How to Reduce CNC Machining Costs in 2023?


Factors affect CNC machining cost

How to Reduce Cost of CNC Machining Parts?

The Easiest Way: Outsource to a Trusted Manufacturer

Factors affect CNC machining cost

Before we can figure out how to reduce the cost of machined parts, we need to figure out how much does CNC machining cost or what factors affect the machining cost.

CNC(computer numerical control) machining is a great way to quickly and accurately produce parts, being a subtractive manufacturing technology, CNC machining technology hasn’t changed much. but the machining cost associated with this method may be prohibitive for some. In order to keep your costs down, it’s important to understand the factors that affect the cost of CNC machining so you can make informed decisions before beginning production.

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The larger the number of parts you need produced(mass production), the lower the per-part machining cost will be due to economies of scale. However, if your project requires only a few pieces, in stead of higher production volumes, it won’t result in much savings no matter how low you bring down the price per part.


The raw material costs is also an important factor. Different materials will result in varying levels of machining difficulty and hence variable machining cost. For instance, harder metals tend to require more complex toolpaths and therefore are more expensive than softer metals or plastics when being machined on CNC machines, which is different from 3d printing.

Complexity & Quantity of Features

Parts that require intricate details or multiple features will take longer to machine due to their complexity and thus result in higher overall costs as compared to simpler parts with fewer features and tool paths. CNC machine parts require tighter tolerances, complexity will increase the start up costs and tooling cost and manufacturing cost.

Surface Finish Requirement

If you require a high level of surface finish for your parts, you’ll need to use specialized tools for finishing which add up to the overall machining cost of production. On the other hand, lower quality finishes obviously results in lower costs but also a lesser quality product in most cases.

Lead Time

Longer lead times usually mean discounts off each part since providers are able to better plan their production accordingly without having to rush orders out as quickly as possible.

By understanding these factors, it’ll help you make informed decisions when using CNC machining services and get better results while keeping your machining cost down!

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How to Reduce Cost of CNC Machining Parts?

Labor cost

WAfter your design drawings are no longer changed, we can also reduce labor costs by, for example, outsourcing production work to be done in factories with low labor costs, such as China. There are many CNC machining companies in China, mainly in the Pearl River Delta region, such as Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Zhongshan. The common price of a 3-axis CNC machining machine(excluding the operator salary) is $40 per hour.

In addition, we can also reduce machining cost by optimizing the design.

Avoid Small Features With High Aspect Ratio

Increase Hole Size: Increasing the size of holes helps reduce aspect ratio which in turn reduces cost since more material is being used to machine them – this reduces time spent on finishing as well!

Simplify Geometry: Simplifying geometric features of components also helps keep down cost since fewer points are required for programming tool movements; reducing complexity leads to less cutting time.

Use Standard Components: Whenever feasible, using standardized components with established dimensions allows for ease of production and reduced machining time; standardizing parts can lead to considerable savings in some cases.

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Limiting Length of Threads

Limit Thread Length: Reducing thread lengths helps cut back on time spent on machining as well as material cost since less material is needed to produce the threaded components – this entails using only enough thread length that meets structural integrity requirements without going overboard!

Choose Appropriate Materials: Choosing appropriate materials with good strength-to-weight ratios helps minimize material costs and allows for shorter threads to be used since less material is necessary – lightweight alloys such as aluminum are often ideal solutions when it comes to keeping production expenses low!

Avoiding Thin Walls

Consider Structural Integrity: When it comes to CNC machining design, consider structural integrity first – thin walls may offer lower mass and cost savings, but they are often more prone to damages and breaches due to their weaker properties; thicker walls provide better stability and strength over time! There are also any additional completion costs needed to be considerate.

CNC design tips

Simplify Shape Complexity and Dimensions

Utilize Design Software: Taking advantage of CAD/CAM software can significantly simplify shapes while maintaining accuracy due to its ability to generate 3D models with fewer points. For machine shop, this increases efficiency by reducing tool paths and cutting time when programming tool movements – resulting in lower machining cost overall.

Analyze Geometric Features: Understanding geometric features of parts helps determine optimal tolerances for each component and hence allows you to cut them down without affecting quality adversely in most cases. Analyzing these features thoroughly helps ensure that your parts remain within specification while save CNC machining cost associated with them at the same time.

Eliminate Unnecessary Features: Eliminating unnecessary features, like sharp internal corners, not only helps conserve material, but it also reduces the amount of time spent on CNC machining since the workpiece is simplified – resulting in a saving in overall production cost! Make sure you factor this into your designs before beginning any project!

Minimize Part Markings: Some components require unique markings or logos for identification purposes, but adding too many can result in more complex tool paths leading to longer CNC machining times which directly affects cost associated with them – so try using minimal markings where possible!

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Cutting Tolerances

there are ways to save CNC machining cost associated with CNC machining such as cutting tolerance, which is the difference between the desired dimension of a part and the actual in-tolerance size.

Understand Your Tolerance Needs: It’s important to understand your needs when it comes to tolerances before beginning CNC machining project since over-specifying could result in extra cost if unnecessary tighter tolerances is required for certain components that may not need it all the time – strive for just enough accuracy for successful assemblies!

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Using Cheaper Materials

Opt for Cheaper Alternatives: Many raw material used for CNC machined parts such as steel and aluminum have cheaper alternatives available in the form of alloys which usually have similar properties but lower cost – choosing these instead can help reduce CNC machining costs without affecting performance adversely in most cases!

Select Appropriate Tooling & Fixturing: Selecting appropriate tooling and fixturing also helps bring down associated costs with each project since they are relatively inexpensive compared to material costs; machine setups or special materials that will cost you more money. However, machine shop should ensure that these match the component specification requirement to prevent any surprises during production!

