Before contacting a CNC machining supplier, most people would like to know more about costs. However, the cost calculations are a bit complicated. It is because there are several factors considered when determining the price.
Some of the factors contributing to CNC machining costs include material used, time-taken, labor, and CNC machining service or machine among others. So, before a manufacturer gives a quote, he needs to consider all these factors.
What is CNC Machining?
CNC or Computer Numerical Control is a way of designing parts based on pre-programmed specifications. It is a subtractive technique. This means parts are removed when creating the required product.
Therefore, the CNC strategy is to remove materials to produce a product. You can use it to create several parts from various materials, including plastics and metal.
It is preferred by many because it is a cost-effective method of producing identical parts. Moreover, it provides a high possibility of accuracy and precision. Thus, it reduces the risk of human error.
Additionally, it is possible to save CNC designs. This means you can go back to them to make a more advanced product or change them to come up with something similar.
Calculating CNC Machining Cost
When it comes to CNC machining costs, there are many elements involved. Several factors come to play when determining CNC machining costs from time to materials and labor.
One factor that affects CNC Machining cost is time. For example, when using CAM programs, such as 3D models, several inputs are needed. Thus, it can take a long time to design, and there are several operations required.
Happily, CAM programs can estimate the time needed to create a part. This means it is possible to estimate the time when using CAM programs.
But when using Excel sheets or other programs, the time taken might be lengthy, or it might not be easy to give an estimate. This depends on the machine operator’s previous experience, modification needed, and other aspects.
Various programs can help determine the density of the material needed. The most important thing required is to choose a suitable material.
Nevertheless, the CNC machining costs need more material than the finishing product. And since it is a subtractive process, more scrap is experienced.
For CNC milling , the machine begins with a block of material. But the operator needs to be a bit careful to produce the final piece required. For CNC turning, the required material is a bit larger than the lengths of the final product.
Therefore, the material cost might be higher depending on the program used and the final product.
The other factor that affects CNC machining costs is labor. Also, there are several elements considered when labor is concerned. First, there is the engineer who will review the work.
He will assess the work to tell whether it is complete or needs changes. If the design has errors, he will provide suggestions. This comes with a price.
The next one is the machine operator. Remember, he spent a lot of time setting up the machine for the job. The device has to be set for everything to go on smoothly.
In addition, every part requires a different setup. Hence, if the production is bulky, the cost per part will reduce significantly.
4. Change of Tools and Tool Wear
When creating any part, several tools are needed. First, it depends on the parts produced, the tool library, and other elements. Hence, the engineer may need to make changes when producing several parts.
Even though it might be rare for a particular job to need a special tool, it is essential to factor in that as well. So, if a unique tool is required, the client may be asked to pay extra costs.
Another element to consider is tool wear. Whether it is a simple production or a bulky one, the client has to cover tool wear costs. Also, a change of tools is required to create a part. This is added to the CNC machining cost as well.
The other factor that determines CNC machining cost is the buying price of the machine. In most cases, it takes 5000-hours as the base of paying back the investment. Happily, CNC machines are more cost-effective than other machines.
In conclusion, there are many factors to consider when determining CNC machining costs. For that reason, a lot of vendors may take more time than expected before providing an estimate.
No one wants to make a mistake that can lead to a lower or higher price. Remember, a low cost means a loss to the manufacturer, and overpricing is a loss to the customer.