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An overview: CNC Machining cost and How to reduce it?

An overview: CNC Machining cost and How to reduce it?

Last updatad 2022/06/25

 CNC machining

CNC machining


Due to the advanced technology and minor labor-intensive characteristics, CNC machining is one of the economical manufacturing methods for metals and engineering plastic components.


The price of CNC machining is not easy to predict with accuracy. This price depends on several factors. Are you beginning a new project and need accurate cost estimation for your component production? In that case, this article will help identify the cost factors and optimize your budget.

Factors that Influence the CNC machining cost


Knowing the factors that affect the cost of CNC machining is crucial to optimizing the budget, so let’s explain each individually before moving on to cost-reducing ideas.

 1.   Raw material 


The first factor is the type of material you require for your component, which is based on the final product’s intended use. For example, aluminum, steel, brass, titanium, and plastic (PVC, PC, Nylon, ABS) are the popular materials used in CNC machining. While brass and titanium are more expensive, the price of material will be low if you need products and components made of plastic.

 2.   The complexity of the components and type of machining 


Complex geometrical components are costly for CNC machining. These take more time to Create CAD design and require a higher-axis CNC machine (five or six axes) and various machining, including turning, milling, CNC grinding, and CNC routing, which take longer to produce. Therefore, simpler components machining using three or four axes will be less expensive than more complicated ones.

Three-axis and multi-axis machining in the USA and Europe costs between $25 and $35 per hour & between $60 and $120 per hour, respectively. But if you choose the Chinese manufacturers, it will be much lower. For example, our CNC Machining Service only charges $ 7– $12 and $25–$40 per hour for three-axis and multi-axis CNC machining, respectively.

 3.   Required Tolerance


All the features and tools required for maintaining high accuracy and precise manufacturing are present in CNC machines. However, the price will be higher if you require parts with a tight tolerance and repeatability because more labor time and tool setup is needed to maintain it. Also, if the components need tight tolerance, Extra quality control engineers will be required to monitor and evaluate the process. 


 High-precision CNC machining

High-precision CNC machining

 4.   Surface finishes


The surface finishing is necessary for the machined components to prevent corrosion, increase durability, and improve aesthetic appeal. Simple paint coating, polishing, electrochemical plating, galvanizing, and black oxide finishing are some examples of the surface finishes that the components may require. The cost will vary according to which type of finish is needed on the component surface. For example, while black oxide coating and electroplating are expensive, simple polishing or painting is the least costly.

5.   Quantity of items

Identical CNC machined items 

Identical CNC machined items

Because a single CAD design and control parameters can produce thousands of identical items, the higher the required quantity, the lower the cost per unit will be.

One tool set can work for multiple machining operations, reducing production time. For instance, if an item costs $5 and you order 100 of them, the price may drop to $3.5 to $4.50 if you need more than 1000.

6.   Additional factors

Other elements, including shipping, and delivery time, influence the overall CNC machining cost. For example, shipping will be more expensive if the components are large and heavy. An urgent delivery will also add some extra bucks to the price.


How to reduce CNC machining cost?


Most of the time, customers find that CNC machining costs are slightly higher than anticipated. Still, there are ways to lower the price by making intelligent decisions and considering various factors. Here are some methods for reducing the cost of CNC machining.

 1.   Optimize the process design

The manufacturing process designs heavily influence the Cost of CNC machining, so optimizing the less complex designs and reducing machining times is essential. In addition, complexity and segment lengths can be easily reduced if a component’s functionality has no impact. Consider making simple steps if multiple machining setups are needed to create the product.


Consult design professionals who have been working on CNC machining design optimization. We can assist you in lowering costs by optimizing the design if you lack access to experts. Our engineers help throughout the entire production process because they have worked in the field for over a decade. Reach out to us for any related consultation.

2.   Re-consider the material selection

Before selecting the material for machining, consider the required component properties such as hardness, strength, durability, and toughness. Then, make a list of different materials costs that fit the required range of these factors. Then, when creating the prototype, you can choose two materials and compare their prices to see which one is the cheapest while still meeting all the functional requirements and properties.

 3.   Set flexible deadlines 

Urgent delivery is more expensive for the manufacturers than a flexible delivery schedule. Therefore, complete the processing as soon as possible to avoid tight deadlines and save money.

 4.   Consider the outsourcing 

You can split the required parts and outsource from other manufacturers to lower the cost of CNC machining for the components and products. The Cost of CNC machining is higher in developed countries compared to those where the manufacturing industries are more competitive, such as China. For example, our company’s pricing is highly competitive and will be 20 to 40% less than that of the US and Europe.

 5.   Other consideration

Select the surface finish and tolerance range that is economically more affordable and meets your needs without sacrificing the component’s functionality or features.

 6.   Large scale production 

Large-scale production of components with CNC machining results in cost savings because repeated tool setup, CAM & CAD design fees, and preparation fees are eliminated. So, the cost of production is consequently decreased.




CNC machining costs vary on various factors, mainly the cost of material, labor, machine, and other additional factors. While calculating the cost,  the equipment & labor needs, type of machining, part complexity, surface treatment, and Machining time should be considered.


CNC machining cost calculation is simple when collaborating with us. Because we use computer algorithms and machining quote calculations created by experts to prepare and send the quotation based on your request, we can provide a quotation immediately after receiving your request. Then, you send us the design, and we move forward with the work while focusing on your requirements and comments.




Is CNC machining an expensive manufacturing process?

No, it depends upon the various factors, from complexity in the design process to the volumes of components you need. However, the large production is very cost-effective. 


How much does it take to get the quotation? 

It does not matter how complex your design is. We reply with a quotation within 24 hours.


What is the best material for CNC machining? 

 It depends on the applications of the products and the required physical and mechanical properties. So, let our experts choose the best material for CNC machining based on your needs.


What are the typical CNC machining operations?

 The common CNC machining operations include drilling, boring, turning, and milling.



Post time: Jun-25-2022

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