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There are various surface treatment methods available for both metal and plastic parts, and DLC coating is one of the most important and commonly used techniques. In this article, we will learn together what DLC coating is, its characteristics, advantages and applications.

What is DLC Coating?

What is DLC Coating

DLC coating, also known as diamond-like carbon coating, is a special surface coating (nanocomposite coating) with diamond-like properties such as hardness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance and chemical inertness. DLC coating is usually composed of carbon and hydrogen and is applied on the surface of various materials by physical evaporation deposition or chemical vapor deposition.

DLC is a metastable form of diamond-like amorphous carbon with a ratio of sp2 and sp3 bonds. It is often used to increase the hardness and wear resistance of material surfaces while reducing friction and surface adhesion. Diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating is a new technological advancement in PVD + PECVD coatings that has achieved widespread success in the commercial industry.

A Basic History of DLC Coating

In the 1970s, Sol and Ronald from Germany used ion beam deposition to deposit monovalent carbon ions onto a substrate at room temperature to produce DLC films.

In 1984, Lin Xigang et al. used low-energy ion beam deposition technology to prepare diamond-like carbon films and preliminarily tested their mechanical, optical, and electrical properties.

After the 1990s, researchers began to study doped DLC and continued to explore new types of DLC coatings and develop more advanced deposition techniques to improve their performance. DLC coatings have become a mature technology and have been widely used in various industries, including medical, aerospace, and electronic equipment.

Types of DLC Coating

Properties of DLC Coating

Hardness: With a diamond-like structure, DLC coating has high hardness, with a coating hardness greater than 2300HV, which is 10 times harder than graphite. This makes it very effective in enhancing the surface hardness and wear resistance of materials. This hardness allows its widespread use in mechanical parts, cutting tools, and bearings.

Low Friction Coefficient: The smooth surface of the DLC coating has a low friction coefficient (0.05-0.1), forming a self-lubricating friction layer on the product surface, which helps to reduce friction loss. This is particularly useful in environments where lubricants are limited or cannot be used, such as in aerospace, automotive, and industrial equipment.

Corrosion Resistance: DLC coatings have certain resistance to chemical corrosion, which helps to improve the corrosion resistance of materials. This leads to applications in marine environments, the chemical industry, and medical devices.

Thermal Stability: DLC coatings have good stability in high-temperature environments and can withstand temperatures up to 450°C. This allows their widespread use in high-temperature processes and automotive engine components.

Biocompatibility: Some types of DLC coatings meet medical implant standards and are biocompatible with the human body, making them widely used in the medical field, such as in artificial joints, implants, and surgical tools.

Conductivity: Some types of DLC coatings have good electrical conductivity, leading to some applications in electronic devices, sensors, and displays.

Advantages of DLC Coating

Corrosion and Wear Resistance: The protective layer provided by DLC coating helps maintain the integrity and functionality of the underlying material, even in harsh environmental conditions.

Durability: DLC coatings are known for their extreme durability. With high hardness, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance, these coatings can be used for extended periods. This durability ensures that the coated material remains resistant to wear or fading, as long as the underlying material is well-maintained.

Environmental Friendliness: DLC coatings do not use harmful chemicals and are generally safer for both the environment and the operators involved in the coating process.

Improved Appearance: DLC coatings can give objects a beautiful gray-black appearance and enhance the visual quality of products.

Versatility: By altering deposition conditions and adding dopants, the performance of DLC coatings can be tailored to meet various application needs.

Deposition of DLC Coating

There are several methods in the market available for the deposition of DLC coatings including ion beam, electron beam, PAVCD, sputtering, cathodic arc, and laser. In the market today, the use of PVD and PAVCD for DLC coatings is used because it is regarded as the most consistent and the highest quality. Below we mainly discuss PVD technology and PACVD technology:

PVD Technology

Physical vapor deposition (PVD) is a novel thin film deposition technology that involves physically transforming the target material (source material) into a gas or plasma in a vacuum environment and then depositing it onto the substrate surface. It is one of the primary surface manufacturing techniques currently used. It mainly encompasses three major categories: vacuum evaporation coating, vacuum sputtering coating, and vacuum arc ion plating.

Films deposited using PVD coating technology exhibit high hardness, high wear resistance (low friction coefficient), excellent corrosion resistance, and chemical stability, resulting in longer film life. Additionally, the film significantly enhances the decorative properties of the workpiece.

