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8 Factors Affect the Cost of CNC Machining Service

CNC machining

8 Factors Affect the Cost of CNC Machining Service

CNC (computer numerical control) used for complex tasks, in manufacturing process. In digital era, it is most powerful in plastic and metal production. In manufacturing process, Pre- programmed software instruct and manage factory tools and machinery.

Why it is preferred? Because it allows 3 dimension cutting tasks can be done by only single command. A very little effort is required to do so. Calculating the cost of a CNC machine includes various costs, including labor, machinery, weight, building materials, production time, environment and complexity and much more. An example, average shops charging between 75$ to 125$ p/h in America. CNC machines offer one of the less expensive options in demand production, but customers still need accurate pricing estimates before starting a new project.

1) Selection of Material:

Selected materials used in machine parts affect cost in 2 ways:

Cost in:

  • Raw Material
  • Material Machinability

The cost of raw materials varies depending on the material, some of which are more expensive than others. While comparing, some materials are very hard to fabricate. The most expensive thing is if the equipment is low. If the equipment is hazardous then production costs are immediately taken into account safety measures.

CNC Machining

Material used:

  1. a) Metals- Aluminium, Steel, Stainless Steel, Alloy Steel, Brass, Copper Alloys and Titanium
  2. b) Plastics-PVC, Extruded aNylon, Acrylic, Delrin, and Polyethylene

The cost of your material is often given per 6″x6″x1″ sheet and cost of some popular metals for CNC machined parts are:

Material Cost per block      Material Cost per block
ABS $17 Aluminum 6061 $25
POM (Delrin) $27 Aluminum 7075 $80
Nylon 6 $30 Stainless steel 304 $90

2) Machining cost:

Cost depends on the type of machine used for manufacturing. There are 2 types of machines i.e., 3-axis and multi-axis are used in CNC. The cost differ in different countries, like in Europe, 3-axis machines cost $35 to $40 and multi-axis cost around $75 to $120(per hour). But If you want to get it cheaper, than you can go for RapidDirect, a Chinese company, offer $8 to $10 and $30 for 3-axis and multi-axis respectively.

Machining costs depends on two factors:

  • The price of the Machine.
  • The number of hours the machine is expected to operate per year (5000 hours per year approximately).

Experts divide the price of a machine by the number of hours that will be used per year to determine their prices in equipment stores (also known as equipment/machining costs per hour). Machining costs are independent of labor. Each Machine offers benefits dependent on geometrical complexity of part need to be make. It is necessary to optimize the design accurately before sending it to machine shop.

3). Labor:

CNC is digital process, as involved huge amount of automation, no need to hire a large number of staff/ labor, but for material design and digitalization are the main labor cost. This cost is divided into three phases:

  • Programming

The most expensive part of labor is programming, while making design and digitalization. Product outsourcing for a design and make it to CAD file is needed. Experts can do bypass. Next step is to check reproducibility and it’s done by manufacturing engineer, also he gave suggestion to improve it. The last step is to convert CAD file into a CAM file by the programmer, it is necessary because CAM file is understandable by CNC machine. All of these technologies will come at a price.

  • Set up

For a custom CNC job, this part of job need expert operator who spend time while setting up the machine and it’s his duty to make sure everything must be performed in proper manner to obtain great result. Cost depend on the quantity of the parts to be produced. If parts manufacturing is in bulk, the cost per part is less than usual.

  • Quality Control: 

Quality procedures vary from store to store. Usually the store will have a quality team and training that varies depending on the roles.

  • Post-processing

When the parts are ready, production need assembling different parts and transportation, where you need to take it. Cost affect because you need manual labor and transportation.

CNC Machining

4). Equipment/ Tooling:

CNC machinery and equipment machinery, as well as tools or other products also have a significant impact on the cost of CNC components. Nowadays, modern equipment is not cheap, especially multi-functional machines, such as 5-axis machinery facilities. Simple machines will cost less during unit time. Power, models and size also add to the cost-effectiveness features. For instance, the normal creation expenses of CNC machine will be not exactly vertical CNC machine, and CNC machining focus will cost more than processing machine.

Some CNC tricks may require a machine shop to purchase specialized production tools. Although the pieces of equipment will remain in the machine shop after production, you may pay a portion of the machine costs. This is because the tool could be worn during production, especially if the raw material has a high degree of hardness.

