our digital manufacturing ecosystem
Global Manufacturing Network
People on the ground
Urethane Casting Materials
3D Printing Materials
Digital Manufacturing Resources
Learn about fictiv
2021 State of Manufacturing Report
DFM for CNC Machining
Tolerance Stack Ups 501: Going Beyond Mechanical Fit and Into Predictive Design
Instant Quotes & Manufacturability Feedback
Streamline your workflow with our digital quote-to-order platform. Simply upload your CAD model for instant pricing and DfM feedback.
10X Precision Over Leading Platform
Our vetted network of precision CNC partners can hit tolerances as tight as +/- 0.0002 in.
Pricing Flexibility: Overseas & U.S.
Fictiv has vetted manufacturing partners in North America and Asia Pacific regions, for maximum flexibility across pricing and lead times.
A wide range of stock hobbing tools available for quick turnaround times.
Electrical Discharge Machining
Useful for cutting deep pockets and complex features such as gears and holes with a keyway.
Standard and live tooling capabilities for cylindrical parts such as pins, shafts, and spacers.
3, 4 and 5-axis machining capabilities for simple and complex geometries.
A2 Tool Steel
A2 Tool Steel
A2 Tool Steel has excellent wear resistance and toughness, commonly used to make fixtures, tools, tool holders, gauges, and punches.
ABS is a low-cost engineering plastic widely used for pre-injection molding prototypes.
Acrylic is a scratch-resistant plastic material, often used for tanks, panels, and optical applications.
Aluminum is one of the most commonly used metals in the world because of its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, low cost, and recyclability.
360 Brass, also known as free machining brass, is commonly used for a variety of parts including gears, lock components, pipe fittings, and ornamental applications.
932 Bearing Bronze is a high strength alloy with good wear and corrosion resistance due to its tin, iron, and zinc content.
Cast iron is a dependable, wear-resistant material that’s ideal for absorbing vibrations. Great for gears, bases, pulleys, and bushings.
101 and 110 copper alloys offer excellent thermal and electrical conductivity, which makes them natural choices for bus bars, wire connectors, and other electrical applications.
Delrin, or acetal, is a low-friction, high-stiffness plastic material. With a relatively high toughness and minimal elongation, Delrin boasts excellent dimensional accuracy.
Garolite G-10 (also known as phenolic and epoxy-grade industrial laminate) is a composite material with a low coefficient of thermal expansion. It does not absorb water and is an excellent insulator, making it useful for electronics applications.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is a slippery plastic that is often machined into plugs and seals. It is also an excellent electrical insulator as well as being moisture and chemically-resistant.
Nylon is a general purpose plastic material that resists both frictional and chemical wear. Two of the most notable use cases for Nylon are in medical devices and electronics insulation, notably screws and spacers for panel mounted circuit boards.
In high-stress or high-temperature applications, PEEK is a great lightweight plastic substitute for most soft metals. Additionally, PEEK is resistant to moisture, wear, and chemicals.
Polycarbonate (PC), is heat-resistant, impact-resistant, flame-retardant, and one of the most common plastics used in manufacturing.
Polypropylene (PP) resists most solvents and chemicals, which makes it a wonderful material to manufacture laboratory equipment and containers for a variety of applications. PP also offers good fatigue strength.
Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) is a high-performance engineering plastic with excellent temperature resistance, dimensional stability, and electrical insulation properties.
Commonly known as Teflon, PTFE resists high temperatures and chemicals/solvents excellently in and is also a great insulator. It is also a very slippery plastic, which makes it a good material for low-friction applications such as bearings.
Stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion and rust, making it suitable for situations where a part may be exposed to the elements for long period of time. Stainless steel is also fairly malleable and ductile.
Fictiv offers both alloy and carbon steel options, useful for a variety of applications including fixtures, mounting plates, draft shafts, axles, torsion bars, gears, bolts, studs, shafts, and structural applications.
Titanium may be selected over other materials such as steel due to its ability to withstand high and subzero temperatures. Common use cases include aerospace fasteners, turbine blades, engine components, sports equipment and marine applications.
Ultra-High-Molecular-Weight Polyethylene (or UHMW) is a hard plastic with a slippery surface, which resists abrasion and wear. Additionally, it offers high impact strength and is the optimal material for chute/hopper liners and machine guards.
ULTEM 1000 is a translucent amber colored plastic with excellent durability, strength, stiffness and heat resistance. ULTEM 1000 may be selected over Nylon or Delrin because it has the highest dielectric properties. Common applications include industrial equipment, medical devices and electronics.
Electroless Nickel Plating
Chromate conversion coating, more commonly known by its brand name Alodine, is a chemical coating that passivate and protects aluminum from corrosion. It is also used as a base layer before priming and painting parts.
Anodizing is an electrolytic passivation process that grows the natural oxide layer on aluminum parts for protection from wear and corrosion, as well as for cosmetic effects.
Black oxide is a conversion coating similar to Alodine that is used for steel and stainless steel. It is used mainly for appearance and for mild corrosion resistance.
Electroless Nickel Plating
Electroless nickel plating (ENP) is a reaction that deposits a nickel-phosphorus alloy onto the surface of a metal. Compared to electroplating, it has more uniform thickness and superior wear and corrosion resistance.
Electropolishing is an electrochemical process used to improve the surface finish of a part by removing material to level microscopic peaks and valleys.
Media blasting uses a pressurized jet of abrasive media to apply a matte, uniform finish to the surface of parts.
Nickel plating is a process used to electroplate a thin layer of nickel onto a metal part. This plating can be used for corrosion and wear resistance, as well as for decorative purposes.
Passivation is a chemical reaction that causes a material to be less affected by corrosion or other environmental factors.
Powder coating is a process in which a dry powder paint is applied to a metal surface. Unlike traditional, liquid paint, powder coating does not need a solvent to keep the binder and filler of the paint in liquid suspension.
Tumbling is a finishing process that is used to clean, deburr, and slightly smooth smaller part.
Zinc plating, which is also known as galvanization, is applied to prevent the surface from oxidizing or corroding.
With a drawing, Fictiv can produce parts with tolerance as low as +/- 0.0002 in. Without a drawing, all parts are produced to our ISO 2768 medium standard.
“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.”
Mechanical Engineer, HEBI Robotics
+/- 0.0004" tolerances
6 weeks for 650 gears
Fictiv CNC Machining Advantages
Mid Stage Prototypes
CNC machining is an ideal process for mid-stage functional prototypes. Fictiv can help you accelerate development cycles with instant quotes, intelligent DFM feedback, and rapid lead times.
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.
CNC machining is ideal for manufacturing components needed for production, including fixtures, jigs, gauges, molds, dies, cutting equipment, and patterns.
About the CNC 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 mills consist of a multi-axis system (three, four, or five axes, depending on the part complexity). Lathemachines 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 machining types include plasma cutters and water jet cutters.
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.
What are the advantages of CNC machining?
The primary advantages of CNC machining include the ability to produce complex prototypes and full-scale production quickly. It offers a high level of precision and accuracy in manufacturing parts and allows for tight tolerance machining for 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 machining processes are turning and 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 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 can produce parts with tolerance as low as ± 0.0002 in. Without a drawing, all 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.