Custom Machining: Everything You Need to Know

Custom machining based on design file

February 2, 2021

Ever since Richard Kegg developed the first CNC machine in 1952, the market size for CNC machines and other custom machining equipment has risen exponentially.

The global machining market was estimated to be worth USD 341.91 billion in 2019, with precision machining holding 70% of the market size and conventional machining accounting for the remaining 30%. If you’re yet to implement custom machining in your business, your competitors could be gaining a competitive advantage over you.

This article covers everything you need to know about custom machining, including its advantages over other manufacturing methods.

What is Custom Machining?

Custom machining is a type of machining that involves creating parts that fill a specific purpose or according to a customer’s specification. It relies on manual machining equipment as well as advanced machining equipment (for example, CNC turning, CNC milling, and laser cutting machines) to create high-quality parts.

The machinery required for a particular project depends on the shape, size, and type of material you’re to work on. For some parts, manual lathes will suffice; for others, you might have to rely on a 5-axis CNC machine.

So, is custom machining the right solution to your machining needs? If you fall under any of the four categories below, you must not give custom machining a second thought.

4 Scenarios That Require Custom Machining Services

Man reviewing CAD drawings on computer for custom machining

1. You’re looking to replace discontinued or obsolete parts

While most machine parts have a short service life, some machinery or parts can be used for years or even decades without the need for extensive maintenance or replacement. Are you looking to replace parts that are out of production by the manufacturers? You have to consider custom machining.

Through reverse engineering and using CNC machining equipment, a custom manufacturing company can create CAD models and recreate the discontinued parts you need but can’t find elsewhere.

2. You need a low volume of parts quickly and at a low price

Are you in urgent need of a small batch of machined parts or plastic components? Chances are that you’ve reached out to a conventional machining company or injection molding company, but you find their quotation higher than your budget.

A custom manufacturing company can help you out with this. Since you require a low volume of machined parts, this company won’t have to purchase special tooling to begin the project. They can get right on with the machining and provide you with the machined parts in no time.

3. You want to work with difficult material

Are you experiencing challenges with machining certain engineering materials? This is normal; certain engineering materials pose problems during machining for several reasons.

For example, bronze alloys generally have lesser elongation and ductility than steel. Hence, they are more prone to fracture during cutting operations. On the other hand, plastics have low melting points and may melt, chip, or go out of tolerance as you remove the material.

In such cases, you need specialized custom equipment to help you carry out the process smoothly. A custom laser cutter can help you cut bronze and other metals, while a custom plastic CNC machine cuts plastic without issues.

4. The part you need has special requirements

Are you looking to create parts that have special requirements? This is common in the automotive and medical industries, and a typical example would be in the design of prostheses for patients.

For this, you don’t want to reach out to an injection molding company. These special parts typically require a high degree of accuracy as well as tight tolerances. A slight error during production will render them useless for application.

Using custom plastic machining equipment, a custom manufacturing company can help you to produce these parts precisely and according to the dimensions you provide.

Advantages of Custom Machining Over Other Conventional Machining Methods

Custom machining a metal part inside a CNC machine

1. Increased efficiency and productivity

Custom machining equipment eliminates the possibility of human error and guarantees consistent results. For example, a CNC machine can perform tasks 24/7 without slowing down or taking a break, whereas a plastic injection molding device will require an operator to perform repetitive tasks.

A CNC machine utilizes G-code (a specific CNC equipment language) to precisely control features like speed, coordination, location, and feed rate. This machine only requires a programmer at the end of the control to command the entire operation.

2. Faster project completion and reduced number of machining operations

Custom machines require a lesser number of machining operations to create the desired part compared to other conventional machining methods. This allows you to complete tasks faster while maintaining a high degree of accuracy.

So, let’s say you’re looking to cut a multi-stepped hole in a manifold. Using conventional machining methods, you will need two standard drills of different sizes and a countersinking tool to cut this feature. However, a CNC milling machine will produce this feature in a single operation.

What’s more? Custom machining equipment allows you to modify machining instructions without experiencing delays between production runs.

3. Higher profits

You can increase profit margins by using manual labor instead of custom machining services, right? Wrong! Manual labor only yields short-term benefits. If you’re looking to realize higher, long-term profit margins, you must rely on machining shops or centers offering custom machining services.

Gensun Precision Machining is a leading precision machining company located in China. With our state-of-the-art custom machining equipment, we have been helping customers worldwide to produce high-quality parts with tight tolerances. Our production facilities are ISO 9001:2015 certified for quality and ISO 14001:2015 certified for environmental management.

If you’re looking to work with a new-generation machine shop with the expertise to manufacture precision parts for aerospace, automotive, electronics, and other demanding industries, reach out to us! You can also request a quote if you already have product drawings or 3D model data files.

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