CNC milling is not a cheap process. Machine shop owners are well aware of that and know that each shop operation needs to be carefully planned.
Understanding what factors lead to high costs, and identify a way to minimize or avoid them, is key to maximize efficiency and margins.
Some of the most common cost-increasing factors include overly specific tolerances, expensive materials, and elaborate surface finishes.
The following list collects some useful tips on how to save time and money on CNC milling projects.
Raw materials are one of the main factors to consider when planning a CNC milling project.
Selecting the raw materials cleverly, based on its application, can help save money without compromising on the quality.
Saving money on materials used for prototyping and investing in expensive materials only for specific milling projects, such as medical equipment, is a good example of smart material planning.
Once materials and processes are selected, the next step is working on operations and setups.
The goal of this step to reduce the number of setups as much as possible.
Cutting down on setups means cutting downtime, increasing machining time and ultimately increasing profitability.
Working with tight tolerances has a great impact on production costs.
Where possible, it is better for maintaining standard tolerances and specify tolerances only for critical features and only if absolutely necessary.