PVD coating technology is an environmentally friendly surface treatment method that can truly achieve micron-level coatings without pollution. It can be used to prepare various single-metal films (such as aluminum, titanium, zirconium, chromium, etc.), nitride films (TiN, ZrN, CrN, TiAlN), and carbide films (TiC, TiCN), as well as oxide films (such as TiO).

The thickness of the PVD coating film is in the micron range, with a relatively thin thickness, generally 0.3μm to 5μm. The thickness of decorative coating films is typically 0.3μm to 1μm. Therefore, it can enhance various physical and chemical properties of the workpiece surface without significantly affecting its original dimensions, eliminating the need for post-processing.

Advantages of PVD

Wear Resistance: PVD coatings are very hard and wear-resistant, making them ideal for surfaces that experience frequent use and wear.

Corrosion Resistance: PVD coatings can provide an additional layer of protection against corrosion, making them a good choice for outdoor or marine environments.

Enhanced Aesthetics: PVD coatings can be applied in various colors, providing a wide range of aesthetic options.

Environmentally Friendly: PVD coating processes do not release harmful chemicals, making them more environmentally friendly than other coating processes.

PACVD Technology

PACVD is the short form for Plasma Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition. This method of deposition is widely used to deposit Diamond-Like Carbon coatings. This process is vacuum-based and all educts of the PACVD process occur in a gaseous state. In contrast with PVD, the gaseous depositing process makes it suitable for 3D coating with no need for rotation. PACVD coatings contain around 70% sp3 bonding and are amorphous. The sp3 bonding accounts for the ultra-high hardness (10-40GPa) property of the coating. Attemperature below 200℃, the PACVD can deposit coatings for a wide range of non-conductive and conductive substrate materials.

Advantages of PACVD

Tips to Improve The Bonding of DLC Coating and Substrate Material

Optimizing Surface Treatment: Cleaning and roughening the substrate surface, methods such as using sandpaper, sandblasting, and acid etching can be employed to increase the surface energy and contact area between the coating and the substrate, thereby enhancing the adhesion.

Heat Treatment: Adjusting the thermal expansion coefficient of the coating and substrate material to match can reduce stress caused by temperature changes.

Using Coupling Agents: Applying or immersing a coupling agent between the coating and the substrate can enable organic molecules to chemically react with the substrate surface, forming strong chemical bonds that improve adhesion.

Ion Implantation: Introducing metal elements into the substrate surface through ion implantation can create an intermediate layer with good adhesion to the coating material, thereby enhancing the bonding strength.

Alloying Treatment: Adding alloying elements to the substrate material can make it more compatible and stronger in bonding with the coating material.

Using Composite Coatings: Adding one or more intermediate layers with high adhesion between the coating and the substrate, such as metals, ceramics, or other polymer materials, can improve the adhesion between the coating and the substrate.

Applications of DLC Coating

DLC coating can improve the performance of materials, extend the service life, and improve the corrosion resistance of materials. It is widely used in molds, medical, automobiles, and cutting tools.


DLC coating has the characteristics of smooth surface, low friction coefficient, easy demoulding, wear resistance, and good thermal conductivity. The coating has extremely high hardness, and it is difficult for the high-pressure scouring and particles of the material to damage it, which can increase the service life of the mold. Therefore, it is often used to make various molds, including: stamping molds, injection molding molds, and semiconductor molds. For example: punches, concave molds, precision blanking, and embossing parts.


DLC coating has good biocompatibility, which can make biological tissues and implanted artificial materials coexist peacefully without rejection reaction. It can be used as surface coating for artificial joint materials, dental materials, artificial bones, artificial heart valve materials, surgical needles and medical catheters.


DLC coating can play a good role in lubrication and wear resistance under dry friction conditions without lubricating oil, and is a good choice for automobile engine parts. The piston ring in the automobile engine reciprocates up and down in the cylinder, and the ring surface constantly scrapes the inner wall of the cylinder, resulting in a large friction power loss, which greatly affects the energy consumption and service life of the engine.


DLC coating has a low friction coefficient and strong wear resistance. It can effectively improve the service life of cutting tools and enable tools to obtain excellent comprehensive mechanical properties, thereby greatly improving machining efficiency. DLC coating has become an ideal coating material for high-speed steel and carbide tools.


What Are DLC Coating Colors?

The color of DLC coating is affected by thickness, structure, and dopants, and there is no fixed color. It will show different colors according to different preparation processes and material components, ranging from colorless and transparent to gray-black, and even brown or yellow. The most common one is black-gray coating.

What Are the Limitations of DLC Coating?

