How to Design Parts for CNC Machining

CNC machines are essential to modern manufacturing operations. Because they are automated, they cut down on inefficiencies and boost production capacity, making them a boon for businesses looking to take their output to the next level.

Because CNC machines do not have industry-wide standards or best practices, they can be custom designed to best fit your operation needs. Following are several design tips for CNC machining features that can be incorporated into any project in the Ukiah, CA area.

Helpful design tips for CNC machining

When designing parts that will be executed using your CNC machine, you must take into account your machine’s capabilities. CNC machines can have a varying number of axes, making it difficult to codify standard practices, as each machine is different. Plus, CNC machines are always being improved in newer versions. Always check your machine specifications before designing parts to avoid rework or delays.

Also take into account the aspects of the machine that cannot be changed. For instance, most cutting tools on the CNC machine are cylindrical, meaning sharp corners or edges are difficult or impossible to achieve. Also, the drills and cutting mechanisms have a finite length, which cannot be surpassed in your design.

CNC machines execute functions from top to bottom. Therefore, if your part cannot be processed in this manner, CNC machining will not provide the appropriate solution to your production needs.

Lastly, if your part needs to be drilled at a deep length, CNC machines may produce less accurate results. That is because the longer the drill length, the wider the vibration of the machine bit, and the greater room for error.

Common features your CNC machine can produce

The parts you need to produce may include some or many of the following features. These features are what CNC machining is best used for:

  • Pockets or cavities should only be four times the width of the machine tool. This is best practice for a clean cut and accurate end result.
  • Edges manufactured using a CNC machine will not be cut at a 90-degree angle. You will have to utilize a T-bone undercut tool to sharpen the corner if necessary or essential to the design.
  • Drill holes larger than 1 millimeter in your part. Again, consider the depth of the hole as well.
  • Walls between part sections should not be too thin, as they may sustain pressure and have the potential to warp. Consider the weight of the entire part when designing the wall thickness.
  • When designing a part with lettering, consider engraving rather than embossing text. The reason why has to do with how much material has to be removed, adding to processing times and costing your operation more over the long run.

Utilize your resources

A professional opinion is worthwhile when you are scoping a project, no matter how large or small. The experts at Evden Enterprises in Ukiah, CA will be able to identify best practices as well as pain points, working with you to implement your solution. For more design tips for CNC machining, reach out to us today!