The chart below summarizes various CNC machining processes that eMachineShop uses to manufacture parts.
Primary Precision CNC Machining Processes
|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|
|3D Printing||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|
|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|
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.