As a manufacturer, it is critical to consider the cost of production for CNC machining. Minimizing costs and increasing production is a fact that many find challenging, but must be considered. First and foremost, the final price of your product will largely depend on how you decide. It doesn’t matter if it is a prototype or if you are preparing for large-scale production.
There are ways to reduce CNC manufacturing costs, but each step can be challenging. For this reason, you should consider the following points as a beginner:
- Material cost (material value and material size)
- Machining time (complexity and quantity)
- Fixture setup (avoid tricky parts if possible)
With these three facts in mind, you can produce optimized parts that meet your design requirements. By implementing these measures, you can reduce CNC machine costs and still maintain a high level of production.
Increase the thickness of the walls
Thick solid elements are stable and cost less to manufacture. You should prefer them unless weight is an important consideration. Several cuts with small cutting length are required. This is to avoid cracks or damage when making a delicate wall. Thin elements are susceptible to vibration. Therefore, it is difficult to drill them, which increases the processing time and cost. To minimize the cost:
- If the material is plastic, the minimum wall thickness should be over 1.5 mm
- For metal parts, design thicker walls than 0.8 mm
Note: Normal wall thickness for metal parts is 0.5 mm and for plastic parts is 1.0 mm. Machinability of these features may be achieved on a case-by-case basis.
Minimize thread length
You can drive up CNC machining costs by specifying longer threads than are needed. Threads thicker than 0.5 times the hole diameter will not increase the strength of the connection.
To minimize cost:
- The threads you model should have a maximum length of up to 3 mm in hole diameter
- For threads in blind holes, increase the diameter of the non-threaded length at the bottom of the hole by ½
Construct standard size holes
Use standard drills to drill holes quickly and with high accuracy. Non-standard holes must be designed with a standard drill. This can increase production costs. Also, reduce the diameter of all holes by four times. Deeper holes can be made up to 10 times the diameter, but the cost is high. This is because they cause many problems for the machines.
To minimize the cost:
- When drilling holes, increase their fineness from 0.1 mm to 10 mm or 0.5 mm above
- Design holes whose length is up to 4 times the normal diameter
- When designing holes in inches, use regular fractions of an inch
Discard small features with high aspect ratio
Small features with a high width-to-height ratio are difficult to process accurately. This is because they are exposed to vibration. However, they can be connected to a solid wall to increase their rigidity. It can also be reinforced with brace support ribs. Preferably, there should be four of them, one on each side.
To minimize the cost.
- Fixing small features to the wall will improve the toughness of the wall. You can still add bracing supports
- The feature to be installed should have a width-to-height aspect ratio of 4 or less
Different features require different machines, it may be a challenge to find some of these tools. However, it should not let you pursue your hobby or business so that you can get the best CNC machining tools.