5 Reasons to use CNC Machining for Rapid Prototyping

5 Reasons to use CNC Machining for Rapid Prototyping

CNC milling

Rapid prototyping is a manufacturing process that employs specialized production techniques to create high-fidelity physical prototypes. Designers generally use prototypes for evaluating design, testing functionality, controlling quality, iterating concepts, and improving the design. By delivering quick and economic models, prototypes provide valuable insights into a product concept. And they can be critically evaluated before mass production proceeds. What’s more, rapid prototyping is extremely fast because the process doesn’t require hard tooling.

CNC Machining is one of the most effective means for rapid prototyping. The process allows you to take advantage of the CNC to deliver high-quality prototypes in a quick turnaround period. Here are more reasons why CNC machining should be your preferred technique for making rapid prototypes.

1.  Speed

CNC Machines have greatly improved since their inception in the 1970s. The addition of computerized controls has greatly accelerated the capacity of CNC machines to deliver higher quality at improved speeds.

As rapid prototyping demands genuine models with fast turnaround times, CNC machining is one of the most preferred methods in the industry for obvious reasons. From setup times to actual execution, CNC machines will translate 3-dimensional CAD/CAM models into G-code software and then commence milling to produce the final part in several hours.

The automation of the CNC milling technique also means almost zero downtime during the production process.

2.  Tooling – CNC Machines will run without tooling and dies

For manufacturing techniques like pressure die casting and injection molding, there is usually a need for a rigid die from steel alloys, and the cost will be high. These dies can take weeks to manufacture based on the complexity of the design and the desired shape. Also, errors in the details in these dies will automatically reflect in their copies.

CNC machining, on the other hand, requires no fixed tooling. The process only requires a CAD/CAM design, a computer software, and some CNC cutters to execute production. Because of this, CNC machining is considerably faster, cost-efficient, and more accurate for rapid prototyping.

3.  Accuracy and Precision

No other manufacturing process in the industry can match the accuracy and precision offered by CNC machines. In modern production hubs, the CNC is the most effective way of achieving the highest level of accuracy with tolerances in the neighborhood of 0.05mm, give or take.

CNC machines also offer highly scalable and repeatable accuracy, ensuring that all produced prototypes look and function almost identically. The tolerances achievable with CNC machines are so precise that they are suitable for nearly all commercial applications in which they might be used.

4.  Control and Modifications

Simply altering a few lines in the software program can modify an entire manufacturing process to match new specifications in just a few seconds. The G-code program enables highly interactive and controlled prototyping, allowing users to run multiple design iterations by merely refining and tweaking certain specifications without incurring additional costs. This is a great advantage over conventional manufacturing and prototyping techniques, where modifications may require new dies or expensive modifications to existing ones.

5.  Material Variety

CNC machines are for the most part unselective machines. This means they will cut and mill various types of material for production. As long as material is strong enough and not to deform under pressure.

CNC machining is suitable for rapid prototyping as it allows many developers to run multiple prototypes of their parts from various materials. This way, the same design can be made from several materials to evaluate the option with the best-fit mechanical, functional and physical properties for its end use. With only small modifications to the feed parameters and running speed, the same design can be run across several materials to get the perfect prototype and ideal product.

Premium Parts CNC Machining Services in China

At Premium Part, we offer high-quality CNC machining services for different industries. Our expertise range across a number of services, and we can generate exceptional quality products with a quick turnaround. We can work with an extensive range of materials and produce both low and mass manufacturing volumes. Our highly experienced team will deliver best-in-class manufacturing quality and standards.

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