Tips On Reducing CNC Machining Costs To Your Projects
The manufacturing process of CNC machining has evolved to become an integral part of many industries. At Creatingway, we get many orders for parts and tools that need a certain level of accuracy, which we can achieve with the help of CNC machining. However, we have noticed some businesses trying to cut down machining costs without much success. It only requires the client to properly understand the CNC process and its factors and how they impact the price. Usually, there are few changes possible on the design that make a significant impact on costs.
Below Are Tips To Reduce CNC Machining Costs For Production
When a design has deep pockets, it means the removal of a lot of material. Deep pockets can increase the cost significantly when not carefully considered. The CNC machine requires special tools to achieve the depth requested. We recommend the depth of pocket design should have a limit of four times the length. Most CNC tools have a limit and ideally function better at a depth of two to three times the tool’s diameter.
Changes to the design of the internal corners impact your CNC machining costs. Avoid designing parts with 90 degree sharp corners. This design often requires the machine to stop and rotate the part in order for the machining process to continue. The additional steps thus increase machining time and result in increasing the machining costs. Adjusting the design to suit rounded corners significantly reduces cost. The machine while creating the part, runs smoothly and lessens the lead time due to lack of unnecessary stops. Additionally, make the internal radius to be at least one third the cavity depth. Internal corners with larger radii are easier to cut with larger tools. Unlike small radii that require a smaller tool to make the corners.
Thread serves in forming fusion points for the metal piece. However, threads that are 1.5 times longer than the hole diameter have a lower connection strength. Also, threads longer than necessary require special tooling to create thus increasing machining costs. It is important to set a maximum thread length three times that of the hole diameter. Also note, threads end in blind holes and have an extra unthreaded half diameter at the hole end.
Machining complex parts may involve the use of manual rotation, custom fixture, a multi-axis CNC or reposition. All are available at a cost. We recommend you break down the part into two or more geometries machinable through a single setup. Splitting up parts for later assembly lowers machining costs.
The wall thickness affects the machining speed. Since thin walls are fragile, they require the CNC process to slow down. Commonly, thin walls are important for placing holes and threads close to the edge. Therefore, they should strategically place thin walls. If your part does not have weight as a concern, we recommend designing thick walls. Thick walls have lower machining costs and are more stable. A minimum thickness of 0.8 mm for metals and 1.5 mm for plastic parts is suitable.
Number of Finishers
Secondary finishes are important as they protect the part from the elements and also make it aesthetically better. However, they increase CNC machining costs, especially when it involves multiple finishes. In order to save money, we recommend selecting one finishing process for the entire piece. Only use multiple finishes when absolutely necessary.
Tight tolerances affect the cost by increasing machining time and adding an element of manual inspection. These two outcomes drive up machining costs. There exist instances where it is tough to achieve tight tolerance on internal surfaces. For instance, the edges of holes and cavities commonly develop burrs which may render the part nonfunctional. Therefore, it requires an additional process known as deburring to remove them. This process in itself is manual and wastes lead time thus increasing the machining cost. It is important to reconsider any tight tolerances where necessary.
Number of Parts
The number of parts ordered has an impact on the unit price. For instance, changing your order from one piece to fifty lowers the unit price by over 50 percent. This brings the aspect of economies of scale as a powerful tool in lowering machining costs. Therefore, the next time you make a CNC order at Creatingway, place a high quantity order.
It is hard to machine parts with a high width to depth ratio. Unfortunately, this is a common feature with small features. The parts then become prone to vibration upon machining resulting in inaccuracies. This raises machining costs as it is hard to machine the parts while still maintaining accuracy. Thus, design the parts with a width to height ratio of less than four to reduce your CNC machining cost. Also, consider adding a brace or wall support to increase the stiffness of the part. Contact Creatingway now for your CNC machining services.
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