Tumbling

At a Glance

Applicable Materials

Colors

Texture

Can be applied with

Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel
n/a
Slightly rounded edges, smooth, slightly matte finish, does not hide all machine marks
Any finish

About the Process

Tumbling is a finishing process that is used to clean, deburr, and slightly smooth smaller parts. Tumbling uses a horizontal drum where parts are placed, along with a media, such as sand or ceramic chips. The drum rotates slowly, causing the media to slide repeatedly over the parts, breaking any sharp edges and lightly smoothing the surface. Tumbling is fairly inexpensive due to the small amount of manual labor involved to run the process.

CNC finishing tumbling

Design Considerations

- Because parts cannot be masked prior to tumbling, consider adding features such as threads and engravings after this process.
- Tumbling is a rough process, so parts with thin features are not ideal for this finishing option.