Machining Overview

The chart below summarizes various CNC machining processes that eMachineShop uses to manufacture parts. 

Primary Precision CNC Machining Processes 

Machine Method D Materials
Laser Cutting Laser beam vaporizes cut path 2D Most
Milling Rotating cutter moves in 3D 3D Hard
Compression Molding (for rubber) Heated rubber pressed into mold 3D Rubber
Injection Molding Molten plastic forced into mold 3D Plastic
Rapid Prototype (FDM) Fused plastic deposits in 3D space 3D ABS
Spur gears cutting Cutting of plain 2D gears 2D Metal
Turret Punching Successive punching of fixed shapes 2D Sheet metal
Turning (lathe) Cutter applied to rotating material (concentric shapes) 3D Hard
Waterjet cutting High pressure water cuts sheet 2D Hard
Wire EDM Charged wire erodes material 2D Metal
Machine Method D Materials

Secondary Processes

Machine Method D Materials
Bending Bends sheet metal to an angle 3D Metal
Counter boring * Rotating tool enlarges upper portion of hole NA Hard
Countersinking * Conical tool adds conical shape to top of hole NA Hard
Drilling Rotating cutter moves in one dimension 1D Hard
Finishing Various methods of treating surface of work piece NA Metal
Grinding, Surface Abrasive wheel creates uniform flat surface 2D Metal
Knurling  * Textured tool presses coarse textured pattern (cylindrical shapes) NA Metal
Reaming * Precision cutting tool creates accurate hole 1D Metal
Band sawing * Cutting blade cuts material in straight line NA Hard
Shearing * Scissors-like action cuts material in straight line NA Most
Threading & Tapping Threads holes and protrusions 3D Hard
Machine Method D Materials

Note: Molding processes require tooling which is generally beneficial for longer runs.
D = 2D or 3D shapes
* Specified using the Comments To Machinist features of the eMachineShop CAD.

Also see common fabrication methods.

The above processes are compatible in various combinations with: Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Copper, Sheet Metal, Nylon, Steel, Acetal, Polycarbonate, Polystyrene,Acrylic, Plastic, Fiberglass, Brass, Carbon fiber, PTFE, Titanium, ABS, PVC, Sterling Silver, Spring Steel, Bronze and Rubber.

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