8 Common Production Methods Of CNC Steel

Stainless steel is a remarkable material famous in a wide range of applications. We often see the use of varying stainless steel parts near us. Starting from our living place to large industries, the use of stainless steel parts is extensive. You know, they come with high-quality finishing & accurate dimensions. With the help of CNC technology, obtaining a tolerance up to 0.01mm is possible. Because of this advantage, CNC steel parts are prevalent in modern manufacturing.

Stainless steel parts may come from various CNC steel machining processes. Each machining process offers unique advantages and features. As a result, we can make many metal shapes & complex patterns. The following few sections will highlight the eight most popular CNC steel parts production methods. We will also talk about the varying stainless steel parts & their applications. Moreover, we will review the overview of CNC prototyping, a custom stainless steel part manufacturing solution.

What Is CNC Machining For Steel Parts?

“CNC Steel machining,” if we divide this name into three parts, we get “CNC,” “Steel,” and “Machining.” That means CNC steel machining is a process that uses Computer Numerical Control technology to make various steel products. Well, it actually powers everything from medical devices to automotive parts. So, we know we can obtain a wide range of benefits from this technology.

However, let’s discuss some of its primary benefits. First of all is the precision (or accuracy). Obviously, the CNC machining process offers the tightest tolerance range. You can actually obtain a tolerance range of up to ±0.01mm. This is why CNC machining is so prevalent in applications where tiny deviation may alter a system’s function.

The following advantages are efficient production & cost-effectiveness. Well, if you compare other machining methods like metal casting & injection molding, you will find CNC machining the best solution.

The Most Common 8 Types Of CNC Steel Machining

CNC steel parts are used in a wide range of applications. So, we can say that they have many forms. In addition, the production methods of these parts also vary. In the following, let’s talk about those CNC machining methods used in steel manufacturing industries.

Method #1 CNC Turning

We can also call this method lathe machining. In this method, a spindle holds a workpiece. Based on different inputs, this spindle can rotate at a certain rotational speed. The process involves a spindle that holds the workpiece tightly and rotates at a certain rotational speed. Conversely, the cutting tool remains still. Note that it moves in a certain direction following the specific CNC code. So, we can obtain mostly cylindrical-shaped objects from this machining method. Popular examples are engine shafts, bushings, coupling, and many more.

Method #2 CNC Milling

This technology is just the opposite of CNC turning. In this method, the workpiece remains stationary. On the other hand, the spindle holds a cutting tool and rotates at a certain rotational speed. Interestingly, in the CNC milling method, the workpiece doesn’t move at all. The spindle moves horizontally or vertically as per the CNC code. Popular examples include gear, brackets, and many more.

Method #3 CNC Drilling

This technology is almost similar to the CNC milling method. The only difference is that CNC drilling is used for making holes of varying diameters. It can also also be used in making thread on steel rods. Based on different purposes, the types of drill bits may vary. In most cases, these machines may be equipped with multiple spindles. As a result, these devices can perform complex drilling operations. The best examples are hole plugs and dowel pins.

Method #4 CNC Grinding

Similar to the CNC milling & drilling technology, the workpiece remains stationary in this method. Conversely, the spindle holds different grinding tools. The process controls the movement of the grinding wheel to remove material from a workpiece. As a result, your workpiece can obtain high levels of accuracy and a smooth surface finish.

Method #5 CNC Laser Cutting/Engraving

This technology is new in modern manufacturing. In this method, a high-power laser beam removes materials from a workpiece. Therefore, its advantage also made it famous in CNC steel cutting.
Imagine the working principle of a CNC laser machine. A typical three-axis laser machine usually has two X-axis guide rails and one Y-axis guide rails. Note that this Y-axes guide rail actually holds the laser gun. The CNC code you inserted before will control the motos attached to these guide rails. On the other hand, the laser parameter set by you in the laser engraving software will actually control the laser intensity. Combining these two technologies, you can create more complex shapes of stainless steel parts.

Method #6 CNC Plasma Cutting

This technology is almost similar to the CNC laser cutting/engraving method. The only difference is their cutting media. This method typically uses a plasma torch to cut various metals. In the CNC plasma cutting method, the machine controls the movement of the plasma torch across the workpiece. The plasma source generates a high-velocity ionized gas (plasma) jet to melt & cut through the stainless steel.

