How to Calculate Machining Costs

What should you consider as you calculate machining costs? Several factors play important roles in this process. As you input variables in a CNC cost calculator, be sure to factor in the following aspects of your project.


Your project may involve the use of one or more machines. Because some machines are more complex than others, the cost of your project will partially depend on which machines are used for production. Consider whether the manufacture of your components will require a 5-axis machine or a 3-axis machine. Also, will lathes be needed for production? The complexity of the part will determine which machines are required.


What are the features of your part? Consider the geometry and the complexity of the component. Machining costs for complicated parts are obviously higher than the cost for simple components. They require greater programming time, setup time and run time. They may also require the use of specialized tools or multiple machines. Keep these factors in mind as you design your part. If you want to keep costs low, keep the design simple.


What material will you use to create your part? Some materials offer greater machinability than others. The base cost of materials also varies. Consult with your local CNC machining experts to determine which materials would be best for your project, based on budget and desired outcomes.


While it’s true that CNC machines do most of the labor for manufacturing your parts, human labor still plays a crucial role in the process. A programmer must prepare the files for the machine. A machinist must set up the machine for production. A quality control professional ensures your part meets standards. Lastly, manual procedures are typically required for post-processing, such as assembly and cleaning. The costs for this labor must be factored into your machining costs.


What type of finish do you want for your components? Do you want a finely polished surface that is free of any tool marks? Is it acceptable for your product to have a few cosmetic imperfections? How much time and effort do you want to devote to the surface finish of the component? The answers to these questions will affect the final total provided by a CNC cost calculator.


For optimal results, you’ll want to partner with CNC machining experts for your project. Who you choose to work with will also affect the final cost of your project. Of course, working with highly-trained and experienced experts requires a larger budget, but the investment will be well worth it for quality results. Look for a company that has experience in the industry and can point to a track record of success with various CNC machining projects.

Your local experts

For expert assistance with determining machining costs, contact the professionals at Evden Enterprises. We have been a premier source of high-quality, multi-axis CNC precision machining since 1981. We specialize in all types of materials, from metals to plastics, aluminum, brass, bronze, high-temperature alloys and titanium. Give us a call today for more information or to get started on your next project.