Computer numerical control machining is a type of manufacturing process which uses equipment sets and numerical code to create components. CNC machining offers many advantages. It can speed up component production and save time in producing identical parts.
Because it is entirely computer-controlled, it reduces the chances of human error in the manufacturing process. This is why CNC machining is regarded as one of the best manufacturing equipment for creating complex or precise parts and components. CNC machines can produce objects from many materials, such as metals, alloys, or polymers. The costs of CNC manufacturing products can be high, and this is due to multiple factors.
If you are interested in learning about the factors that affect the cost of CNC machining, our article covers all the ground and provides suggestions on how to reduce manufacturing-related costs.
CNC Machining Costs
The cost of CNC machining varies depending on the type of machine. If you want to maximize cost-efficiency in your next batch of products, then you may want to partner with the best CNC machining services. These services use 3-axis CNC machines to create the perfect parts.
The cost of each machine depends on its size, configuration, power, speed, and price. The machining cost is, of course, calculated per hour. For example, while a 3-axis CNC machine costs about $200 an hour, CNC turning machines run around $350 an hour. CNC machining on multi-axis machines, however, is more expensive.
CNC machining is more expensive than other machining processes because it requires more complex pieces and more sophisticated tooling systems. The cost of machining goes up due to the number and complexity of the axes used on the milling machine. For example, 5-axis machining is more costly than 3-axis machines.
Another benefit of CNC machining is that it eliminates the need for additional labor costs. However, one of the biggest labor costs you’ll come across is the up-front cost of digitalization and design. Even though this uses computer software it still requires the help of a design expert.
Parts that require complex machining processes will be more expensive. But with good quality control and tight tolerances for some parts, you can minimize the risk of burrs forming.
Surface finishing costs
Different products require surface finishing, which can increase the final product’s price. Polishing is a good finishing touch that can improve the product’s aesthetics and remove any scratches caused by the machining process.
Other finishing methods include anodizing, coating, brushing, water-transferring, and blacking.
As CNC-machined parts become more complex, the cost of machining will rise. Complex parts may require additional steps and different equipment, leading to longer production times.
Simple designs, on the other hand, are easy to create and can save time during the manufacturing process. Part features such as narrow walls, sharp corners, or deep voids can increase CNC machining costs.
Higher-quality components with larger dimensions require more raw materials and more manufacturing time. Smaller parts will be more expensive.
Cost-Cutting Strategies for CNC Machining
Before any CNC machining project begins, the cost of each process is calculated. It is important to keep machining costs low when using CNC machining to create parts. There are certain criteria that cannot be modified by clients. However, there are ways to lower machining costs.
Take Care of Your Materials
You should pay special attention to selecting the right materials in order to reduce the product’s cost. Materials with excellent mechanical properties will have lower process costs. It is important to choose the most cost-effective material that is easy to work with and still maintains the product’s purpose. Prices for metal and plastic materials are different. You can follow your project requirements and ask your manufacturer for recommendations on the material.
You can save money on machining if you have to make a large number of parts. The cost per part will be lower because you only need to design one part. This situation will mean that you will need to redo each machine set up for each piece, which will reduce your production costs.
You should take into consideration all factors that could affect the final cost of CNC machining if you are concerned about its price. However, it’s good to know there are many ways to reduce the cost of CNC machining while still ensuring high-quality products.