Category: Machining

Shop Capabilities: CNC Turning

We have CNC turning capability with our Prodigy gang chucker with C axis

Maximum capacity is 1″ diameter x 4″ long.

Shop Capabilities: Plastics Routing

We have plastic routing capability with our Defiance VMC.

Maximum capacity is 12″ x 7″ x 5″ tall.

Shop Capabilities: Manual Milling

We have manual milling capability with our Bridgeport style turret mill.

Maximum capacity is 32″ x 12″ x 12″ tall.

Shop Capabilities: CNC Milling

We have CNC milling capability with our Haas Minimill.

Maximum capacity is 16″ x 12″ x 9″ tall.

Milled buckle

Here is a milled aluminum buckle still attached to the blank it was machined from. If you look closely, you can see both striations and faceting on the surfaces from the cutter. The striations come from the “stepover”; the amount the ball nosed cutter is moved over for each successive traverse across the part. The faceting comes from approximating the curve of each traverse by moving the cutter in thousands of tiny straight line moves. Both of these parameters can be set during programming. A smoother less faceted surface comes at the expense of longer cutting time so a compromise is chosen depending on the needs of the customer. This part was cut with a 0.0938″ diameter ballcutter with a stepover of 0.005″ and approximates the curve within 0.001″. The cuts required 1/2 hour run time per side including picking out the corners with a smaller cutter.

Production Milling

Surgical Screwdriver Handles: These are milled from 6061 T6 aluminum alloy and glass beaded then clear anodised. Lot sizes are typically 200 parts per order.

Stainless steel probe

Shown are a set of 316 stainless steel parts for a probe. The deep precision bores and tight tolerances are challenging but straightforward. The threaded spindle is 3/8″ diameter and the part on the extreme left has angled internal passages that required the operation sequence to be carefully pre-planned. There is a laser welded wire screen visible on the front end of the second part from the left. The longest part is approximately 6″ long.

Aluminum cover plate

The part is about 7″ by 10″ and approximately 3″ thick. It was a challenge to machine because the wall is only 0.200″ thick and required special measures to keep vibration and distortion under control. Over 30 programs were needed to run the part and the total runtime and programming time was almost 40 hours. The material is Alumec 89 aluminum. The raw block weighed almost 25 lb (11.5 kg) and the finished part is 14 oz (390g).

1. TOP VIEW: The part has been milled, handworked and fine glass beaded. The logo was milled using 1/32″ diameter cutters and stands about 0.150″ tall. It is proud of the surface by about 0.025″

2. TOP VIEW #2: A view from the other end

3. UNDERSIDE VIEW: This side was milled first.

4. HALF MACHINED IN THE MILL: This part is being milled in my Haas Minimill. The underside is already finished and the first 2″ of the top is roughed. The red stuff peeking out at the corners is Plasticene used to dampen the vibration as the part is milled. The Plasticene and milling strategy of cutting it in 2″ sections was the only way to keep the part from self destructing during cutting. Blending of successive sections was done by dropping the cutter in small increments until the new cuts just kissed the previously milled surface.


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