Best CNC Machining Service For Metal Fabrication
Generally speaking, the decision of what CNC machining services best suit your project is not a decision you have to make. Technically that is determined by the project itself. The physical dimensions, tolerances, kerf widths, features, and details tend to dictate what CNC machining services are required to produce it.
Of course, nothing’s that cut and dried. Hopefully, your designers know enough about various CNC technologies to be able to tell you what services you need, or what your options are. But then keeping up with CNC technologies isn’t their job, either. They’re engineers. You really need to get the advice of experts, and those experts are at CNC machine shops.
This isn’t about how to choose a shop; suffice it to say you want to find a full-service shop that has the full spectrum of CNC technologies available. They can look at your project and tell you what technologies you need.
Why do you need to deal with a full-service CNC machine shop?
If a shop has limited technology, it’s possible they’ll tell you they can produce your project when in fact their limitations are going to create problems or yield lower quality. A full-service CNC machine shop doesn’t face that issue, and they’ll be able to provide a more genuine assessment of your needs.
What constitutes a full-service CNC machine shop?
You want them to have the ability to bring any needed technology to bear. That includes CNC press brakes for sheet metal work like heat shields. If your design is mostly round, you’re likely to need CNC lathes, or perhaps even Swiss turning machines for small, very high tolerance work. CNC mills produce parts that are more angular, have threaded screw holes, etc. CNC laser cutting, EDM, and CNC plasma cutting are all technologies that need to be on the table, too. You want to see that they are well equipped for metrology. Inspecting their work to guarantee it fits your needs is vital. And perhaps most crucially, they need to be anxious to make their engineers available to look at your project. Those are the people who will ultimately tell you what CNC machining services you need.
Enlisting engineers from a CNC machine shop has more benefits than that, though. They can tell you quickly if, for example, a feature on your project will require using a 5-axis CNC mill and changing it would allow all the work to be done more cheaply on a 3-axis mill. They can spot design features which perhaps weren’t adequately defined by your engineers, or have conflicting dimensions, and they can suggest any changes which might save you money. CNC machine shop engineers can even make recommendations about material selection based on extensive knowledge.
CNC machining services are incredibly broad in scope, and while they’re not exactly inexpensive, they’re almost always the most cost-effective solution for part manufacture. Making sure you get the right CNC machining services for your design is crucial for its success. Making sure you go to the best source and get the best guidance is just as important.