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How to Optimize CNC Machining Costs

Blog  /  How to Optimize CNC Machining Costs

How to Optimize CNC Machining Costs

Dec 27,2023

In the quest for economical CNC machining, a profound comprehension of the diverse factors shaping part costs is paramount. Before we embark on strategies to trim costs, let's illuminate the six pivotal elements orchestrating the intricate dance of pricing in CNC machined parts.

Processing Time:

Longer processing times result in higher costs. Processing time is a significant cost driver in CNC machining.


Different materials have varying prices. Even materials with similar performance can differ significantly in cost.


Stricter tolerance requirements lead to more challenging machining, increased scrap rates, and higher prices.


CNC programming time is consistent whether producing one or a thousand parts. Higher quantities help distribute costs.

Surface Treatment:

Coatings, smoothing, anodizing, and other surface treatments add processing steps and costs.

Delivery Time:

Shorter delivery times may incur expedited processing fees due to the need for more immediate coordination.

Chronicles of Delivery Timelines:

Shortened delivery timelines beckon the necessity for expedited processing, unveiling a panorama of added costs stemming from the imperative for accelerated coordination.

With a nuanced understanding of these factors, let's embark on a profound exploration of ten validated design strategies meticulously crafted to whittle down CNC machining costs.

Design Strategies for Cost Efficiency

Smart Material Selection:

Optimal material choices based on functionality rather than cost alone. Explore cost-effective alternatives with comparable performance.

Rounded Internal Angles:

Replace sharp or 90° internal angles with radii to streamline processing steps and reduce production time.

Cavity Depth Management:

Limit the depth of pockets to enhance material efficiency, aiming for a depth-to-diameter ratio within the ideal 2 to 3 range.

Robust Wall Design:

Fortify part walls to ensure stability, lower processing costs, and enhance tolerance adherence.

Standardized Tap Sizes:

Embrace standardized tap sizes to mitigate breakage risks and trim down processing costs.

Streamlined Designs:

Simplify part geometries to mitigate the need for specialized tools or custom fixtures, fostering overall cost reduction.

Strategic Surface Finishing:

Evaluate the necessity of surface finishes, carefully considering their impact on overall costs.

Tolerance Moderation:

Exercise judicious use of tight tolerances, reserving them for precision-critical components to balance enhanced precision against increased costs.

Batch Ordering Advantage:

Leverage the economic benefits of batch ordering, with larger quantities yielding significant unit price reductions.

Advanced Production Planning:

Expedite product design finalization to empower CNC machining suppliers with ample time for meticulous material procurement and streamlined production planning.

In summary, these ten design strategies stand as invaluable guidelines for achieving significant cost efficiencies in CNC machining. By embracing simplicity, adhering to industry standards, and applying these principles judiciously, manufacturers can unlock substantial cost savings in their CNC machining endeavors.