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How To Cut CNC Manufacturing Costs

As a manufacturer, it is crucial to consider the cost of production using your CNC Machining. Minimising cost and increasing production is one fact that challenges many, but has to be considered. Above all, the final price of your product will largely depend on what you decide. In this case, it doesn’t matter whether you are looking for a prototype or preparing for large-scale production.CNC Manufacturing

There are ways to lower CNC manufacturing costs, but each step can be a challenge. For this reason, keep in mind the following if you are a beginner:

  1. a) Material costs (material worth and stock size)
  2. b) Machining time both in complexity and number
  3. c) Fixturing setup (do away with tricky parts where possible)

With these three facts at your fingertips, you can manufacture optimised parts that comply with the needs of your design. By implementing these actionable steps, you will reduce the cost of CNC machines but still maintain high level of production.

  1. Increase the Thickness of Walls

Thick solid pieces are strong and cost less to machines. You should prefer them more unless weight is a primary aspect. Several cuts at low cutting extend are required. This is to prevent crack or damage when fabricating a delicate wall. Thin features are exposed to trembling. It is therefore, a challenge to drill them; hence they increase the machining time and cost. To minimise cost:

  • If the material is plastic, keep the minimum wall above 1.5 mm
  • Construct walls stronger than 0.8 mm for metal parts.

NOTE: The normal thickness for metal walls is 0.5 mm and 1.0 mm for plastic. Machinability of these features can be achieved on a case by case basis.

  1. Minimise Thread Length

You can increase the cost of CNC machining if you prescribe longer threads than the one needed. Threads thicker than 0.5 times the diameter of the hole doesn’t increase the connection strength.

To minimise cost:

  • The threads you model should have a maximum length of up to 3 mm the holes diameter.
  • For threads in blind holes, increase the diameter of unthreaded length at the lower section of the hole by ½.
  1. Design Holes with Standard Size

Using standard drills, you can drills holes fast and to great specification. Non-standardised holes must be designed using a standard drilling tool. This is likely to increase production cost. Besides, minimise the diameter of all holes to 4 times. For deeper holes, they can be manufactured up to 10 times, but the cost will be high. This is because they cause a lot of problems for machines.

To minimise cost:

  • When you drill holes, increase their gauge from 0.1 mm up to 10 mm and 0.5 mm above that respectively
  • Design holes whose gauge length is up to 4 times the normal diameter
  • When designing holes in inches, use regular fractions of an inch.
  1. Discard Small features with High Aspect Ratio

It’s difficult to machine small features with high width-to-height aspect ratio accurately. This is because they are exposed to vibrations. But you can improve their stiffness by connecting them to strong walls. You can also reinforce with bracing support ribs. The preferred one is four: one on each side.

To minimise cost:

  • Improve the toughness of the wall by fixing small features to the wall. Still, you can add bracing support.
  • The features you construct should have a width-to-height aspect ratio of less than 4.

Different features require different machines, it might be a challenge to find some of these tools. However, that shouldn’t let you pursue your hobby or business as you can get the best CNC machining tools.  

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