Posted by in Blogs, on January 29, 2018

Choosing the Right CNC Machine Company for Your Project

If you’re looking for a local plant to do CNC machining for you, here are a few important factors to consider.

–  CNC Machining for Different Metal Types
CNC machines are not all equal; some are better for certain types of materials than others.

– Wood, plastics, nylon, and mild steel are all fairly easy to work with. Most machines can handle these materials just fine.  

– Hardened steel, stainless steel, and Bisalloy all require more specialized equipment, not just any machine, and often they’ll also need a local contractor with a can-do culture who’s willing to take on your project. That brings us to our next point…

–  CNC Machining for Small Projects

It can be difficult to find a local contractor for a small, specialized project. But it can be done, once you know a bit about how CNC machine shops operate and where their costs come from.

– New vs. Old CNC Machines:
You may have looked up a company that has a brand-new, cutting-edge CNC machine and decided it’s just what you want. However, newer CNC machines are enormously expensive to purchase, which increases overhead costs, which means contractors have to charge a large markup. Typically, that means “large projects only”!
Instead, it’s worth considering an older vintage of machine. Older CNC machines are less automated and more manual. In other words, they can provide more customization at a cheaper cost – perfect for bespoke projects.

– Setup Costs:
Specialized projects will require the vendor to put in extra time setting up their machines just for you. A good local contractor will want to account for those costs in their estimate.

–  Negotiating Tips for CNC Machining:

– Buy local. A local contractor, ex. in Midvale or Perth, will be able to arrange visits and face-to-face conversations for better communication; deliveries will be faster and the project will go more smoothly.

– When calling up a contractor, focus on asking what is possible with their machinery first. If you can both agree that the project is feasible, you’ve crossed a major hurdle towards reaching an agreement. If not, you’ve wasted little time by getting straight to the point.

– If you’ve found the contractor you want and they seem reluctant, one valuable tactic is to bring startup costs into the discussion yourself, and offer to negotiate a fair estimate.

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