How To Quote CNC Machining Parts
CNC machines are machines that work on coded software to modify a piece of material into different outcomes that have to be achieved. The codes in the CNC machines are read by programmers or automated software like CAD or CAM. Many different types of CNC machines are used in the industry for different products including the type of machines like CNC Mills, Lathes(CNC Turning), Plasma Clusters, EDM (Electric Discharge Model), water jet clusters, and other tools like 3D printing, induction hardening machines, milling machines and many more.
The services of the prints of CNC machines are provided by many companies and the cost of each product is estimated for the clients by quoting it for them. There is always a question from the clients about how much the whole process or the parts of CNC machining will cost? A quote is given by the developers or manufacturers to their clients that defines an approximate cost. The cost is decided by the manufacturers by considering certain factors in the development like design, complexity, etc. of the product. Getting an accurate quote is a very important factor because it avoids the additional costs in the further process of developing a machine. It also helps both parties to understand the process and saves time.
The details of the drawings and the prints affect the quoted price from customer to customer depending on their prints, so there are some points of consideration in giving accurate quotes. The information about the product that is necessary and what output is required by the customers from the company is very essential.
Methods of Quoting
One of the oldest ways to get the quoting of your products is to email the service providers. The clients attach the design files along with the material details that are essential for the quoting such as materials, surface finishes, quantities, volume, and measurements of the product. When the companies receive the details, there are two possibilities. One is that the company is already connected to the material suppliers and can easily estimate the cost by getting the prices of materials from them. The second one is that the engineers in the company have to look up the materials from the different platforms like Alibaba or other manufacturers that provide a low cost of the materials.
Although this method is not used that much the current days because sending emails back and forth is not feasible for resource-critical projects of the customers. Also, a manual process of getting the prices of the materials from the shops and then creating an estimated cost slows down the process of quoting.
The second method to make the quoting process of the product easy, quick, and accurate is due to the continuously evolving technology industry. The websites of the service-providing companies have been created and are available online for users to get quotes easily. The websites are made user-friendly so that anyone can use them easily. The clients upload the design of the product easily, get the quotes, and can easily get started. The whole process can be done online and easily from getting quotes to making the payments online on the same platform and then the company takes care of the whole process from getting the materials to manufacturing the final results of the products.
There are some disadvantages to this method too as the client cannot communicate with the manufacturer directly and can’t explain the desired design. The customers communicate with the service agents through these platforms and the agents don’t have that much knowledge about the design and manufacturing of the CNC machining parts. Due to that reason, miscommunication or delayed results can occur, and this can eventually result in faults in the CNC machining parts that are to be manufactured. Another drawback is that the customers don’t know how much these third-party websites are charging on top of the actual cost of manufacturing. The websites available sometimes charge twice or sometimes four times the actual price.
Factors To Consider For A Good Quotation
Certain factors define the cost of the manufacturing of the CNC machining and then the profit margin is kept on top of that cost while quoting. Different CNC machining services provide a wide range of services to provide to clients and industries. Mostly the larger and more complex structure costs more than the simpler and faster projects. Multiple factors like materials, volume, and many more make the overall cost of the product. Some of them are discussed below.
Materials of the Parts
The materials of the CNC parts influence the overall cost in two ways, the raw material cost and the machinability cost of the materials. There is a different price range for the materials and how difficult it is to process those materials. The more it is find the materials and process, the more expensive it keeps getting. The materials used in the products developed by CNC machines can be hazardous so safety precautions have to be taken for the safety of manufacturers. The overall cost can be highly impacted by the material cost.
Geometry of Products
The dimensions and the geometry of the parts also define the cost because the more complex the geometry, the more material will be required to manufacture it. More processes will be needed to be done to achieve the complex geometry parts as compared to the simpler ones. Designing the complex parts also costs more and designing unnecessary parts in the designing phase is an easy task. It is recommended to hire an expert designer for the design of CNC machine parts to design functional yet efficient parts. The overheads are increased due to the material and machinability which affects the overall cost of the objects.
