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CNC Manufacturing: Three Fundamental Tips for Minimising Project Complications

CNC manufacturing is an advantageous process for creating custom prototypes and developing end-use components. This method is favoured because of the high levels of accuracy achieved through computer numerical control. Moreover, CNC tools are compatible with a range of materials. However, if you would like to choose this process for your manufacturing needs, you must think about potential complications like delays, poor quality parts and increased costs. Here are important tips for avoiding oversights and mistakes and minimising complications.

Think about CNC Suitability

You should consider the suitability of CNC manufacturing for fabricating your required products. In simple terms, this method might not match your product creation needs, and you can consider other options for your prototype. Therefore, evaluate your design, materials and production needs and make an objective decision.

CNC machining should be reserved for projects that require high levels of precision in terms of measurements. If you are uncertain about selecting the right method, discuss your project specifics with your fabricator.

Consider Product Complexity

The design is a critical issue to address when planning for CNC manufacturing. Simply speaking, most complications and losses during this form of machining arise due to an inappropriate design. In most cases, the design is not suitable for CNC processes. Therefore, you should think about the best approach to making your product designs more CNC-friendly. This consideration will reduce your costs, shorten the production timeline and prevent faults in the created components.

The simplest way to improve your design is to remove all superfluous elements such as decorative features. A good CNC product should be minimalistic. Also, avoid incorporating elements like logos, numbers or text at the initial stage of production. These simple features will require special tooling if they are done during the machining phase. For now, focus on the main elements of your design. Additionally, review the cavities, corners and undercuts in the designs and ensure they are as efficient as possible.

Specify Your Requirements

Finally, you should discuss the right method for specifying the design with your fabricator. This practice is crucial because your approach to manufacturing specifications could increase your total project costs. For example, excessive and unnecessary addition of tolerance details often demands special equipment to increase the level of parts accuracy. If your custom product does not require highly precise components, do not add tolerance details. For the best results, follow the CNC manufacturer's recommended design template.