Method #7 CNC Water Jet Cutting

Similar to the above two technologies, the machine controls the movement of the water jet in this method. Well, the high-pressure water jet, accelerated by the addition of abrasives, can create precise cuts on steel. The advantage of using this method is that it can precisely cut steel with minimal heat-affected zones. The best examples is coffee machine parts

Method #8 CNC Electric Discharge Machining (EDM)

This method is also a precision machining process. It actually uses electrical discharges or sparks to remove material from a workpiece. This approach discharges electrical energy between an electrode and the workpiece using a computer-controlled tool on a pre-programmed path. CNC EDM is also useful for machining intricate shapes. The method is especially suitable for applications requiring tight tolerance for hardened materials.

High Precision 5 Axis CNC Machining Stainless Steel Components Manufacturers

Custom Stainless Steel Components

Customized Industrial Steel Parts

What Are Stainless Steel Parts?

We have already gone through the eight most popular CNC steel machining processes used in different industries. For better understanding, let’s check out some specific part names associated with the CNC machining method.

Specific Part Names & Uses from Unique CNC Technology
CNC TechnologySpecific Part Names & Uses
CNC Turning1. Shaft – Used in machinery for rotational functionality
2. Bushing – Provides support & reduces friction
3. Coupling – Connects two shafts for power transmission
4. Nut – Essential in fastening components securely
CNC Milling1. Gear – Transmits motion and torque in various devices
2. Bracket – Supports and secures components in place
3. Plate – Acts as a base or support for other components
CNC Drilling1. Hole Plug – Fills drilled holes for a finished look
2. Dowel Pin – Aligns and secures parts in assembly
CNC Grinding1. Surface Plate – Ensures a flat and smooth surface
2. Spacer – Maintains a specific distance between components
CNC Laser Cutting/Engraving1. Nameplate – Customized for branding or identification
2. Decorative Panel – Adds aesthetic appeal to products
3. Serial Number Marking – Adds identification to parts
4. Logo Engraving – Enhances branding on components
CNC Waterjet Cutting1. Valve Body – Precision-cut for fluid control applications
2. Artwork Inlay – Intricate designs for decorative purposes
CNC EDM (Electric Discharge Machining)1. Die – Used in metal forming processes for precision
2. Mold Cavity – Shapes various materials with accuracy

Why Do We Use 3,4, or 5-axis CNC Steel Parts Manufacturing?

3, 4, and 5-axis CNC steel part manufacturing typically means the number of directions in CNC machining. The number determines in which the cutting tool can move during machining. A 3-axis machine can move in three directions. On the other hand, 4 and 5-axis machines offer additional rotational movements.
Using such configurations usually improves manufacturing for complex steel components. You can make complicated structures while minimizing setup modifications. As a result, you may achieve higher precision with a better surface quality in less time. Multi-axis CNC machines are also prevalent in industries that require complex geometry. You can consider medical parts and CNC auto parts.

CNC Prototyping: Solution For Custom Stainless Steel Parts

CNC prototyping is not a machining method. It’s technically a solution to make custom stainless steel parts. Why is CNC prototyping necessary? Let’s say you are going to make 100 engine gears with a base diameter of 270mm ± 0.01mm. Unfortunately, after the production, you found that 272 ± 0.01mm best fits your system. It means all your 100 pieces of gear need to be reworked again. Indeed, it’s a costly process and wastes considerable time.
CNC prototyping helps you make custom stainless steel parts. Utilizing these custom stainless steel parts, you can test your system and make necessary changes if necessary. Finally, you can go for the final production.

Let’s wrap everything up! CNC steel machining is a very popular production method used in metal industries. Based on the complexity of the metal part, the type of CNC steel machining may vary. We know that eight popular types of CNC steel machining processes are available. Each technology offers unique solutions & advantages. Now, considering your metal parts specification, application requirements, and budget, you can choose between these options.
Moreover, we also went through a table of specific part names from each of these technologies. We have highlighted different uses of these CNC steel parts as well. Therefore, we hope this article made understanding these methods and their respective products easy. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our engineers support.

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