Sometimes, even a one-off prototype requires part machining. This may be due to certain material requirements (such as PTFE, titanium, G-10 composite materials), strict tolerances, surface finish or other best attributes that need to be obtained through CNC machining and turning services.
But sometimes, we received complaints from one of some customers. “Why is the sample cost so high” and “Why does a simple sample cost us hundreds of dollars?” Almost all customers have similar confusion and confusion about CNC machining prototype manufacturing. At the same time, as COVID-19 threatens the progress and economic benefits of enterprises on a large scale, it is more important than ever to know how to reduce the cost of manufacturing parts using this technology. Today, SANS Machining will share some tips to help save the cost of rapid prototyping and start new projects for marketing
The following are some key points of CNC machining prototype manufacturing.
Before starting any CNC machining project, careful planning is essential, because in the long run, doing so can save you money and a lot of time. And make sure that the parts drawings are feasible and recognized by professionals before making samples. No need to spend extra time and cost to continuously modify the final design of the part. And set up proper facilities for parts before production to ensure that every process control of each step is important to save costs.
Choose The Right Machining Technology
For the CNC machining process, we first need to review and judge which machining process is most suitable for our customer requirements. It can not only save the entire processing time, but also effectively control the quality of the parts. For example, the production cost of machining prototypes can be reduced by reducing the number of operations and changing the size and depth of the holes.
Unless you have realized that you must machine the part on a 5-axis CNC, remember that you can only machine one side of the part at a time. This means that your part may have to be flipped multiple times and require multiple operations. Each turning or operation requires setting, tool change, loading, processing and unloading. If possible, reducing the number of operations can help you save operations, especially in the case of small runs.
Generally, it takes more time to accurately drill a smaller deep hole than a larger or shallower hole. Second, try to use standard drill and end mill sizes. Standard drill bits and end mill sizes are easier to obtain and therefore cheaper than custom drill bits. Standard sizes is better than custom sizes.
Choose Suitable Manufacturing Materials
According to the different functions and applications of the parts, we need to choose the most available and cheapest material, and it can still meet your design requirements and have the same expected results. For example, aluminum 6061 is the most commercial metal used for CNC machining and turning. This means that the price of aluminum parts will be lower and delivery times will usually be faster. Compared with many other engineering alloys (such as 7000 series aluminum or titanium), the prototyping of aluminum 6061 can save cost and time. If you have been following the golden rules of CNC machining, then you will remember that faster production times can reduce costs, so choosing materials that can cut, mill and drill faster will help reduce costs.
Of course, for many precision medical equipment or aerospace parts, we can choose higher-priced materials. In any case, it is our goal to choose the right material for rapid prototyping to save costs and ensure the high quality of the parts.
Reasonable Tolerance Range
When sending parts to a professional manufacturer or rapid prototyping service, it is essential to provide the tolerance requirements for a given part so that the CNC machine operator knows the required accuracy.
Although the tolerances of the entire part may be required to be as strict as possible, not every surface of the design requires particularly strict tolerances. The smaller the tolerance, the tighter the tolerance area, and the higher the price of the part. The essence of this kind of pricing is superposition, which will increase part of the price. Make sure to understand the absolutely necessary conditions for prototype tolerances and specify only those tolerances to save costs. In general, digital labeling is only required on surfaces and parts that are absolutely critical to the function of the part that are connected to other parts. Less important features can be machined with standard tolerances of +/- 0.127mm (+/- 0.005 inches). Customers can still get high quality and precision parts.
Share Expenses In Batches
SANS offers competitive prices for CNC machining prototypes. However, even if a few quantities are increased, the price of a single piece will still drop sharply. This is because the settings are shared between machined parts. When quoting prototype milled parts, it is good practice to check the price of adding 1 or 2 additional parts by changing the quantity-the price difference is usually smaller than you think.
Modify some edges or angles without affecting the function of rapid prototyping. Every day, we receive a large number of inquiries about ideas or inventions from designers, product engineers or buyers. But not all parts are perfect, and no modification is required before the prototype. Because some ideas or inventions are designed by designers or end consumers. They lack certain processing experience and knowledge, and only proceed from the aesthetic point of view. Therefore, the structure of the final drawings is complicated or redundant for production. These drawings may be at risk of not being produced, or need to be updated or modified before production .
In addition, complex, highly detailed parts require multiple processes and may also require multiple machines, thereby increasing programming, fixing, and setup costs. Some complex parts, such as those needing operations on multiple faces, may be less expensive to produce if designed as separate components joined together after machining.
If you’re researching ways to save money on your CNC machined parts, SANS Company can provide the fabrication expertise you need to save time and money on your machined parts prototyping.