When it comes to pricing CNC machined parts, the biggest cost driver is often machining time. This can outweigh the material costs, set-up costs and even the costs of custom finishes, such as anodizing or plating.
CNC machining used to be a time consuming and frustrating process, but new technology makes creating custom parts easier than ever before. While some engineers may be hesitant to trust the process of a different company, the issues of outsourcing CNC machining are quickly disappearing. On-Demand machining with a company like 3D Hubs can be a great solution for companies needing custom parts, and here’s why.
Engineers can still use local machine shops, but what happens when those shops reach capacity, and those custom parts were needed yesterday? What happens when those shops don’t have the necessary tools, and it’ll take weeks to order them? Cloud platforms can avoid common issues more easily than one might expect. They’re less likely to hit capacity, and their technology means clients get instant quotes. Sophisticated AI software detects any issues before the part hits production, so no one has to wait to receive the part to see that it’s useless. In fact, the technology is so thorough that it can give suggestions for the redesign within a few seconds.
When engineers use this automated service, they can choose from a variety of materials and assist in tool and cutting choices. After an instant quote is generated and the design is verified, the part can be manufactured immediately and delivered quickly after. There’s a significantly lessened risk of miscommunication between manufacturing and design engineers since the typical design issues get flagged in the initial design analysis, which saves everyone valuable time.
For example, a design may have lots of sharp internal corners, or the shape may be too complex for a 3-mill axis. Maybe the volume of material will be difficult to remove. DfM software from CNC machining services can make suggestions in real-time. Not only does this save designers the time of redesigning, it means engineers don’t have to immediately opt for the more complex and expensive manufacturing techniques they would have to pursue otherwise, like the 5-mill axis and specific cutting tools.
This feedback platform has all the information on company tools and capabilities, so it will know if a certain drill bit isn’t in stock. If the part is necessary, the software will automatically adjust the time frame in which engineers can expect to see the part.
Luckily, a very human aspect still exists at 3D Hubs. Unlike 3D printing services, CNC machining services can require more hands-on prep before the design is manufactured. This means special care is taken to ensure the right tools are used and any issues that slip past the design stage will be taken care of immediately.
Using CNC machining and online 3D printing services can lower the overall costs of manufacturing, especially when engineers choose the number of parts and materials wisely. The modern tools and software make this process ideal for a number of industries, including aerospace, automotive, and medical. Even artists or local VR/AR startups can benefit from CNC machining or injection molding. With such a wide range of industry experience, on-demand machining companies can help engineers, artists, and businesses come up with the best designs at impressive prices.
Companies like 3D Hubs are dedicated to making sure their client base has all the knowledge they need to make an informed decision about their custom products. Their website is full of valuable information, and they even have YouTube videos specially produced in small, digestible segments of 10 minutes each. Engineers can get a quote, assess their designs, browse material options and benefits, and research production methods all on the same website to make sure they receive a product they’re happy with.