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Are There Any Design Limitations or Restrictions for CNC Machining?

Blog  /  Are There Any Design Limitations or Restrictions for CNC Machining?

Are There Any Design Limitations or Restrictions for CNC Machining?

Dec 29,2023

Size and Shape Constraints

CNC machines have physical limitations on the size and shape of the parts they can accommodate. The size of the machine's work envelope determines the maximum dimensions of the part that can be machined. Additionally, certain complex geometries, such as deep pockets or narrow channels, may be difficult or impossible to machine accurately.

So please first confirm whether your project can be produced based on the data provided. If you still have questions, please feel free to consult customer service and we will reply to you in time.

Material Selection

CNC machining is compatible with a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, and coppers. However, different materials have varying machinability characteristics. Some materials, such as hardened steels or heat-resistant alloys, may require specialized tooling and slower cutting speeds, while others, like soft plastics, may be prone to deformation or melting during machining.

JLC3DP CNC material selection, metals, plastics, and coppers

Wall Thickness and Feature Size

CNC machining can produce intricate details, but there are limitations on the minimum feature size and wall thickness that can be reliably achieved. Thin walls may be susceptible to vibration or deflection during machining, leading to dimensional inaccuracies. Similarly, very small features may be difficult to machine precisely due to the limitations of the cutting tools and machine resolution.

Tool Access

CNC machines use various cutting tools to remove material from the workpiece. The design should ensure adequate tool access to reach all required features. Overhanging or hard-to-reach areas may require specialized tooling or multiple setups, increasing the complexity and cost of machining.

Undercuts and Overhangs

CNC machines typically approach the workpiece from above, which means that undercuts and overhangs (features that extend beyond the vertical axis) may be challenging to machine. To address this limitation, additional setups or specialized machining techniques like 5-axis machining may be required. JLC3DP provides 3, 4, and 5-axis CNC equipment.

JLC3DP Undercuts and Overhangs, 5-axis service

Tolerances and Surface Finish

CNC machining can achieve tight tolerances and excellent surface finishes. However, achieving extremely tight tolerances or demanding surface finishes may increase the complexity and cost of the machining process. It's important to consider the specific requirements of your design and consult with the CNC machining provider to ensure feasibility.

If this document does not help you solve the problem, please contact our online customer service or send an email to

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