The name itself already indicates what machined parts are. To clarify, those parts are all kinds of components made of plastic and metal, fabricated with the help of a machine. More specific, a cutting tool removes material from a workpiece in order to obtain the desired shape and dimensions of the part. There are many forms of machining components.
- CNC milling and turning controlled by a computer
- Conventional processing: machines are operated by hand and not by a computer.
- Drilling, reaming and tapping
All of those fabrication processes have one thing in common. Namely, they use a sharp cutting tool to remove material, or chips from the workpiece in order to obtain the desired dimensions and shape. These tools are mills, drills, sawing blades and so on.
What are machined parts used for?
We use machined components everywhere. Look around you and take a look inside devices and machinery. Open the hull of your car. The engine consists of hundreds of parts, for instance. milled and turned components find their way in a broad range of applications. Each milled component has its reason and function in an assembly. We use CNC machining to fabricate as enclosures and housings, covers, fixation elements, mounting brackets, electric components and PCB’s (cfr Heatsinks, connector pins) and mechanical parts such as gears and axles. They are all part of a bigger unit. A plane, a car, machinery, a lock, an electronic device.
What are the advantages of machined parts?
There are several advantages of machined parts compared to other ways of manufacturing.
1. Prototype machining
In order to evaluate a new design, it is relatively easy to make prototype parts. There is no investment in tools and molds needed. The total cost of machined prototypes is low.
Whether you need 1 or 10000 pieces, machining does the job. However, some different mass production techniques could reduce scrap material and as such induce a lower unit cost. In this case we talk about molds.
Taking in account some basic design rules for fabricating parts, the freedom of designing machined parts is huge. More specific, it allows all kinds of shapes, even curved surfaces.
Product designs often change during the lifetime of a product. Component updates result in modifications. When CNC fabricating, there is more flexibility to modify parts throughout the manufacturing process or even after a series is finished. There is not such flexibility when using molds, for example.
5.Relatively fast fabrication process
Milling and turning are relatively fast manufacturing processes. The fabrication of machined parts starts right away. Whereas for injection molding there first is the production phase of the mold.