Even, in the simplest and most automated machines, labor is required to operate the machines. The workers need to be paid for their work and it increases the overall cost. If the machines used by the companies are complex then expert and trained manufacturers are required so the overall production cost goes up. These trained experts have extra skills to operate the complex machines so they charge for their skills. The more labor required for the parts, the more the production cost.
Design is another factor of the products that affect the overall production cost. More complex and inaccurate designs may result in more expensive production of the parts. The inaccurate designs might end up in manufacturing one part twice and are wasted because of miscommunication between the manufacturer and the client. The solution to this problem is to hire a designer at the initial stage of design and production. Hiring a designer might be a little expensive initially but will save from the future mismanagement and wasting of parts and materials which eventually result in the increased cost of the overall product.
In terms of CNC machining, the tight part tolerance means how tight and close are the parts of the model with each other. It refers to accuracy because if the parts will be tight then they will be as accurate and similar to the original one. They are mostly measured in hundredths and thousandths of an inch as parts tend to be very close to each other. The complexity and the demand for the procedure increase come with a huge price and the process is done with precision because it requires complex CNC machinery and skilled workers. The labor cost is also increased because of this factor as the skilled and trained workers in this field are very few and charge a lot.
Most of the time, the process of building up the products is not completed just after they come out of the machines. Many of the products require final finishing which is also known as post-processing. Additional treatments are done with specific techniques and materials to adhere to safety and industry regulations. Although they are not necessary all the time for all the products so the customers can discuss this factor with the manufacturing company or the services provider if they want to include it in their service plan. There are several processes that different products need after manufacturing and some of them are listed below:
- Heat treating
- Water transfering
- And many more.
Different overheads are also added to the overall cost of the parts in CNC machining. One of them is the turnaround time that is dependent on the manufacturing of the objects. If the objects have to be shipped within weeks then it takes less time to ship than the shipment that has to be done within days. This depends on the demand of the clients and how much fast delivery does want. Some of the service providers in the industry can supply their orders with tight schedules regardless of the order volume, size, and complexity. The lead time mostly depends upon the three factors which are the type of CAD/CAM software used in the CNC machining, the machinists’ experience level, and the certification standards.
How to prepare for requesting a CNC machining Quote?
When you are planning to order a type of CNC machining parts, you should always get quotes from different providers and discuss the production of the part with them. You should always make your decision by considering several factors like machining cost, lead time, delivery time, quality of parts, and a few more. When you are satisfied by any of the service providers that fulfill your requirements and needs, then only get started with the production of your mechanical CNC part. When you are requesting a quotation you should have these 5 things prepared beforehand.
The product design is the basic essential when you are getting the CNC part quote. CNC machined parts have high precision and accuracy, so if you want to get the same product that you desire, then you should submit the 2D as well as the 3D design for the perfect design and dimensions of your product. The 2D drawings specify the product size including height, length, and diameter and the 3D drawings help in building the programming language on which the machines are moved and perform operations.
The material of the part of the CNC machining is one of the most important factors as it determines the cost of the parts. For an instant quote, you would need to enter the materials that will be used in your part or mention what performance the product needs to be achieved.
Quantity or the production volume of a CNC part is very essential as the cost and the delivery time depend on it as rapid prototyping is suitable for every part’s development and testing. Mention the total parts at the time of quotation, to get a clearer time of production and delivery.
It is recommended to discuss the product appearance with the manufacturer like color, surface finish, CAD design, and extra text at the time of quotation. If you want to change the appearance with a specific look then it is better to mention all of it in the quotation. The quotation will be more accurate if you mention them beforehand so they can be added to your service plan.
Gavin Leo is a technical writer at Aria with 8 years of experience in Engineering, He proficient in machining characteristics and surface finish process of various materials. and participated in the development of more than 100complex injection molding and CNC machining projects. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience.