Capabilities

CNC Machining Service

  • Instant Quotes & DFM Feedback
  • Parts as Fast as 2 days
  • Tight Tolerances
  • Hand Metrology, Laser & CMM Inspections

Faster Lead Times

With instant online quotes and rapid production, you can reduce cycle times by as much as 50%.

World-Class Machine Shops

Tap into a highly vetted and managed network of the best machine shops world-wide.

Flexible Pricing

Choose between fast and cost-effective options to find the best price.

CNC Machining Services

CNC Machining Materials

A2 Tool Steel

ABS

Acrylic

Aluminum

Brass

Bronze

Cast Iron

Copper

Delrin

Garolite G-10

HDPE

Nylon

PEEK

Polycarbonate

Polypropylene

PPS

PTFE

Stainless Steel

Steel

Titanium

UHMW

Ultem

A2 Tool Steel

A2 Tool Steel has excellent wear resistance and toughness, commonly used to make fixtures, tools, tool holders, gauges, and punches.

Mill Lead Time:
As fast as 7 days
Finishing Options:
Media Blasting, Tumbling, Black Oxide
CNC Machining A2 Tool Steel Finish

Physical and mechanical properties are not guaranteed. They are intended only as a basis for comparison and not for design purposes.

Download CNC Material Datasheet

Finishing Options for CNC Machining

Name Applicable Materials Colors Can be applied with
Alodine Aluminum Clear, gold
Anodizing Aluminum Clear, black, grey, red, blue, gold
Black Oxide Steel, Stainless Steel Black Media Blasting, Tumbling, Passivation
Electroless Nickel Plating Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel Alodine
Electropolishing Steel, Stainless Steel Passivation, Tumbling
Media Blasting Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel, Brass, Bronze, Copper
Nickel Plating Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel Media Blasting, Tumbling
Passivation Steel, Stainless Steel Black Oxide, Electroless Nickel Plating, Electropolish, Zinc Plating, Tumbling, Media Blasting
Powder Coating Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel Black (20% or 90% gloss), white (20% or 90% gloss) Media blasting, tumbling (neither is needed)
Tumbling Aluminum, Steel, Stainless Steel Any finish
Zinc Plating Steel, Stainless Steel Clear: light blue coating, black: glossy black coating Media Blasting, Tumbling, Passivation

Precision Machining Tolerance

Metals, PEEK, And
ULTEM With Drawing
Other Plastics
With Drawing
No Drawing
Linear Dimension +/- 0.01 mm

+/- 0.0003 inch
+/- 0.05 mm

+/- 0.002 inch
ISO 2768 Medium
Hole Diameters
(Not Reamed)
+/- 0.008 mm

+/- 0.0003 inch
+/- 0.05 mm

+/- 0.002 inch
ISO 2768 Medium
Shaft Diameters +/- 0.004 mm

+/- 0.00016 inch
+/- 0.05 mm

+/- 0.002 inch
ISO 2768 Medium

Part lengths of up to 48" available on our platform, process dependant. Please inquire about anything larger. Tolerances listed here are minimums for an ideal case. Looser tolerances may be required depending on process, material choice, or part geometry.

Download Tolerance Chart

CNC Machining Case Study

“Being able to use Fictiv for gears is very exciting. We know they're going to hit their lead times and we're going to be in constant communication to see where our parts are in the supply chain.”

Andrew Willig

Mechanical Engineer, HEBI Robotics

+/- 0.0004

+/- 0.0004" tolerances

6 weeks for 650 gears icon

6 weeks for 650 gears

Fictiv CNC Machining Advantages

From Prototype to Production

Mid Stage Prototypes

Prototype CNC machining is an ideal process for mid-stage functional prototypes. Fictiv can help you accelerate development cycles with rapid prototyping by providing instant online quotes, intelligent DFM feedback, and quick lead times.

  • Finishing, masking & hardware installation
  • CNC Milling, CNC turning, gear hobbing, EDM
  • Tolerances as tight as +/- 0.0002″

Production Parts

Custom CNC machining is often leveraged for end-use production grade parts. Fictiv’s global manufacturing network is optimized for production machining, with volumes up to 1M units.

  • Inspections using CMM or laser scanners
  • Material certification available
  • ISO 9001 certified, AS 9100 / ISO 13485 compliant

Production Tooling

Online CNC machining services are ideal for manufacturing components needed for production, including fixtures, jigs, gauges, molds, dies, cutting equipment, and patterns.

