Our 7 Tips for Affordable CNC-Machined Custom Metalwork

Ogis has been a custom metal fabricator for over 50 years, for single prototypes to large-scale production. We have watched the growth of CNC machining over the last 10 years and the way this advanced technology can improve accuracy, efficiency and reliability of custom machined components. One of our main objectives is to provide high-quality metal fabrication at an affordable cost, so we thought we would share a few tips to optimize your design and choose the right material to keep your project on budget.

    What can affect the cost of CNC parts?
  • Time
  • Like most fabrication projects, the longer manufacturing time of a custom metal part, the more it will cost as a result of the machining time.

  • Setup
  • The preparation process, including designing & drafting, is a fixed set-up cost, regardless of the volumes required, so they are more significant for smaller volumes. Ogis can assist with design and drafting if required. If you have the capabilities to draw your designs, this can help with cost.

  • Material
  • This affects the overall cost of the CNC-machined parts, as it dictates the ease with which the material can be machined, choosing the ‘softest’ material for your desired use in the design phase can allow for faster and cheaper machining.

    How to reduce the cost of CNC-machined parts?

    Let’s see some useful tips from our CNC specialists.

  1. Add a radius in the internal vertical edges of at least 1/3 of the depth of the cavity, the larger the better, as a smaller tool cannot remove material in one pass as fast as a larger tool, which would then increase the machining time, adding to the cost of your custom metalwork. It is also preferred to use the same radius across all internal edges and to set the corner radius to be slightly larger than the radius of the machining tool.
  2. Limit the depth of cavities, as deeper cavities will cost more due to the volume of material requiring removal, adding to the time and cost of the project, so the shallower the better.
  3. Thicker walls help reduce CNC machining time, as they are more stable, however, this can only be applied if weight is not a major factor. Generally, metal parts with walls thicker than 0.8 mm are preferred.
  4. Set the maximum length of threads to 3 times the hole diameter, otherwise, special tooling may be required.
  5. Standardising holes’ sizes within the design will mean faster CNC machining using standard drill bits without the need for an end mill tool, which would be required for non-standard sizes.
  6. Avoid text where possible, since adding text on the surface of CNC parts increases their price significantly. Instead, surface finishing methods are more cost-effective in adding text on the surface of a CNC machined part.
  7. Avoid multiple surface finishes on the same CNC-machined part unless absolutely necessary.

If you have a project in the works, we are happy to give advice on affordable fabrication. At Ogis, we are always expanding the capabilities of our machines including a new CNC machining set up with automatic tool changes. This allows us to pass our savings on to our customers. Adopting the latest advances in CNC tooling and modern CNC systems.  If you are ready to discuss your custom metalwork project, contact the team at Ogis today.