How to Save Cost for your CNC Turning parts?

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Whether you are looking to create a single prototype or you are ready for large-scale production, cutting manufacturing costs is often the main priority when it comes to CNC turning. There are many ways to improve your design drawings to make them faster, easier and cheaper while maintaining quality. Here is some advice to consider for your CNC turning parts.

1. Specify Tolerances only when Necessary

Defining tight tolerances raises the cost of CNC turning, as it both increases the machining time and requires manual inspection. Tolerances should be defined sparingly and only when necessary.

If a specific tolerance is not defined on the technical drawing, then the parts will be machined using the standard tolerance (± 0.125 mm or better), which is sufficient for most non-critical features.

Tight tolerances are especially difficult to achieve on internal features. For example, while machining intersecting holes or cavities, small defects may develop at the edges (called the burr), due to the deformation of the material. Parts with such features require inspection and deburring, which are both manual (and time inefficient) processes, increasing the cost.

2. Consider the Machinability of the Material

Machinability refers to the ease with which a material can be cut. The higher the machinability the faster a material can be CNC turned lowering the cost.

The machinability of each material depends on its physical properties. Typically, the softer (and more ductile) a metal alloy, the easier it is to machine.

Brass C360 is the metal with the highest machinability, allowing for high-speed machining. Aluminum alloys (like Al 6061) can also be machined very easily.

Stainless Steel has 10 times lower machinability than aluminum and will take at least 2 times more to machine. Note that different steel grades have different machinability. For example, Stainless Steel 304 (the most common Stainless Steel alloy) has a machinability index of 45%, while Stainless Steel 303 (an alloy with very similar chemical composition) has an index of 78%, making it easier to machine.

3. Avoid (Multiple) Surface Finishes

Surface finishes improve the appearance and resistance to harsh environments of CNC turning parts, but also increase their cost. Requesting multiple different surfaces finishes on the same part increases the price even further, as extra steps are required (for example, to mask the surfaces).

The above is just one of the ways we work with you to help optimize your designs for manufacturing, so send us your files today and let’s get to work!


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.