DLC coatings generate internal stresses during the deposition process, which can lead to deformation of the substrate or even cause the coating to flake off. Excessive stress can also reduce the abrasion and impact resistance of the coating. If the coating is not homogeneous, the performance of certain areas will be reduced. Higher cost compared to other coatings.


After reading this blog, I believe you must have a clearer understanding of DLC coating. In recent years, DLC coating has been used more and more in various fields, from automotive parts to machine tool tools, both precision medical devices and ordinary springs.

DEK is a global custom parts manufacturer. If you choose DEK as your partner, you can experience the top DLC coating technology. Contact us now to start your project!

The medical sector has revolutionized the world with its progress in modern technology. A lot of life-saving medical devices are invented every day in the world. Before going into mass-production, medical device prototyping is developed to test its various features and design technicalities. DEK offers state-of-the-art medical device prototyping to its local and international customers.

A complete guide is provided below to answer all of your possible queries. You can also reach out to our technical support team in case of any further technical or design-related queries.

What is Medical Device Prototyping?


Medical device prototyping is the process of creating functional samples according to the design and specification of the product for testing, evaluation, and business presentation purposes. These prototypes help manufacturers to check the efficiency and viability of the design and determine whether there is anything that needs to be changed before the product move into large-volume production and market distribution.

The 3D design might look ideal and revolutionary but it actually brings the problems to the front when held in hand. So prototyping is crucial in the medical industry and a critical step to save the time and the cost of the labour extensive process of introducing the new product.

What Are The Common Medical Devices That Need Rapid Prototyping?


There are so many different medical devices that are used on daily basis in the health sector that require rapid prototyping to present a three-dimensional realistic representation of devices. Let’s have a look at some of the devices that need rapid prototyping in the below-mentioned section.

Medical devices and Instruments

Scalpels, retractors, surgical fasteners, display systems, and many other devices are developed with the help of rapid prototyping. Other areas that are looking at rapid prototyping technology for the development of prototypes are teeth replacement and some drug doses. Tablets that require sustained drug release also use rapid prototyping technology and this technology has also minimized the adverse drug reactions.

Prostheses and Implants

Rapid prototyping has made its impactful role in implantations and prostheses. With this technology, you can get specific protheses specially designed for particular patients at an affordable cost. A great example of rapid prototyping for medical purposes is using CT scans in hip replacement surgery. Data from the CT scan is combined with some other engineering data and then turned into a plastic model through rapid prototyping to be used as an implant for the patient.

Planning for Surgical Procedures

Complex body organs models are developed through rapid prototyping that is used by surgeons to get the real impressions of the organ before the surgeries. Rapid prototyping helps to manufacture biological implants and also in tissue engineering. These applications use selective laser sintering (SLS) of ceramics.

Why Do You Need Medical Device Prototypes Before Production?


Medical devices are an integral part of the medical industry and their application and performance are crucial for patients. Therefore it is necessary to have a prototype before the production to test, evaluate and perform the required assessment of the product before sending it to final production. Let’s discuss some of the important aspects of medical devices prototyping.

Room for modification: The prototype before production provides clarity and enhancements required. The possibility of identifying the modification and improvements is higher in prototypes as compared to analyzing the design.

Save Time and Cost: Prototypes save the cost and time involved in modifying the overall production over a single prototype. If the issue is identified in the prototype at the primary level the level of error can be minimized and saves the wastage of time and resources.

Customization:CAD file offers a wide range of flexibility and the prototype can be changed into various designs and shapes. This helps the idea to change into multiple forms and check its economical and manufacturable feasibility,

Communication: A physical model in your hand can communicate way better than a design in your head. It communicates design and manufacturing challenges.

Compliance: Prototyping can help you evaluate the process are in line with the regulatory guidelines of the FDA. If not, you can change the process or the part of the prototype that does not comply.

Patent Overlap: When you working on a product for the competitive market, you want your product to be unique. In the process of prototyping, you can check if your product features are overlapping with the existing product and change accordingly.

What Manufacturing Technologies Are Used to Produce Medical Device Prototypes?

CNC Machining


CNC machining is a numerically controlled computerized machine that removes material from various objects by different forms of cutting such as turning, milling, grinding, and drilling. The computer feeds the information to the machine to navigate into different positions and speeds along with specific paths to achieve the required results. CNC machines are used for producing many industrial prototypes and it is considered as the finest process to get the most accurate medical prototypes.

