How to choose the right CNC machine shop

by Sergio Clark
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If you’re in the manufacturing industry, you’ve probably heard about CNC machining or a CNC machine shop severally. But what is CNC, and what does a CNC machine do? Where do CNC machine shops come to play?

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is a type of subtractive manufacturing process that uses computerized machine tools and controls to direct the movement of tools from one point to another and to produce quality finished products. A CNC machine shop is simply a place where machining tools are kept.

It looks more like a giant store than a shop oftentimes.

Now, how do you choose the right CNC machine shop? What are the things you should look out for?

Read on to find out.

How to choose the right CNC machine shop

1. Start with Google

The “Business near Me” feature can help you to find virtually any type of business around your location as fast as possible. If you’re looking for a CNC machine shop around you, simply search for that with your location on the Google search bar.

For instance, type in “CNC shops near me ‘location’”. You’d find more than enough machine shops around. This is the easiest way to draw up a list of possible options.

2. Find out if they can handle your order

Not all CNC machine shops are the same. Not all of them specialize in every area. Some machine shops are specialized, depending on the kind of work they receive in a particular place. Find out which does, and determine whether they are capable of handling your order.

First, check out customer reviews and recommendations. Find out whether the CNC machine shop is good enough and has credible reviews.

3. Can the machine shop handle your tolerance requirements?

For those who don’t know what tolerance in manufacturing is, it’s simply the amount of freedom allowed between the design and the real product? Can the machine shop produce a near copy of the design as the final product?

4. Can the CNC machine shop review your parts for free?

This is a vital thing to look out for. Ensure that the CNC machine shop will allow you to review the parts for free. This is because even the best designers can miss out on tiny essential designs during their work process.

By reviewing the parts, they won’t stray from the original design. Allowing you to do it at no extra cost gives the CNC machine shop some credibility.

5. Can they guarantee the quality of the machined parts?

Do you want a top-notch finished product? Then, this must be on your to-do list. How can you do this?

Ensure that you have payment protection for cases where the machined parts do not meet your tolerance requirement. A credible CNC machine shop will ensure that you either get refunded or remake the damaged parts.

6. What is the capacity of the CNC machine shop?

 Different shops have different capacities. Some shops can only do prototyping for small batches. Depending on the kind of project you want to do, look at the size of the CNC machine shop and the number of machines they have. It should give you a clear idea.

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