When it comes to manufacturing components that require precise measurements and specialized functions, nothing beats the machining process. This subtractive method uses a variety of tools to remove excess material from a workpiece until it meets exact specifications. As you can imagine, this requires a high level of precision and skill, making it a popular option for prototyping.
Machined parts can be used in almost every industry, from aerospace and medical to automotive and consumer electronics. Some common everyday examples include engine, transmission, and steering components in cars, and laptop casings and connectors. Medically-related machining includes surgical devices and implants like pacemakers, while aerospace is an obvious use for parts used in planes and rockets.
Machining can be done with a wide range of materials, including aluminum, steel, and stainless steel (such as 17-4 and Inconel 625 and 718). The workpieces can also be made from plastics such as polycarbonate and nylon. After a piece is machined, it may undergo a heat treatment to make the workpiece harder and less prone to wear. Afterward, additional fine-tuning processes like turning, gear grinding, and honing can be performed.
One of the biggest benefits of machining is that it has no minimum order quantity, unlike other methods like injection molding or 3D printing. This allows designers to test out various configurations and designs without the need to invest in a lot of expensive metal tooling. However, it’s important to understand the limitations of this method. For example, tall protruding sections can be difficult to machine due to vibrations from the cutting tool. machining parts manufacturer