CNC machines are widely used to produce medical prototypes and It has the capability to produce prototypes from distinctive materials such as different grades of metals and plastics. You can achieve an impeccable level of accuracy and intricacies with a CNC machine.

Doctors rely upon the precision and quality of medical devices and equipment and it is necessary to produce prototypes that are accurate and up to the mark to help the doctor get positive outcomes for the patients. CNC machined is the best possible process to manufacture high precision equipment with complex geometries needed for the medical devices and instruments. CNC machined medical prototypes come with critical features and tight tolerance.

3D Printing


3D printing involves creating a three-dimensional structure from the digital file by extruding the molten plastic from the tiny nozzle that is controlled by the computer. It prints the one layer and waits for the object to dry then adds another layer on the top. The material used in medical prototyping is silicone rubber, urethane, epoxy, Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), PC/ABS, Nylon, Acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA), Polycarbonate (PC).

3D printing helps to create so many medical devices with cost-effectiveness. Not only this, but it also provides flexibility, fast prototyping, customized design, and wider choices of material as compared to other production processes. This technique is used for creating prototypes for different parts of equipment used in the medical industry such as prosthetics and implants, anatomical models, tissue and organ fabrication, personalized medical products, and equipment.

3D printing is a phenomenal process to test, evaluate and examine medical devices like stents, catheters, syringes, cardiovascular devices, drug delivery systems, etc.

Vacuum Casting


It is a process that uses a vacuum to draw liquid casting material (plastic, rubber, etc) into a mold to cast a final part. Medical prototypes created from vacuum casting are of very high quality and can be used for multiple testing and evaluations. Nowadays, medical products normally use the form of a shell created by panels, keyboards, and other interactive elements. This material uses soft elastomers and other rubber-like materials for coating purposes.

The molding of different materials can be achieved by vacuum casting and injection molding but injection molding is quite expensive and time taking. Parts produced for the medical sector must contain a wide range of chemical and mechanical properties. They should be easily cleaned, have to be sterilized, chemical and heat resistant, biocompatible, transparent, etc. The vacuum-casted resin can meet all these requirements helps new medical designs to get approved by the FDA.

Does DEK Offer Rapid Prototyping Services for Medical Devices?


A big YES, we at DEK is a rapid prototyping services provider from China with more than 10 years of experience in rapid prototyping. We have worked with different industries around the world especially with the medical sector and delivered them accurate prototypes that meet their unique requirements. We pride ourselves on providing quick response time, stringent quality control, and firm material verification for your medical prototypes to ensure you get the best possible prototypes.

We offer a wide range of techniques to produce multiple medical prototypes such as 3D printinginjection moldingCNC machining, vacuum casting, and so many other processes. With the help of these modern techniques, we can offer the customization and flexibility you need for building prototypes with intricate and accurate structures.

Our top-notch engineering team has produced health monitors, drug delivery devices, fitness trackers, enclosures, and cases for different medical devices, prosthetics, and other medical equipment for our widespread clients.

Does DEK Offer Surface Finishing Services?


Yes, DEK offers high-quality surface finishing services for the components and parts no matter what production method they have gone through. Our extremely skilled experts can complete your finishing project with exceptional quality and within the time frame.

Surface finishing not only makes your prototype presentable and aesthetically pleasing but also ensures they perform as intended. Surface finishing adds the protective layer outside the prototype and makes it corrosion and rust protective.

We make sure to enhance the durability and cosmetic appearance of your medical prototypes and models with polishing, electroplating, brushing, laser engraving, anodizing, painting, chromed and metalizing, sand and bead blasting, heat treatment, powder coating, and many other services.

If you are seeking exceptional surface finishing service for your medical prototypes and other components then get in touch with us and our customer support agent will answer your all queries and will get your project going.

Does DEK Offer Parts Assembly Services for Medical Devices?

Yes, We at DEK are supported by experienced and skilled personnel with modern technological machinery to provide the highest quality medical equipment assembly solution from the concept to the final product. Different electronics and equipment play a crucial role in many diagnostic and treatment applications in the medical sector.

Due to this critical function and sensitive nature these devices must be assembled and constructed very carefully to ensure the safety of both medical personnel and patient. This makes us integrate high functional and quality printed circuits in assemblies to ensure accuracy, speed, and durability.

We are expanding our capacity and are always looking to set up cost-effective and efficient assembly lines for our customers to ensure their every product specification is met and their product comes out as high performing.

We help our clients to get the best competitive solution by optimizing their assembly process with our expertise and ideas. As an FDA-compliant manufacturer, we deliver service that meets the most demanding standards. We aim to improve the reliability and quality of your components and at the same time minimize cost and time.

