Custom CNC Machining Services

With the ability to manufacture thousands of parts without deviation in quality or detail, CNC machining satisfies requirements, from prototype to production. Get an Instant Quote today and access a wide material selection for your next project.

The Rise in CNC Machining Services

Demand for CNC machining services continues to accelerate, with ‘impressive growth’ noted currently and projected through 2028. Recent market analysis shows the CNC market valued at USD $67.5 billion, and an expected climb to USD $80.4 billion by 2028–reflecting a CAGR of 3.5% during that time. Automation in manufacturing and lowered operating costs are driving this growth. Overall, CNC machining assures manufacturers of excellence in product quality, while also delivering speed and efficiency. Many industries seek CNC machining as a manufacturing solution due to generally economic start-up costs, and the ability to produce in small or larger volumes.

About CNC Machining

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining is an extremely precise digital technology, made of automated commands, a drive system, and a feedback system. The process begins as an engineer or designer conceptualizes a product, converts it to a CAD file, and then moves forward to make industrial parts in a wide range of materials, sizes, and shapes.

In comparison to additive manufacturing or 3D printing, CNC machining is known as a subtractive process. Pre-programmed computer software controls machining, issue instructions centered around a 3D file. CNC technology offers outstanding dimensional accuracy in parts, using a variety of automated tools and machines for fine-tuned precision, including:

    • Cutters – Machine tools constructed of metal materials like steel, CNC laser cutters consist of a head, lens, and nozzle. The cutter chips away at a block of material until the intended structure is complete and accurate. Cutters may also be used to mark or engrave parts or make customized shapes. 
    • Drills – Several drill types are used for CNC machining, employing a rotating cutting tool to create extremely precise openings for screws and bolts. Holes may be drilled into parts for other purposes too, including aesthetics. CNC drills are used with a wide range of materials and are known to be very accurate due to computer control.
    • Grinders These abrasive grinding machines finish parts for surface quality, while removing minimal material. These tools are accompanied by a rotating grinding wheel that moves in place for subtracting material from a part. CNC grinders may be categorized as surface grinders, centerless grinders, cylindrical grinders, internal grinders, or other parts. They are also used to sharpen CNC tools, especially cutters.
    • Lathes – As mounted, stationary machines, lathes rotate materials on a spindle, ensuring manufacturing of precise shapes in CNC machining.

CNC Machining Applications

CNC machining is popular for critical applications across industries, providing accuracy, efficiency, and speed—even for complex parts. 

Typical industries relying on CNC production for parts for rapid tooling, rapid prototyping, and end-use production:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Electronics
  • Marine
  • Medical and dental
  • Oil and gas
  • Robotics
  • Transportation

The Benefits of Traditional Manufacturing like CNC Technology

For most businesses using manufacturing, the goal is to make parts that last. Shapeways has a robust suite of in-house enterprise manufacturing services and strong distributed fulfillment to meet a range of customer needs, from prototype to production, and additive to traditional manufacturing. 

Our focus is on working with customers to match the correct materials and processes to a specific application. When customer demand increases exponentially, it often makes greater economic sense—as well as increasing speed and efficiency—to scale production, using traditional methods for large volumes of identical parts.

Today, many businesses rely on hybrid technology. This means using a mixture of additive processes and CNC machining. For companies requiring versatility, hybrid technology can be the answer to retaining all the benefits possible, with additive complementing traditional manufacturing.

One of the greatest benefits of CNC machining is that it is compatible with so many different types of materials. Shapeways offers access to a range of materials for use with CNC machining, some of which are used in additive manufacturing, like thermoplastics, nylons, and metals.

Submit an Instant Quote today, or Contact Sales to speak with one of our experts.

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