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6 tips to reduce the cost of CNC prototype production

by:Vowin Rapid Prototyping     2023-02-05
Despite all the advancements in modern technology, CNC prototyping is understandably not cheap. After all, it requires highly qualified specialists, specialized equipment and sometimes the use of expensive alloys. Prototyping during the design phase will help you a lot and can reduce the total project cost of CNC prototyping. What does the cost of CNC prototype production include? In order to understand how to reduce the cost of prototype processing, let's first look at the main expenditure list. chunks of metal. The basics of custom CNC machining are that, first, you need to cut a large amount of metal. In the prototyping and low-volume industries, what is commonly referred to as the 'blank' is actually larger (in some cases, up to five times) than the total mass of the final part. That's why choosing the right alloy is important because you're effectively paying 3 -4 times the quality of the part. Set the time. Once the technical drawing enters the CNC service, there will inevitably be a preparatory stage when preparing the processing equipment, writing the NC program, and manufacturing or assembling the mold. Processing time. Once prepped, machined. The main parameter in CNC rapid prototyping is the total time required for the process. It includes the time required to make the actual cuts, change tools, load and unload parts, and when necessary move CNC machine parts between machines. This expense is by far the largest on the list and it is absolutely necessary to reduce processing time. extra time. Any kind of manufacturing process will inevitably have some administrative pauses due to documentation, shipping, etc. These just depend on the rapid prototyping parts manufacturer, so you have to choose and ask them how long it will take to sign the contract or ship the CNC custom machined part to your location. Therefore, after analyzing all the expenses that affect the final CNC prototyping cost, we can draw conclusions and list a series of tips to help you reduce the CNC prototyping cost of your project. Tips for Reducing Prototype Costs Choosing the Right Metal Many beginners don't really think about materials. They either go with the default construction steel, or a cooler material like titanium or stainless steel to prevent rust. Both choices can be wrong or right. What you should understand here is that the price of the alloy is not the deciding factor. For example, if you have a large number of workpieces to machine, it is better to choose aluminum, because it can be machined faster, and the economic benefits of machining time will make up for the additional machining costs. Another problem is when you need a particular material property, for example, to make it withstand high temperatures, and you choose a higher grade material than it is, it's overkill. For example, you need to have 800 degrees Celsius, you need to get to 950 degrees Celsius, the material is difficult to handle and much more expensive, but you don't need those extra 150 degrees Celsius. Adding Basic Elements Reduces setup time by adding special surfaces on the part that can be used to hold the product prototype blank on the machine tool at all times. For example, if you are making a shaft-type part, you can add two taper holes to its face so that you can secure the part to the center of the lathe. Or, if the part is a box-type part to be milled, add a plane with two holes perpendicular to it. Avoid Complex Surfaces If rapid prototyping is your choice, complex surfaces with high surface finishes are not recommended in CNC parts. The reason for this is that complex surfaces are often finished with small end mills with spherical tips. It has a very small stride (about 0.1-0.05 mm) and has to abut the entire surface from one side (if it goes both ways, it has small ribs). When complex surfaces are large in size, it will take you several hours to complete. Avoid Complex Surfaces If rapid prototyping is your choice, complex surfaces with high surface finishes are not recommended in CNC parts. The reason for this is that complex surfaces are often finished with small end mills with spherical tips. It has a very small stride (about 0.1-0.05 mm) and has to abut the entire surface from one side (if it goes both ways, it has small ribs). When complex surfaces are large in size, it will take you several hours to complete. The Right Accuracy Many designers assume that the more precise the part, the better the surface finish and the better it looks (gloss polished parts look cool, don't they?), but high tolerances and extremely high surface finishes mean that prototyping manufacturers A grinder must be used to achieve this size and surface finish. In order to grind parts, they need to have a minimum hardness. Then heat treatment. Now, heat treating takes at least a day because you heat up the part, put it in there, and let it cool. Therefore, IT9 or below for most surfaces, Ra 3.2 or worse surface finish is preferred, with higher tolerances for only the most critical surfaces.
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