CNC Milling

At a Glance

Lifecycle

Lead Time

Materials

Tolerance

EVT, PVT, Production
3 days
ABS, Nylon, Polycarbonate, Delrin 150, Aluminum 606, Stainless Steel 303/304L/316L
With drawing: +/- 0.02 mm
No drawing: ISO 2768 medium

About the Process

If your part is any sort of shape other than cylindrical, or lacks rotational symmetry about some imaginary axis through the part body, then a CNC mill is likely the machine for you. With milling, the stock that the part will be cut from is usually a six-sided bar or sheet of material (though it can also be a cylindrical rod). This stock is fixtured to the bed of the machine and the features of the part are cut using a rotating tool such as a drill or endmill.

With a 3-axis machine, the rotating tool mentioned above can translate relative to the part in the X, Y, and Z axes (thus the name), but is fixed in a vertical (or horizontal, depending on the machine) orientation. With modern CNC mills, the tool can also move in any combination of the 3 axes simultaneously.

A 5-axis machine is capable of the same movements as a 3-axis machine, but with added rotation about the X and Y axes. It is usually the bed that rotates rather than the toolhead, though both types of machines do exist.  This added rotation allows for much more freedom when machining each setup.

Machines

The Fictiv network connects hundreds of highly vetted machinists across the country. This gives engineers streamlined access to a wide range of 50+ models of CNC Mill machines, including:

Haas VF-2 Super Speed

Haas VF-4 Super Speed

Kitamura-3X Vertical CNC

Mazak Nexus VCN 510C

Mori Seiki DV5100

Max Part Size
[x, y, z]

762 x 406 x 508mm
30 x 16 x 20 in
1270 x 508 x 635 mm
50 x 20 x 25 in
760 x 510 x 510 mm
30 x 20.1 x 20.1 in
1200 x 677 x 470 mm
47.2 x 26.7 x 18.5 in
1,050 x 530 x 510 mm
41.3 x 20.8 x 20.0 in

Spindle Speed

8,100 rpms
12,000 rpms
12,000 rpms
12,000 rpms
30,000 rpms

Tools

20
40
24
30
30

Additional Machine Information

Haas VF-2 Super Speed
Haas VF-4 Super Speed
Kitamura-3X Vertical CNC
Mazak Nexus VCN-510C
Mori Seiki DV5100

Materials

Plastics

ABS

ABS is a versatile and rigid material, good for impact-resistant applications.

Nylon

Good for general purpose parts and wear & heat-resistant applications.

Polycarbonate

Great for light pipes, transparent parts, and heat-resistant applications.

Delrin (150)

Good for high-strength/high-rigidity applications such as gears, bushings.

Metals

Aluminum (6061)

Light, machinable & economic, good from prototyping to production.

Stainless Steel (303/304L/316L)

Good for industrial applications, fittings, fasteners, cookware, medical devices.

Cost Saving Tip

To reduce costs, limit the number of part setups, the number of inspection dimensions or tight tolerances, and deep pockets with small radii.

Minimum/Maximum Part Size

We accept the following minimum and maximum part sizes:

X
Y
Z
Min
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
1.0 mm
Max
1200 mm
500 mm
152 mm

Feature Design Recommendations

Compound Surfaces

Compound surfaces (also known as organic or spline surfaces) are no problem with Fictiv, so long as other minimums are met.

Internal radius

We support features with internal radii down to 0.4 mm (0.016").

Hole diamter

We can drill holes as small as 0.5mm (0.020") in diameter.

Hole Depth

Our maximum drillable hole depth is 12x the drill bit diameter.

Feature Depth

We recommend a maximum depth of cut of 5x tool diameter in both metals and plastics. Chat with us if your project requires more.

Related Resources

Engineer's Guide to CNC Machining for Prototyping Hardware
How to Cut CNC Machining Costs
Best Design Practices for CNC Machining