Companies who are looking into using the CNC machining process always want to reduce their cost for a more profitable project. To do this, it is essential to know what increases the value of the parts for you to consider these things in the design stages.
Here are the four considerations that you have to keep in mind so that you can reduce the cost of CNC machining.
It is undeniable that softer materials are simple to machine than the hard ones. However, it would be best if you also consider the strength of the product so that you will not choose any material and regret it later. You may need a stronger material when the design needs more machining passes,or requires different tooling and a host of other resources. To maximize the cost, add the strength considerations into the design like the thickness of the walls on the part and don’t just rely on the quality of the material.
Another essential aspect that you should consider in cost savings is the turnaround time for the machine to complete the part. In most CNC machining process, there are two essential things that you should keep in mind: the part design and the material. We have finished discussing the material above; the only thing left is part design.
You can employ some design changes to reduce the time it requires to finish the part because it may reduce the machining process. But be careful, the changes in the design should not have any impact on the functioning of the part. Some examples of these design changes may include looser tolerances or the depths of the holes when it is not necessary. You can also make a smaller radius because when it needs smaller end mill to create it or you can lower the thickness of the wall as long as it does not impair the part.
Quantity of Orders
Another factor to consider is the number of orders. For parts that require multiple operations and several steps to complete, the longer it will take to manufacture the part. For CNC machining, if the quantity is of the same part, you can use the CAM programming over and over. You can also reduce the price by cutting the multiple parts at once from the same stock piece.
Outsourcing the Job
Manufacturing parts and products using CNC machining in-house can be costly. It consumes so much of your time, resources, and energy. Owning the CNC machines can be expensive, too, more so when you add the repair and maintenance cost. You can save on manufacturing costs if you partner with a company offering the services. You can benefit from the latest technology, and you have peace of mind that dedicated experts manufacture your parts.
CNC Machining Cost Reduction Tips
Some factors affect the cost of CNC machining. You can keep the cost of manufacturing the parts within budget when you know them. This cost depends on the following:
- The complexity of the model and the machining time. A complicated geometry will take longer to the machine and will be more expensive.
- The cost of start-up. This cost is related to the preparation of the CAD file and its process. It is a fixed cost for a small volume, but it is significant. But for more ordered parts, there is a reduction in the price per unit.
- The cost of materials and finishes. Another factor that affects the price is the material and how easily it can be machined.
As a rule of thumb, you need to stick to simple geometries and standardized features to minimize the cost of your CNC machined parts.
Here are some design tips that could drastically lower the cost of CNC machining services.
Tip No. 1. Increase the size of all fillets or add some undercuts in sharp edges.
Using a larger fillet can reduce machining time. With larger fillets, it requires larger tools that can remove more material in each cut, and a circular toolpath can follow through. It makes cutting each of the corners faster. For 90 degrees internal edge, you can add undercuts; it can save time on tool changes.
Tip No. 2. Minimize the number of machine orientations.
Design parts that can be machined in one or two setups using a 3-axis CNC milling machine. If you cannot do this, you can consider splitting the part into many geometries that you can machine in one setup and then assemble later.
Tip No. 3. Consider the cost of your material
The material that surpasses your required properties can increase the cost of your CNC machined parts. To avoid this, select the material with the lowest price but can fulfill the qualities you need for your design.
Optimize your design and make cost-effective choices so that you can save money on your CNC machining project.
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