  • Vetted partners in the U.S. and overseas
  • Economical pricing options
  • 2D drawings accepted

Our Quality Promise

  • Inspection reports included with every order
  • All CNC-machined parts inspected using hand metrology, CMM or laser scanners
  • All manufacturing partners are highly vetted and managed
  • ISO 9001 certified, AS 9100 & ISO 13485 compliant
  • Quality guaranteed. If a part is not made to spec, we’ll make it right.
  • Material certifications available

Technology Overview

What is CNC Machining

What is CNC Machining?

CNC stands for computer numerical control. So, CNC machining is any kind of machining process controlled by a computer. Computerized automation allows parts to be made more quickly, accurately, precisely, and with more complex geometries than those produced via manual machining. CNC also reduces manual machining labor that would otherwise be done by humans. While they aren’t machining each part themselves, people are essential for programming and operating the machines, ensuring that every operation goes smoothly.


About the CNC Machining Process

CNC, or computer numerical control machining, is a subtractive manufacturing method that leverages a combination of computerized controls and machine tools to remove layers from a solid block of material. The desired cuts in the metal are programmed according to corresponding tools and machinery, which perform the machining task in an automated fashion.

Types of CNC Machining

Depending on the type of part that needs to be machined, there are different types of CNC machines best fit for the job. CNC milling utilizes CNC mills, which consist of a multi-axis system (three, four, or five axes, depending on the part complexity). CNC turning involves Lathe machines, which generally have 2 axes and cut pieces using a circular motion. Electric discharge machines (EDM) utilize electrical sparks into order to mold work pieces into the desired shape. Hobbing is another type of machining process used for cutting gears, splines, and sprockets. Additional CNC machine types include plasma cutters and water jet cutters.

How Does CNC Machining Work?

The programs used for CNC machining these days are written with G-code, and are usually automatically created by CAM software. CAM, or computer aided manufacturing software, generates the G-code for a 3D model with given tools and workpiece material. This G-code controls the CNC machines, i.e., the motion of the tool, the workpiece, and any tool changes. It even has commands to turn on or off the coolant and other auxiliary components. 

CNC machining can be used for a wide variety of materials, with the most common being aluminum, steel, brass, ABS, Delrin, and nylon. But really, almost any hard material can be CNC machined. We’ll discuss materials more in depth later on.


CNC vs 3D Printing

Compared with parts manufacturing through additive methods, CNC machined parts are functionally stronger and typically have superior production quality and finish. Thus, CNC machining is typically used in the mid to late stages of development when parts are ready to be tested for functional accuracy.

CNC Design Considerations

While most of the details, such as tooling, spindle speed, cutter type, and depth of cut, and taken care of at the machine shop, there are some key things you can do while designing your parts to not only make sure they can be made, but also ensure you develop a lean product that doesn't break the bank.

CNC Machining FAQs

What are the advantages of CNC machining?

The primary advantages of CNC machining include rapid prototyping and the ability to produce full-scale production parts quickly. It offers a high level of precision and accuracy in manufacturing parts and allows for tight tolerance machining for CNC parts of all sizes. It also offers maximum flexibility across volume, pricing, lead times, and the range of materials and finishes being used.

What are the different types of machining processes?

The two primary CNC machining processes are CNC turning and CNC milling. Other machining processes include drilling, gear hobbing and electrical discharge machining, among others.

What industries use CNC machinery?

Industries that use CNC machining include aerospace, automotive parts manufacturing, medical machine manufacturing, transportation, defense, and marine industries, along with oil and gas industries and electronics. CNC machining has allowed these industries to become more efficient at mass-producing custom CNC parts.

What are standard machining tolerances?

The standard machining tolerance is ± 0.005" or 0.13mm. Tolerances are the allowable range for a dimension. If a CNC machining tool has a tolerance of ± 0.01 mm this means that the machining tool can have a deviation of 0.01 mm in every cut. With a drawing, Fictiv's CNC machining service can produce CNC parts with tolerance as low as ± 0.0002 in. Without a drawing, all CNC parts are produced to our ISO 2768 medium standard. We can also machine to tighter tolerances, ±0.025mm or ±0.001", with an attached engineering drawing calling out critical features.

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