When working with CNC (computer numeric control) machines to create a product or a part for an assembly of some kind, it is critical that you get the program right. Working with a CNC prototyping service to work out the details and the program can save you a lot of time and money, especially for small businesses that do not have engineering staff to do this work.
When working with a CNC prototyping service, the first thing you need is an engineering design or drawing that spells out all the specifics for the part you are trying to create. The drawing will allow the prototyping service to create a CNC machine program to make the piece as it is designed.
Often, the drawing is the starting point, but the prototype will need to be created and then test-fitted to determine if it will work properly. There are things that the drawing can not account for, and the CNC machine will need to be fine-tuned to create. The fine-tuning process can be long and tedious and can involve many prototypes.
Often, prototyping requires the CNC machine to be run through the program and have minor adjustments made to correct issues in the program many times before the program is correct. The CNC prototyping service will run these test runs many times and will have you check parts along the way until everything is correct when the piece comes off the machine.
Creating prototypes on a CNC machine many times is costly because it requires a lot of material. Often, the prototypes that are not correct are scrap, so the cost of material can add up quickly. A CNC prototyping service will usually buy stock in large quantities, and all the scrap material coming off the machine is collected to be sold to recyclers.
These practices will help reduce the cost of this process and lower the expense to the client. If you try to do the same CNC prototyping in-house, you may likely have to pay more for materials, and if you don't have a CNC programer or engineer in-house, you would still need outside help that is going to come with a bill for their time and work.
Working with a CNC prototyping service to develop the program for you saves a lot of those hassles and ensures that the program is right when it arrives in your facility. Most of these services will negotiate the service's cost with you, making it easier to fit CNC prototyping services into the budget for your design process.