Kinsey Mead

Kinsey is a mechanical engineer with experience in product design and DfX for the consumer electronics industry, at companies including Microsoft and Apple. At Fictiv, she creates technical content to help other engineers uplevel their understanding of key DfM (design for manufacturability) and mechanical design principles. Kinsey earned her B.S. in mechanical engineering from University of California, Davis and her M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.

All articles from the author

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Finding the Right Secondary Operations After CNC Machining, Part III: Hardware Installation

This is Part III in our series on CNC machining secondary operations, where we’ll be discussing hardware installations — we covered heat treatments and post-processing finishes in Parts I and II.  Hardware installation is an essential step for joining multiple parts to create the final product and is always performed after heat treating and post-processing […]

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Finding the Right Secondary Operations After CNC Machining, Part II: Finishes

CNC machining is but a single step in the new product creation process. First, you design the part, then it’s carved by a CNC machining service or shop, and finally, you put the finishing touches on it! This is the second in a series of three articles discussing those finishing touches. Here in Part II […]

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Finding the Right Secondary Operations after CNC machining, Part I: Heat Treatments

Once you’ve finished CNC machining your parts, your work isn’t done. Those raw components might have ugly finishes, may not be strong enough, or be just one part of an assembly that’s got to be connected with others to make a complete product. After all, how often do you use devices composed of a single […]

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What You Need to Know About CNC Machining Aluminum

Aluminum is the name of the most abundant metallic element found in earth’s crust, which is part of the reason why it’s used in so many objects that we use every day. In fact, it’s the most widely used non-ferrous metal (meaning that it doesn’t contain any iron). Aluminum is found both in common objects, […]

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The Many Types of Steel, and What You Should Know About CNC Machining Them

Steel comes in many forms: sheet metal, plates, bars and beams of various geometries, pipes, and of course, the solid stock material used when CNC machining steel. Steel is used for so many applications and by so many industries that it makes sense for there to be many different types of steel. But what’s the […]

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Why CNC Machining is Essential to the Robotics Industry

Robots seem to be everywhere these days – working in movies, airports, food production, and even in factories making other robots. Robots have many different functions and uses, and as they become easier and cheaper to make, they become more pervasive in industry as well. As the demand for robotics technology increases, bot makers need […]

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How to Perfom a Hypothesis Test, an Essential Element of Good Engineering

Statistics may not be your favorite subject from college, but it’s a critical part of an efficient product design and manufacturing process. Using statistics you can design experiments, run tests, collect real world results, and make data-driven decisions. These experiments can be used to test the effect of changing a dimension, material, or manufacturing process […]

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When, Why and How You Should Switch from Die Casting Parts to CNC Machining Them

Deciding which manufacturing process to choose can be difficult; there are many different factors to consider. You may start out with a die casting process because it can deliver the quantity you need and meet your required tolerances. However, down the line you may need to change to a different manufacturing process. This may happen […]

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5 Reasons You Need to Use 2D Drawings

As an engineer, you’ve made many 2D drawings, because drawings are still essential to the manufacturing process. Given advances in design tool technology, you may also have wondered: “Why am I creating this drawing? Why aren’t we using CAD?”  Good questions! Computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) are amazing tools but they […]

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G-code Knowledge is Key to Mastering Any CNC Machine

M06? G54? S1000? Do those numbers mean anything to you? Knowing the most common commands in your G-code may not be at the top of your priority list, but it can go a long way in helping you understand what your machine is doing. CNC machines are really good at doing exactly what they’re told. […]

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Casting vs CNC Machining: We’re No Longer in the Bronze Age, But Is It Right for Your Part?

Casting – it’s been around for over 6,000 years and is still widely used today. Advances in casting technology allow the casting of high quality parts with tight tolerances. CNC machining is also pervasive, but much newer. Have you ever considered trying to CNC machine a part that you usually cast? Or are you wondering […]

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Cutting Tools Used in CNC Machining – Choose the Right Tool for the Job

As a mechanical engineer or designer, how much time do you spend thinking about how your parts are going to be machined? Even more specifically, do you know what kinds of tools will be used to make different features or geometries? This article will be your guide to the most common tools used in CNC […]

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Introduction to Workholding Options for CNC Machining

Your CNC machining process is only as good as your workholding setup! CNC work holding methods keep your part rigidly in place and reduce the stiffness. You can also refer to work holding as fixturing. A good CNC workholding setup is key for locating the next part to be machined. Fixturing is also important for […]

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Precision CNC Machining: How Can You Make Your Parts More Precise?

When you hear precision CNC machining, what do you think about? Isn’t all CNC machining “precision?” In a sense, yes. CNC machining allows you to make a lot of very precise parts relatively quickly. However, it goes much further than that. In this article, we’ll discuss what precision CNC machining is, how you to verify […]