Why and When you need to do contract cnc machining?


Manufactured products require contract CNC machining, routing, milling and turning in project development of multiple industries, manufacturing prototype or mass production custom parts. This may be for engineering prototyping; it may be for production of tooling and fixtures; or it may be for large volume supply of final production parts.

This article will lay out the drivers for a manufacturer to select service providers for CNC machining of custom components; the benefits that clients can receive in contracting CNC machining services; and some selection tools for which materials, processes, equipment and suppliers might be best suited to your contract CNC machining needs.

What is Contract CNC Machining Manufacturing?

CNC contract manufacturers use precision CNC machines to provide services to any industrial customer, across all industries. They contract to provide CNC component production services using various multi axis CNC machine types.

CNC machine control processes use less operators time than manual operation to perform engineering production, as machinery is automated. Access to this technology allows low cost and high accuracy solutions for companies to produce the parts they require.

There is a wide variety of contract CNC machining services companies that clients can access. These range from small local shops to large international specialists with experience in a range of industrial sectors. Specializations such as mold tools, die cast tools, aerospace products, medical component, prototyping, natural materials, exotic metals and more are common.

There is a spectrum of contract CNC machining services exist. Some manufacturing services are better suited to smaller and higher value/precision operation roles, while others focus on high volume.

Another differentiator for high quality CNC machining services is their types of equipment. CNC machining suppliers specializing in alloy components for aerospace will generally have a variety of 5 axis CNC machines. Local shop CNC machining services are likely to have a mix of large and small 3, 4, 4.5 axis and sometimes a 5 axis CNC machining center. Many contract CNC manufacturers also offer CNC lathe services.

A differentiator of CNC manufacturing services is by material experience. While many suppliers are generalists offering the full range of materials, a small number of CNC machining services specialize in particular sectors. Areas such as cryogenic machining of rubber components, or routing/turning of wooden parts, or the precision machining of composite materials are examples.

The benefits of contract CNC machining?

Full spectrum CNC manufacturing services provide customers large and small with a range of benefits in fast turnaround manufacture. This results in efficient provision of complex parts with high tolerances, access to machine technology that is beyond most manufacturer in house budgets

Expertise and Equipment

Access to advanced tooling resources and operator capabilities allows your employees to develop parts and assemblies of highly complex design. This ensures that the work can be performed on time, to tight tolerances without needing to develop these capabilities by in house training.

The experience of a single operator allows him/her to produce quantities of custom engineering parts by milling and turning. This can be done using multiple precision CNC machines which are largely unsupervised. This enables contract CNC companies to offer the production of high precision, high quality custom work is the result of their investment, from which their clients benefit.

Strict quality control

Design of a 3D model for CNC milling or turning enables levels of precision that other industrial manufacturers cannot achieve. Production of the highest quality components and surface finishes is the real and consistent experience of manufacturers across multiple industries, using various CNC contract services.

Inspection of the precision and quality of the first off a CNC manufacturer makes for their customer is the means of ensuring great service. If the first part the service provides is exactly right, maintaining that quality and precision becomes a function of machine maintenance, tool quality, inspection and setup precision. Repeatability is a key strength of CNC machines outputs.

One stop CNC manufacturing

A major advantage of CNC contract milling and turning is the ability to handle all aspects of a design/model in virtually any material. This allows product designers to access the skills and experience of highly trained component and assembly makers. They’ll understand of a wide spectrum of manufacturing issues, while specializing in CNC contract manufacturing.

In this way, a large assembly of many components can be produced by one team. They can use most metals, plastics and composites, as well as natural materials like wood and stone.

With an understanding of component 3D model interpretation based on time spent in custom and volume manufacture, a CNC contract team is well equipped. This allows them to help in the development AND mass production of complex products.

When do you need to do contract CNC machining?

Contract CNC machining services can be of great value to their customer company in every aspect of a product development and mass production process;

1. In the development phase

The ability to test out ideas in real materials can be invaluable in ensuring that the idea can be executed to deliver on the design concept at a price that meets the market.

3D printing (rapid prototyping) is an additive process and CNC machining is subtractive. Machined parts have the often overwhelming advantage of being made in ‘real’ production materials, rather than a simulant that is usually much weaker.

This allows full stress testing of parts for normal use and expected levels of abuse. This results in designs that can be more complete and offer greater performance confidence earlier in the development process.

2. In the pre-production phase

The ability to deliver fully stress resilient parts that properly represent the finished product in strength and durability terms can allow pre-production to be carried out earlier.

This early pilot building of close to final, and fully usable product can allow the highest quality prototypes. These can be used for market evaluation and certification testing, before mass production parts are available. This often allows the company to achieve design iterations that prevent recalls, production failures and process disruptions.

3. In the manufacture of mass production tools

For die casting, plastic molding, forging, punching and press forming – CNC processes are a must have. All of the necessary tool stages CAN be achieved by manual machining, but they take longer, cost more, reduce accuracy and prevent a great deal of design finesse, in the need to simplify designs.

4. Finally in mass production phase

CNC contract services can often compete with higher volume processes – particularly where extreme precision is required. It is equally true that lower cost processes can be used for generating the net shape of parts, followed by CNC machining to impose precision in the component areas that require it.


Contract CNC services hold an important place in low, medium and high volume manufacturing and offer opportunities for strength, precision and part quality that make these services relevant and critically important across many high value sectors.

There are driving forces that make these services relevant in unexpected ways. This may be in making chassis and enclosure components for high value products like cell phones and laptops, in making repeatable and highly aesthetic outcomes in natural materials like wood, and in delivering custom precision. Demand for this exists across industries ranging from medical implants to aircraft engines, from furniture to hand tools.

Worthy Hardware is a CNC manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication company,including CNC machining services,CNC milling services, CNC turning services, laser cutting services and stamping services.Call us +86-76989919645 or email us [email protected] for more discounts for your projects.