Does DEK Offer Mass Production Medical Devices?

Yes, we work with different medical industries and transform their preliminary drawings and product ideas into a wide variety of end products from prototyping to mass production. We specialize in the design and production of complex medical instruments, tools, measuring instruments, and medical devices. Our mass production facility has an integrated production system for handling material from start to final processing.

With the production system that conforms to the law required by the FDA for the manufacturing of medical devices, we say yes to every mass production order. With DEK’s detailed inspection of specifications according to the usage of the medical devices, we develop and supply the best possible optimal and high-quality products that strictly follow the client’s specifications and meet their expectations.

How to Order?

Do you have questions about your medical product design? Are you looking for a partner to collaborate with for your medical devices prototypes? Even if you are halfway with your idea and design and still working on it, you are at the right place for your prototype consulting and production. Let us know what are you looking for and we will get you going.

We have created an order management system that made it easy for our customers to order and keep the track of their orders and get updated whenever they want to. You can just fill out our forms and our support agent will get back to you with a quotation. You can also email us or call us on the mentioned number on our website for any queries and to place your order.

Acrylic, also known as PMMA or Plexiglas, is an important malleable polymer material. It has high light transmission and stiffness, making it an ideal alternative to glass.

With the increasingly wide application of acrylic materials in various industries, the demand for acrylic machining parts is also growing day by day. We can process acrylic through a variety of processes, the most common of which is CNC machining acrylic, as it can produce parts with high precision dimensions and shapes.

In this article, we will discuss with you in depth about acrylic CNC machining, so that you can have a more comprehensive understanding of acrylic machining, including how to process acrylic, its properties, advantages and applications.

What is Acrylic?


Acrylic, also known as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), is a transparent thermoplastic that is often used as a lightweight and shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It offers excellent optical clarity and versatility, including chemical stability, weather resistance, good hardness, high printability adhesion, attractive appearance and recyclability.

In the continuous development of the machinery manufacturing industry today, acrylic sheets, with their high hardness, good luster, environmental protection, transparent acrylic sheet by virtue of its own excellent characteristics, in the processing and thus improve the texture and aesthetics of the product acrylic precision parts also has a wider range of market applications, including aerospace, automotive, medical, electronics, pharmaceutical industry, petrochemical and other various fields.

After these introductions, you must also want to know more about acrylic machining knowledge. Below, let's take a look at what characteristics acrylic has.

A Basic History of Acrylic

Acrylic, which was discovered in 1872, has been around for more than a hundred years. In 1927 the world's first complete piece of acrylic was manufactured, followed soon after acrylic began to gradually realize large-scale production. At first acrylic was mainly used in aircraft, until the end of the last century, with the further development of science and technology, production processes, acrylic gradually applied to automotive, lighting, consumer electronics and other fields.


Properties Of Acrylic

There are many properties of acrylic, below we mainly talk about its 8 properties:

Optical Clarity: High light transmittance, pure acrylic transparent plate light transmittance is above 90%, usually 92%. Taking 6mm as a reference, the light transmittance of ordinary glass is usually 82-83%, and the light transmittance of 6mm super white glass is 90%-92%.

Lightweight: With a density of only 1.17 to 1.20 g/cm³, acrylic is a lightweight material, approximately half the weight of ordinary glass and 43% that of aluminum.

Strength and Durability: Acrylic has strong impact resistance, being sixteen times that of ordinary glass, with minimal risk of breakage.

Weather/UV Resistance: It exhibits excellent resistance to ultraviolet rays and temperature changes, remaining resistant to yellowing, becoming brittle, or wearing out, thus ensuring a long service life.

Chemical Stability: Acrylic demonstrates good resistance to most acids, alkalis, and other chemicals.

Easy to Process: Acrylic is highly moldable, easily processed into various shapes through cutting, engraving, and thermal bending, with minimal risk of cracking during fabrication.

Low Moisture Absorption: Acrylic sheets have low moisture absorption, making them resistant to moisture and mold, suitable for humid environments.

Environmental Friendliness: 100% recyclable, acrylic is durable and long-lasting. Waste acrylic can be recycled by removing impurities and reintegrating it into raw materials to produce new acrylic sheets.

Types of Acrylic

Clear Acrylic: The most common type of acrylic, available in a wide range of thicknesses. Clear acrylic resembles glass in appearance and even surpasses ordinary glass in light transmission. It can undergo various secondary processing, making it the most widely used type.

