5 CNC Machining Mistakes that Cost You Money

CNC machining is a cost-effective and versatile manufacturing method for creating low, medium, or high-volume orders of custom precision plastic parts. However, these common CNC machining challenges can quickly waste time, money, and resources better spent elsewhere.

1. Not Understanding Plastic Material Requirements

CNC machining precision plastics requires patience, experience, and special training to create effective custom parts. Unlike metal, CNC manufacturing custom plastic components requires an understanding of heat responses, stresses, cutting techniques, and more for each individual plastic. Common mistakes and missteps made while CNC machining plastic material include, but are not limited to:

These plastic CNC machining challenges can critically compromise the performance of your final product, leading to consequences for any end user. Inexperienced machinists will lose valuable time, resources, and labor hours troubleshooting material issues during production, delaying your final assembly and impacting your profit.

2. Incorporating Sharp Internal Corners

CNC machining uses a round bit to manufacture custom precision parts, making it nearly impossible to machine a sharp corner. To achieve sharp internal corners and meet all requirements of your design, secondary processes must be performed. These additional steps, while small, add significant time to your CNC manufacturing process, ultimately costing you money.

One way to achieve parts with complex geometries and tight tolerances without losing resources is to partner with an experienced machine shop like Upland Fab. Our engineers and machinists will work with you before your CNC machining begins to optimize your design to avoid delays caused by flaws in the original specifications. We’ll speed up production while creating components that perform as designed and fit your budget.

3. Including Small Text or Raised Logos

Parts used in medical applications, aerospace assemblies, and other industries often include milled descriptions, part numbers, or other classification marks. Adding these features can increase overall run time and raise your production cost. The smaller your text, the bigger the challenge. Still, certain productions require these markings to meet industry standards or production specifications. To save time and money during CNC manufacturing, you can:

  • Use larger texts or logos than initially planned
  • Use recessed text instead of raised text
  • Work with an experienced machine shop to achieve your original design

4. CNC Machining Deep Holes or Cavities

Milling tools feature a limited length. This length determines the depth of any included holes or cavities in your final product. Generally, CNC milling processes are most accurate when milling spaces double or triple their diameter in depth. Designs that extend beyond this measurement will struggle with extended lead times, tool damage, or chipping and cracking in the final product. To efficiently mill a deep hole or cavity, specialty tools must be purchased, raising your operational costs.

5. Not Working with an Experienced Plastic CNC Manufacturing Team

The most expensive CNC machining mistake is also one of the most common: not working with an experienced machine shop that specializes in CNC manufacturing custom plastic parts, such as Upland Fab.

Our expert machinists work with you at every stage of production, identifying design issues, selecting your best material choice, and streamlining your process to deliver products as fast as possible and within your budget. Our custom CNC manufacturing services can adapt to low or high-volume orders, meet all necessary regulations or guidelines, and deliver precision CNC-machined plastic parts for any industry.

Ready to ramp up your custom precision plastic part production? Contact us with any questions, concerns, and to learn how we can best support your business and goals. Request a quote to receive information specific to your order.
Precision Plastic and Composite CNC Machining

Precision Plastic and Composite
CNC Machining since 1970.

Precision Plastic and Composite CNC Machining
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