Does Machine Capacity Matter in Custom CNC Machining?

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining may be one of the oldest manufacturing methods, but it is still widely used today and preferred in many industries, such as aerospace, automobile, and medical. Services like custom CNC machining deliver highly precise parts based on unique concepts and designs. However, its accuracy and efficiency can depend on certain factors, such as machine capacity and tolerances.

What are CNC machines?

These are equipment that can produce products of various sizes and complexities. That said, there are limits on the size they can produce. You must also consider the limitations based on post-processing requirements for the machined part. Engineers and designers must work together to design the product accordingly.

Custom CNC machining can have size limitations like the following:

  1. Maximum dimensions depend on the work envelope

The machine’s work envelope is the total area it can cover moving in different axes (X, Y, and Z). It determines the travel limitations, therefore, limiting the maximum part size.

  1. The overall length and maximum part diameter

These factors become the critical limiting dimensions when producing cylindrical parts on a lathe. The maximum length machinable depends on the diameter. The longer it is, the wider its diameter should be to ensure balance. Some manufacturers offer tooling lathes that can craft complex turned components with off-axis features to reduce machining time. However, this often means smaller work envelopes.

  1. Part size and post-processing needs

Post-processing in custom CNC machining can depend on the part’s size. For instance, you can’t blast the larger ones that typically do not fit inside media-blasted cabinets. Larger ones that require electroplating or anodizing may need custom racking.

Final word

The machine’s work envelope determines the capacity or the maximum part size. It’s essential to work with a company that offers a wide range of solutions and equipment for successful custom CNC machining, no matter the design or size of your components.


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