CNC Machining on Demand

What is CNC Machining?

CNC Machining is a subtractive manufacturing technology that uses various computer-controlled cutting tools to remove material from a solid object. This process is used to selectively mill, lathe, and router various materials such as steel, aluminum, alloys, brass, and plastics.

Choosing the Right CNC Machining Material


Aluminum is a corrosion resistant metal with good strength-to-weight ratio, low thermal and electrical conductivity, low density, and natural weather resistance. The machining characteristics of aluminum are very good and produce end use parts with little to no post processing.

Common applications: aerospace, light weight brackets, & marine environments.

Mild Steel
Mild Steel

Mild steel is a cost effective, yet strong material that can be easily machined. Because of its high level of demand, low carbon steel is widely produced in many different sizes, making it a relatively affordable material. The cost effectiveness and excellent mechanical properties allow low carbon steel to be used across a wide range of industries for numerous purposes.

Common applications: automotive parts, flanges, weldable parts, & industrial machinery.

Stainless Steel
Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is a metal alloy with high ductility, wear, and corrosion resistance that can be easily welded, polished, and machined.

Common applications: food production parts, marine parts, high press fittings, & automotive parts.

Alloy Steel
Alloy Steel

High-strength alloy steel is stronger, more wear-resistant, and more durable than mild steel. It contains other alloying elements, such as silicon and manganese, to improve hardness, toughness, and fatigue resistance. Alloy steel also has excellent mechanical properties which can aid in high accuracy and repeatability for CNC machining.

Common applications: shafts, collars, gears, bearings, & wear resistant parts.

Tool Steel
Tool Steel

Tool steels are a type of steel with specific characteristics, such as hardness, wear resistance, toughness, and resistance to softening at high temperatures. This type of steel can be used in many kinds of manufacturing industries, including the tool-making and die industries.

Common applications: tools, injection molding dies, extrusion dies, & knives.


CNC machined brass is a versatile copper alloy that provides properties of both brass and copper. It boasts higher corrosion and wear resistance than copper, along with greater mechanical strength and lower friction. These properties make CNC machined brass ideal for mechanical applications such as bearing blocks, linear motion components, pump housings, and more.

Common applications: hinges, bearings, valves, & heat exchangers.

Choosing the Right CNC Machining Method

CNC milling can be done in 2-axis, 3-axis, 4-axis, or even 5-axis. A CNC milling machine uses a rotating cylindrical cutting tool to remove material from a solid object. Depending upon the machine, dimensional accuracy of +/- 0.0005 in can be achieved.

Strength: Fast turn around for high volume production.
Weakness: High cost for one-off parts & low volume production.
Related Materials: Mild Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Tool Steel, & Brass.

A CNC lathe spins the the work piece in the spindle while a cutting tool, guided through a computer controlled code, machines the work piece to a final shape. Lathes can also have live tooling, which can help machine parts that have more complex geometries.

Strength: Can create complex geometries with live tooling.
Weakness: High cost for one-off parts & low volume production.
Related Materials: Mild Steel, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, & Brass.

CNC Router

A computer-directed rotating cutting head is used to mill away material. Although a CNC router has movement in 3-axis, it can only remove material in one direction of the 3rd axis, which is why a CNC router is considered a 2.5D machining method.

Strength: Great for prototyping and low volume production runs.
Weakness: Model feature machining limitations
Related Materials: Aluminum, MDF, Wood, & Plastic.

How It Works

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