Colored Transparent Acrylic: Also known as color sheet, it has a softer light transmission compared to clear acrylic, offering rich color options, making it ideal for decorative purposes. It can be classified into two categories: transparent colored and semi-transparent colored.

Pearlescent Acrylic: This type is made by mixing pearlescent powder or fluorescent powder into ordinary acrylic. It exhibits vibrant colors and a high surface gloss, often used for creating unique shapes, food packaging.

Embossed Acrylic: Available in four types: transparent, semi-transparent, colored, and uncolored. It can produce the same texture effect as embossed glass. It is often used for decoration, doors and windows, and can present a light-transmitting but not transparent effect.

How To CNC Machine Acrylic?

There are many different machining processes for machining acrylic, including 3D printing, injection molding, thermoforming, and bonding processes.

One of the fundamental principles of machining acrylic is to remove the heat via chips as quickly as possible. Acrylic has a low melting point of 320 F, that’s why high temperature will affect its cutting performance and surface quality. To reduce the frictional effect, the material is machined at a higher feed rate.

The following is an overview of the most common CNC machining methods for acrylic:


CNC Milling Acrylic

CNC milling is the most popular machining method for machining acrylic, where a rotating tool is used to remove material from a stationary acrylic sheet or workpiece, allowing for the machining of parts with high precision and complex geometries.

Acrylic CNC milling has a variety of operating functions, such as deep cutting, shallow cutting and peripheral milling.

CNC Turning Acrylic

CNC turning is a process that uses a single-point fixed cutting tool to remove excess material from a rotating acrylic workpiece. End machining, thread cutting, slotting and boring are often used, and the parts produced are generally cylindrical.

CNC Engraving Acrylic


CNC engraving acrylic is an efficient and high-precision process. Through this process, you can achieve a variety of shapes and patterns on acrylic workpieces, including adding design text, symbols or marks to add aesthetic or functional characteristics to the parts.

CNC Drilling Acrylic

CNC drilling of acrylic refers to the processing method where a computer-controlled system precisely drills holes in acrylic sheets. Whether it's a simple through hole or a complex angled hole, you can create clean, burr-free holes without causing damage.

CNC Cutting Acrylic

CNC cutting is a precise and efficient method for cutting acrylic sheets into desired sizes and shapes. It boasts fast cutting speeds, enhancing production efficiency, making it suitable for mass production. Each cut maintains consistent accuracy and quality.

Advantages Of CNC Machining Acrylic

Easy to Process

Acrylic is a thermoplastic material that becomes highly moldable when heated, making it easy to process into various shapes and sizes. Due to its high consistency and absence of particles in PMMA material, CNC machining can achieve ultra-high precision and intricate detail processing without easily breaking.

Precision and Accuracy

CNC machining of acrylic achieves higher accuracy, producing high-precision acrylic components with tight tolerances of +/- 0.01mm, thereby facilitating the machining of complex parts and shortening the production cycle.

Consistent Quality

CNC machining of acrylic utilizes computer control to process the material, minimizing human errors and producing consistent high-quality products, saving time and effort.

Versatility in Techniques

CNC machining enables various processing methods including milling, turning, cutting, engraving, drilling, etc., meeting diverse project requirements and enabling the production of acrylic products in various shapes and patterns.

Surface Finishes For CNC Machined Acrylic


Here are some of the common finishes for acrylic:

Polishing: Using sandpaper of different grit sizes to polish the surface of acrylic, removing machining marks to enhance surface smoothness and light transmittance.

Bead Blasting: Using compressed air to spray fine sand or abrasives onto the surface of acrylic, giving it a frosted appearance to improve slip resistance and scratch resistance.

Silk Screening: Applying silk screening on the surface of acrylic to print various patterns, text, logos, etc., enhancing decorative effects and product recognition.

UV Coating: Applying UV-cured paint onto the surface of acrylic parts, enhancing their glossiness, hardness, and weather resistance.

Difficulties you may face during Acrylic machining


These are some of the difficulties that you may face during acrylic machining.

Cloudy Appearance: Before using coolant or any solvent for cleaning purposes, make sure that they will not react with the acrylic material. Some solvents or oil-based coolants may react with the part or make it turn cloudy.

Stringy Chips: The continuous operation will develop some stringy chips. This is a serious safety concern for both operator and the equipment. Try anything you can to avoid these chips.

