CNC Machined Parts Bristol : Practices for Custom Parts

When designing custom CNC machined parts Bristol, there are some practices you need to keep in mind. To be successful at making CNC machined parts you need to be able to use CAD/CAM software. The CAD model is loaded into CAM software, creating tool paths that are based on geometry. Complex shapes can be made by using 5 axis CNC milling machines. Unlike a CNC lathe where the tools are stationary, a milling machine turns whilst the stock is fixed.

The X, Y and Z axes can all move simultaneously, producing a wide range of features from simple lines to the most complex geometrical shapes. Limitations do exist, but these are constantly becoming fewer with the advances in technology.

CNC Machined Parts Bristol : Tolerances

CNC machined parts BristolTolerances may be set as default or provided with the specification for making the part in question. Tolerance is the acceptable range for a given dimension. The tighter the tolerance, the higher the cost for making the CNC machined parts. Longer cycle times will also put up the cost of making custom parts. Tighter tolerances should therefore only be used when absolutely necessary and when they have been specified by the client.

Size Limitations and Material

When using a milling machine, the part size will be limited to the capabilities of the machine that is being used. The capabilities of a lathe will also depend on the build space. The material you use for making custom CNC machined parts should also be carefully selected. Some things that should be taken into consideration are the rigidity, the hardness, and the chemical and heat resistance of the material.

When the parts required are metal, softer metals are quicker to machine and will provide rapid results. Harder metals will be used with slower machine speeds, putting up the cost quite dramatically due to the timescale needed to complete the order of machined parts. Plastic materials are a cheaper alternative to metals, such a polyethylene.


The more complex the parts required, the longer it will take. Setup time will be increases, and the workpiece will be contoured on multiple faces. To create a complex surface that has a very smooth finish, very small cuts are required. This once again puts up the price of the parts due to the time taken to complete them.

These are just some practices that you need to take into consideration when completing orders for custom CNC machined parts Bristol. The more complex the design, the longer it will take. If you have a 5 axis machine for milling this will greatly speed up the process. Although investing in a 5 axis machine may seem costly at the outset, it will greatly reduce production times. It will also allow for delivery of far better quality parts. What this means is that investing in a 5 axis machine may be costly in the outset but it is a worthwhile investment that will allow you to produce higher quality parts more quickly.

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