Types of Custom Machining Services and What Each Can Do

custom machining services
May 30, 2019

Custom Machining Services

Custom machining services run a wide range of tools and applications, each with various features and advantages that set one another apart. Usually, for a project one has in mind, there is a type of custom machining that is best suited for it, especially with today’s modern technology that allows for quick, efficient, and precision fabrication.

CNC Machining: An Overview

CNC, or computer numerical control, custom machining services are highly precise because they are performed in an automated way, removing the potential for human error. CNC machining is very efficient and capable of processing complex operations without errors or issues, making it a top choice for countless industrial applications.

There are several types of custom machining services powered by CNC. A 5-axis CNC machine works with three perpendicular axes and two rotary axes, while a 6-axis machine has three of each.

CNC Milling

CNC milling is one of the most popular types of custom machining services. The CNC milling machine mills out parts of a block of material, subtracting to manufacture the end product.

This is typically used for drilling and turning metals, though it can be used in plastic. Plastic products made through CNC milling are usually left as-milled which means they may show tool marks, while metal parts may be less obviously milled.

Milling machines used in traditional machining can be retrofitted for CNC custom machining services, which may be part of why they are so widely used. Modern CNC milling machines are built to be highly efficient, with automated tool changers, auto-feed mechanisms for material changes, and electrical sensors.

Typical applications for CNC milling include prototypes that function as the end product would, jigs and fixtures, and lower volumes of production components.

CNC Lathe and CNC Turning

A CNC lathe is used for custom machining services that require 3D shapes and molds. The materials turn as they are cut, and the computer control offers much more accuracy than a manual lathe.

CNC turning is a similar type of custom machining service, marrying lathe and mill capabilities. This process involves rotating a metal rod (aluminum, brass, steel or steel alloy, or titanium), using a CNC operated cutting tool to remove parts of the metal to create the final product. The end product can be left as is or blasted to create a more finished appearance.

As with CNC milling this custom machining service is ideal for functional prototypes, as well as parts ready for end-use, cylindrical parts, and parts that require axial and radial holes, grooves, or slots.

CNC Router

CNC routers are like a high-tech manual router, cutting or etching complex and intricate shapes precisely out of metal sheets. They can also be used to fabricate out of wood and plastics, composites, glass, and foams. Often, CNC routers are used for large scale custom machining services, filling in for shop machines like panel saws and boring machines.

CNC routers are used for items like wood panels and boards, frames, moldings, furniture, and even musical instruments. They are used for hobby work as well as prototyping, product development, and production.

Plasma and Laser Cutting

Plasma cutters offer the ability to cut 2D shapes and molds, while laser cutters work similarly save for the laser in place of a plasma torch. CNC plasma cutters use less energy, while laser cutters are less destructive and can be used on other materials like wood and plastic depending on the strength of the laser.

CNC plasma cutting is used particularly in the HVAC industry, helping to increase productivity and output as the machines are used to cut ductwork. This custom machining process also plays a roll in decorative metalwork and signage.

CNC laser cutting and engraving is highly precise and affordable, used in many industries from components for automotive purposes to pieces of electrical items like cell phones. Of course, used for engraving, the CNC laser is ideal for everything from customizing a product with a name or message, to adding barcodes and other practical information to metal and other surfaces.

At New Age Metal Fabricating and New Age Precision Manufacturing, our motto is “If you design it, we will build it.” Our custom machining services and processes are here to give you the durability and precision you need for prototypes and end use products, with our full range of metal fabrication services including laser, punching, forming, welding, chemical conversion coating, and painting. Each project we do is carefully controlled and created in-house, from start to finish. Contact us today for more information or to get started on a project!

NADCAP AS9100D NAVSEA itar