Guide to Optimize the Cost of CNC Prototypes
Any client that is seeking to place an order for CNC prototypes must consider the cost. One of the most common questions that linger on our clients’ minds is how to lower the cost of CNC prototyping. Here is further insight into a few tips our experts at Creatingway use to lower the cost of CNC prototypes.
Optimize The Efficiency of Our CNC Prototype Creation Process
CNC Split Machining Complex Parts
Our experts sometimes opt to machine prototypes in one piece. This is often the case when the prototype needs to be durable enough for mechanical testing. In some cases, the client may simply need a prototype for design or appearance verification. If this is the case, we opt for CNC split machining as it is more cost-efficient.
In most cases, it is tasking to process parts with complex structures in the same plane. Luckily, our experts are adept in the art of CNC split machining. They commence by first dividing the parts into different pieces of varying sizes. This aids in easing the processing. They then omit the 5-axis secondary processing and the creation of jigs for clamping multiple times. By omission, we can cut down on a lot of extra costs. The CNC Split Machining option is thus effectively lowering the processing time as well as optimize the CNC prototyping process.
We sometimes use plastic bits in the creation of complex parts. This is especially the case for shell parts that are large and come in several dimensions. We adopt the CNC Split Machining option in this case. It first entails dividing the parts into an array of pieces for separate processing. Afterward, we stick the parts together. Rest assured that we have extensive experience in gluing schemes for optimal stability of parts. Moreover, we can dismantle complex metal parts for processing with relative ease. This especially works for metal parts with complex internal threads and structures. We have the option of welding or screwing the parts during reassembly.
If you happen to pay careful attention to the CNC prototyping process, you will come upon one realization. Regardless of the cutting tools’ size, they are all cylindrical and have a certain diameter. Therefore, the inner angle of a CNC machined prototype can’t be its actual radius. There are instances where the corners of CNC prototypes must lack a radius to enable assembly. This is possible for plastics where we clear the corners by hand to get rid of the radius. Metal parts, on the other hand, need EDM processing to get rid of the radius.
These two steps, however, end up raising the cost of production. Our experts at Creatingway end up increasing the parts internal corner radius if the condition allows it. This enables us to use a larger tool for processing as well as lower the processing time.
We first set the inner edge as large as the inner radius can get and also uniform. We strive to avoid any cutter changes. We can improve accuracy by lowering the number of tool changes. We often ask clients to picture the cutting process as riding a bike through a bend. The bigger the bend is, the easier it gets to make a turn. However, you may end up getting a relatively flat speed. The cutter process follows the same principle in the following way. By coming up with an inner corner that has a larger radius, then the cutter operation a better amount of space with minimal shaking. A large inner radius often comes with a larger cutter diameter. A single machining path thus ends up cutting up more material which speeds up the entire process.
Appropriate Wall Thickness
A proper CNC prototype wall thickness design is also crucial. This is since thin walls are easy to deform and edges easily break away. We cannot avoid the impact of an external tool’s oscillation even if we use a small one at a slow speed. A proper wall thickness thus proves to be vital to successful CNC prototyping.
When it comes to reasonable wall thickness designs, our experts have come up with the following standards. For metal wall thickness designs, they suggest a thickness of 0.8 mm or more. For a plastic wall thickness design that covers a small area, they recommend a thickness of 0.5 mm or more. This will, of course, vary with your choice of CNC manufacturer.
It is vital to note, however, that we may need to tweak the wall thickness for functional areas. This is, for instance, the wall thickness around threaded hole portions. We have to increase the wall thickness in this area since the locking screw applies a force-feeding process. If the wall thickness happens to be too thin, then the threaded hole is likely to break. In the case of brass insert holes, we have to pay keen attention to the material’s thickness as well.
We advise our clients to review the above tips prior to getting into a CNC prototype project. We hope that the above guide will aid in lowering the cost of CNC prototype projects. For any further inquiries, simply contact us.
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