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eMachineShop offers a wide variety of materials for your custom parts: aluminum, steel, stainless steel, copper, sheet metal, brass, bronze, nylon, acetal, polycarbonate, polystyrene, acrylic, plastic, fiber glass and many more materials. Download the software for the complete list. You can also request special materials.

Material Selection Tips

Deciding on the best material for your part can be a challenge. Generally it is best to first decide on the main factors. For example, if price and hardness are most important, select the material that has the best combination of those two values.

Click on a material button at top of this article for more information about a specific material – the material pages give typical uses of the material, properties, etc.

Here are a few tips:

  • Metals allow for parts of higher tolerance than plastics.
  • Plastics can warp slightly over time due to moisture absorption.
  • Designing custom parts with sheetmetal is generally lower cost than machining plate or rod.
  • Sheetmetal parts can be formed into numerous shapes and can take simple or complex bends.
  • By volume, plastics are usually much less expensive than metals.
  • Materials that don’t need finishing may be more economical for short runs (e.g. stainless steel, aluminum, plastics, etc.)

eMachineShop allows you to design custom parts using: BendingTurret Punching, Counter boring, Counter sinking, Drilling,  Reaming, Threading & TappingSurface Grinding, Knurling, Laser Cutting, Milling, Turning (lathe), Photochemical Milling, Plasma Cutting, Band sawing, Waterjet Cutting, Wire EDM, Compression Molding, Injection Molding and Rapid Prototyping (FDM).

Video correction: There is no longer a need to select material thickness in the material dialog.

How to Proceed

We can quote your job using conventional CAD files or you can use our unique free CAD software where you can: design your part quickly and easily, get instant pricing, and order online.

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