Maximize Material Utilization: Maximizing material utilization within a component design helps bring down cost associated with CNC machining significantly since less raw material is wasted and hence more components can be produced from a given quantity – making sure you account for this prior to beginning any project yields great savings too!

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Surface finishing

Proper Component Design: Designing parts properly helps reduce surface treatment CNC machined parts costs since some materials do not require any additional treatments – understanding your component’s requirements helps determine which treatments should be specified in order to maintain its integrity while keeping costs down.

Select Appropriate Materials: Choosing appropriate materials for components also plays a major role in reducing surface treatment costs since certain materials require different types of treatment or none at all depending on the application – so always take careful consideration when deciding which material is best suited for a given task!

Consider Alternate Treatments: If a specific part requires substantial protection, consider alternate treatments such as anodizing or hardening instead of traditional methods like galvanizing or chroming; these options usually provide better protection for longer periods of time at lower cost than the more common methods mentioned above!

Reusability & Long-Term Performance: Taking into account how many times a component will need to be reworked over its lifetime can significantly reduce surface treatment cost since rework requires fewer steps than starting from scratch – considering this before proceeding with any project will help bring about great savings later on down the line!

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Shorten Machining Time

CNC machining can be a cost-effective way to produce quality parts and components, but it may become expensive when production times are too long.

Opt for Bulk Production: Large batches tend to take less time in production than smaller ones due to economies of scale, allowing for shorter productions times resulting in lower costs overall.

Utilize CAD/CAM Software: CAD/CAM (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing) software allows for more streamlined workflow by automating setup processes and efficient motion planning – significantly reducing CNC machining time while improving accuracy at the same time. Make sure you factor these benefits into your projects when calculating costs associated with CNC machining services beforehand!

Choose Appropriate Materials & Tools: Different materials require varying level of difficulty in being machined which consequently affects their production time drastically – selecting appropriate materials and tools prior to beginning production helps keep machining times short while ensuring better efficiency for each component as well!

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The Type of CNC Machines

The CNC machining cost operations can vary significantly depending on the type of CNC machines used. We usually classify CNC milling machines into 3-axis machines and multi axis machines. CNC turning machines is also 3-axis machines. This is because certain machines are more suitable for specific jobs than others and thus require different levels of investment in terms of time, money and resources.

Consider Material Type: Different materials require different cutting tools and speeds, so choose CNC machines that are able to handle the material you are working with; aluminum and steel have very different properties.

Focus On Speed & Precision: Making sure that the CNC machines has enough power to produce parts quickly without sacrificing accuracy is important; investing in equipment capable of high speeds will help speed up production times and minimize costs associated with inefficient processes.

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Increase Quantity

Using larger quantities can reduce CNC machining cost greatly of CNC machining projects, as it can simplify CNC machining process. This is because the process of producing parts becomes more efficient when a large batch can be produced all at once rather than repeatedly making single components. However, care should always be taken that quality does not suffer due to increased quantity – proper management and testing must still be done when producing larger batches.

Take Advantage of Bulk Pricing Deals: Many manufacturers offer bulk pricing discounts, so take advantage of these deals whenever possible; this will help minimize expenses while also increasing efficiency as fewer orders need to be made! By increasing quantity and taking advantage of cost savings opportunities, you’ll be able to produce a larger amount of high quality components at a lower price!

machining products assembly

Extending Delivery Time

When it comes to CNC machining, reducing costs is often dependent on finding ways to make production more efficient. One way to do this is by extending delivery times. This can have a significant impact on the bottom line since it eliminates the need for rush orders and associated overtime costs due to inefficient scheduling.

Adopt Lean Manufacturing Processes: Implementing lean manufacturing processes such as JIT (just-in-time) allows companies to produce and deliver parts faster while cutting costs – this means that parts are produced only when they are needed rather than stockpiling them in advance which reduces cost due to eliminating unnecessary waste of materials or labor!

Establish Lead Times & Regulations: Setting up lead times and regulations regarding when parts need to be delivered helps maintain production flow, allowing for better planning of orders – this reduces costs associated with rushed orders or last minute changes made due to a lack of organization!

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The Easiest Way: Outsource to a Trusted Manufacturer

The easiest way of reduce CNC machining cost is work with a CNC machining factory or machine shops. Steady workflows, increased efficiency and cost savings are all reasons why outsourcing CNC machining operations can be a beneficial alternative. When looking for a trusted manufacturer who has multi axis CNC machining capabilities to outsource your CNC machining needs, there are certain criteria that should always be taken into consideration.

Steady workflows, increased efficiency and cost savings are all reasons why outsourcing CNC machining operations can be a beneficial alternative. When looking for a trusted manufacturer to outsource your CNC machining needs, there are certain criteria that should always be taken into consideration.

Quality Over Quantity: Quality should always be prioritized over quantity; it is more important that the parts produced meet your performance standards and specifications than getting them done quickly or in large batches.

Industry Experience: Look for a manufacturer with experience in the same industry as yours; this will help ensure that they are familiar with the common manufacturing processes and components used within your business sector!

Competitive Pricing: While not always an indicator of quality, competitive pricing can make outsourcing more attractive since cost-efficiency plays a major role when it comes to deciding which manufacturer to hire!

Delivery Timeframes: When considering various manufacturers, check their delivery timeframes – this will help determine whether they can meet your deadlines and keep production running smoothly! By outsourcing your CNC machining operations to a trusted manufacturer, you’ll be able to easily reduce costs while still maintaining high levels of quality and performance!

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Modo Rapid(Shenzhen Rapid Manufacturing Co., Ltd) is a CNC machining part manufacturer with over 18-year experience, contact us now to get your brillint project started.

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