Overheating: While machining acrylic parts you strictly need to follow the temperature requirements. Cutting at high speed with a lower feed rate will generate heat which will lead to melting the workpiece. To avoid overheating, try to machine at a slow speed with a higher feed rate.

Poor Surface Quality: You may encounter a problem of poor surface quality. To avoid this issue, try to use a sharp edges cutting tool with coolant. It reduces the frictional effect and leads towards excellent surface quality.

Clingy Chips: Some chips cling around the machine tool or at the place of machining. It results in increasing the temperature of the workplace. To avoid chips clinging, use polished cutting tools at low speed and a higher feed rate.

Machine Malfunction: It is necessary to carry out preventive maintenance of the CNC acrylic machines to avoid any trouble or malfunction. Machining under unfavorable environmental and operating conditions will also cause machine malfunction.

4 Tips for Getting Quality CNC Acrylic Parts


Material Selection and Inspection: Make sure to use high-quality, high-purity acrylic materials to avoid melting or cracking due to material problems during processing. Check the material for scratches, impurities or bubbles, which may affect the appearance and strength of the final product.

Choose the Right Drill Bit: Carbide is an efficient material for drilling holes in acrylic materials, and O-slot end mills are more commonly used. Before machining, make sure the drill bit is sharp, otherwise it may cause stress cracking.

Set the Right Parameters: According to the needs of the project, choose the appropriate acrylic material type and thickness, and then set the correct feed rate, depth to ensure the processing accuracy and surface quality of the part.

Check the Revolutions Per Minute (RPM): Feed rate and RPM complement each other. Setting a high feed rate helps cut the material faster, while keeping the RPM relatively consistent to prevent the material from melting.

Applications Of CNC Acrylic Parts

Rapid Prototyping: Due to its affordability and sustainability, acrylic material is also widely used to develop prototypes. Various manufacturing industries are using acrylic for rapid prototyping via the subtractive machining method.

Glass Alternatives: Due to its superior transparency and impact resistance, acrylic is an ideal substitute for glass in multiple industries such as optics, automotive and aerospace.

Medical: Acrylic is non-toxic, easy to clean and has good biocompatibility, making it ideal for medical applications and an ideal choice for laboratory equipment, surgical instruments and medical housings.

Optics and Lighting: Transparent acrylic has a light transmittance of up to 92%, is lightweight and has strong impact resistance, making it an ideal material for optical devices and electronic lighting including lenses, prisms, diffusers and LED lights.

Automotive: In automotive applications, acrylic's impact resistance and transparency are highly valued and it is the preferred material for automotive lamps and interior and exterior decoration.

Consumer Products: It is widely used in various consumer products such as electronics, furniture, musical instruments, etc. CDs and DVDs are also made up of acrylic material.

Why Use CNC Machining to Cut Acrylic?

As CNC machines are computer-controlled, they significantly minimize human errors during operation. CNC machining acrylic allows for achieving high precision and accuracy in parts, enabling flawless cutting and processing of the material, reducing material waste.

CNC machining acrylic makes it possible to manufacture parts with intricate geometric shapes, ensuring dimensional tolerances and precision, thereby enhancing production efficiency.


Acrylic is an excellent alternative to glass, and you can use CNC machining processes to obtain customized parts according to your requirements. Through this comprehensive introduction, you have gained an in-depth understanding of all aspects of CNC machining acrylic. It's time to start your customized PMMA project.

DEK is a global CNC machining manufacturer with a footprint across various industries. We have a range of advanced CNC machining machines and experienced engineers to fully meet your design requirements. Producing parts that meet your expectations is our constant driving force. For the stringent requirements of your project and the professional technical guidance needed, contact us to get the answers you seek.


What are the Types of Acrylic Suitable for CNC Machining?

Different types of acrylics have different properties, and choosing the right type of acrylic and the corresponding processing method is important for you to obtain precision parts. Here are a few acrylic materials: cast acrylic, extruded acrylic, continuous cast acrylic, modified acrylic, acrylic composites and laminates, frosted and textured acrylic.

What are Ways to Avoid Acrylic Melting During CNC Machining?

Here are 4 methods recommended:

Use Proper Tools and Settings: Make sure the tools are sharp to reduce heat generation and friction.

Control Machining Speed: Acrylic is a brittle material, so it is important to take light processing and maintain a slow feed rate to reduce heat accumulation when processing acrylic and improve surface finish.

Use a Cooling System: Machining can generate a lot of heat, which can cause stress. Use coolant to assist lubrication, remove chips and maintain stress-free cold processing.