Custom-making tools incur front costs. Conventional store tools are often used because they are readily available and offer great value as they are purchased in high quantities at a volume price. If the available storefront tools will not work, traditional tools are needed, increasing the previous cost. Customizing tools may be required for a unique feature or to reduce machine cycle times. Blending tools cut multiple features simultaneously reduce cycle times and piece price but also add to previous costs.

5) Fixtures:

Cheap materials can use handmade bonds that cost less. Because they are slow to load and do not replicate, they are best used for prototyping and volume reduction.

Adding hydraulic and poka-all helps to reduce production costs by reducing loading / unloading times, increasing duplication, and preventing liquid. Improved repairs reduce the price of the piece but add to the previous cost.

6). Geometry and Design:

The geometric component will affect the cost of CNC in many respects. For the most part, more material will be needed in the production process, which will increase costs. On the other hand, when the component is more complex, the mechanical manufacturing process is more complicated, and the production cycle will be longer, and you will add costs. A design with easy-to-operate features will also be easy and time-saving, in general, if there are other designs the tool is difficult to complete or requires a lot of work to complete, the part will be processed lightly and needs to be discarded.

7). Tolerance and Precision:

Strong tolerance and high accuracy always result in high CNC machining prices. In general, the part does not need to set up a separate solid tolerance unless it is required in certain situations, so designers should submit the drawings according to the production work. Strong tolerance is often set where the part meets the others. Other than that, strong tolerance is very difficult to achieve on the inner surface of your part, and machine holes or holes can develop burrs, which takes more time to remove. Typical tolerance of CNCLATHING +/- 0.02mm products or according to customer requirements.

8) Surface Finish and Scrap:

Surface finishes improve the appearance and resistance of CNC machine parts in challenging environments. Although they are profitable, they increase the cost of equipment.

There is no complete process, so the expected expectations are applied to both foundations and equipment. When basic waste is discovered after the acquisition of equipment, the cost of equipment still applies. The total amount of equipment is estimated based on the complexity of the component, usually 0.5 – 2.5%.

Cost checker: Plethora’s Auto Quote program:

In the production of high or low quality parts, understanding of equipment, labor requirements, component complexity, finishing, and production time are important. However, the process of costing equipment is prone to errors and requires careful scrutiny. With Plethora’s Auto Quote program, you can find all the tools and call details quickly. Choosing the right tools and equipment will allow you to maximize productivity while saving time and money.

CNC Machining

How to Reduce CNC Machining Cost?

In the wake of understanding the elements influencing the machining cost, the strategies to lessen and limit the cost should dependent on these spaces.

  1. Design and calculation:
  • Avoid profound cavities
  • Rounded inside corners
  • Make sure the span of your inner corners is something like 1/3 the profundity of the depression
  • Decrease slight divider (metal parts is preferred with dividers thicker over 0.8 millimeters, plastics can pick 1.5 millimeters)
  • Limit the string length (set a most extreme length of multiple times the opening measurement)
  • Avoid little elements with high width-to-tallness viewpoint proportion
  • Optimize tapped openings
  1. Resilience:
    • Reduce the utilization of tight resilience
    • Use standard resilience of ±0.125 millimeters or better
    • Eliminate all superfluous decimal focuses from your plan
  1. Tool:
  • Leverage standard drill size.
  1. Additional treatment:
    • Avoid different surface treatment
    • Choose the as-machined finish
  1. Others:
  • Choose bigger sums orders
  • Select more prudent area
  • Machine shop with capable engineer expertise is better

Final Thoughts:

In general, CNC mechanics spend a lot of time learning and perfecting their art. They can work on a variety of machines and make parts using a variety of materials and building materials. Their flexibility is what helps the manufacturing industry to thrive, but such instability can make it difficult to calculate prices.

That’s why it’s important to understand eight things that can increase or decrease your costs. Incorrect details on models can lead to parts being made more than one, so consult a professional team before resolving the final design. You may be able to save some money by adding or removing processes along the way.

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sheet metal

Alice Tang

Rapid Manufacturing Expert

This is Alice from QBH Technology.I have been focused on sheet metal and CNC machining parts for more than 5 years now,and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to sheet metal and CNC machining from a Chinese manufacturer.

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