lot of experience and extensive expertise in CNC machining and we are ready to provide you with the solution you need.

We will always guide you on How to Reduce CNC Machining Costs.

You can always rely on us to guide you on setups and operations, as well as to provide long-term support for your CNC operations.
We have overseen large-scale CNC operations and understand the best strategies for assembling and operating these machines. It is the reason why your operation will be more effective and productive when you work with us.

In Summary

you can reduce CNC machining costs by paying attention to selections that you make regarding the startup costs, the rounding and depth of pockets, the thickness of walls, .
You can minimize the cost effects of installation through economies of scale
It is also possible to optimize installation and operations by selecting cost-effective materials
Increase the diameter of the cavities or pockets to about three times that of the cutting tool and make their lengths larger than the depth
Aluminum and other materials with high machinability are also great for minimizing costs. You should also avoid specialized lettering, especially with embossed parts, and you should stick to simple finishes.