Use a Climbing Milling Direction: This means that the tool rotates in the same direction as the feed. It can ensure a cleaner cut, improve cutting efficiency and surface quality. Compared with traditional methods, the chip evacuation ability is better and the possibility of melting is reduced.

How Much Does Acrylic Cost?

The price of acrylic is affected by many factors, including the type and thickness of acrylic, brand, purchase quantity, market conditions, etc. Considering its durability and recyclability, this material is considered to have a high cost-effectiveness. If you want to know the current acrylic price, contact us today!

When Machining Acrylic, Should I Use Router or Laser Cutting?

Routers are the best choice for applications that require fast cutting and flexible curves. However, if high precision and smooth surfaces are required, laser cutting is recommended. Routers can cut a variety of shapes, including curves and circles, while laser cutting is limited when cutting complex shapes. Compared with laser cutting, routers are less expensive and more suitable for small batch production.

Stainless steel is one of the most commonly processed materials and plays an important role in modern industry. From prototyping to mass production, stainless steel machining creates products for every sector that meet the industry's applications.

Due to its high hardness and tensile strength, machining stainless steel is much more complex than machining wood, therefore, selecting the appropriate machining technology is crucial. This article will provide a detailed introduction to the definition, advantages, classification, and applications of stainless steel, enabling you to better understand its characteristics and facilitate the machining of stainless steel.

What is Stainless Steel?

what is stainless steel

Stainless steel is a stainless and corrosion-resistant high-alloy steel, with high chemical stability in corrosive media such as air, water, brine, acids and alkalis. It has a chromium content of at least 10.5% and a maximum carbon content of 1.2%.

Stainless steel is a general term for both stainless steel and acid-resistant steel. Stainless steel refers to steel that is resistant to weak corrosive media such as atmospheric air, steam, and water, while acid-resistant steel refers to steel that is resistant to corrosion by chemical corrosive media such as acids, alkalis, and salts. Stainless steel and acid-resistant steel have significant differences in alloy composition. While stainless steel is resistant to rust, it may not necessarily be acid-resistant. However, acid-resistant steel generally exhibits rust resistance.

What are the Benefits of Stainless Steel?

Stainless Steel Part(1)

Corrosion Resistance: It can withstand corrosion from most chemical media, including acids, alkalis, and salts. This gives stainless steel excellent stability in humid and corrosive environments, extending its service life.

High Strength: By controlling the content of alloying elements and heat treatment, the strength of stainless steel can be adjusted to meet the needs of different applications, making it widely used in structural engineering.

Wear Resistance: Stainless steel is very strong and can maintain its surface integrity and durability under friction and wear conditions. This makes stainless steel important in the manufacture of wear-resistant parts and engineering structures.

Heat Resistance: Stainless steel can maintain its excellent physical and mechanical properties at high temperatures, making it heat-resistant.

Excellent Hygiene: Its smooth surface is not easily contaminated by bacteria or dirt, making it easy to clean and disinfect, meeting hygiene standards. Therefore, it is widely used in medical, food processing, pharmaceutical, and other fields.

Aesthetic Appearance: Stainless steel comes in a variety of colors, from cool and elegant metallic to vibrant colors, making it suitable for different settings. It has a modern and elegant appearance, making it attractive in architecture, home furnishings, and industrial design.

Recyclability: Scrap stainless steel can be recycled and reused, reducing resource waste and environmental pollution, aligning with the concept of sustainable development.

Types of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can be classified in many different ways. Based on the main chemical composition, it can be divided into chromium stainless steel and chromium-nickel stainless steel. According to its use, it can be divided into nitric acid resistant stainless steel, sulfuric acid resistant stainless steel, seawater resistant stainless steel, etc.  Next, let's delve into the classification based on microstructure after heat treatment.

 Austenitic Stainless Steels

 Austenitic Stainless Steels

Austenitic stainless steel is the most popular and widely used stainless steel in the world. It contains more than 18% chromium, about 8% nickel, and small amounts of molybdenum, titanium, nitrogen, and other elements, also known as 18-8 austenitic stainless steel. It is essentially non-magnetic. This type of steel has excellent comprehensive properties and strong corrosion resistance. Common grades are indicated by numbers in the 200 and 300 series, such as 304.

301: It has good ductility and is used for forming products. It can also be hardened through processing. It has good weldability, wear resistance, and fatigue strength superior to 304 stainless steel.

304: As a widely used steel, it has good corrosion resistance, heat resistance, low-temperature strength, and mechanical properties.

304L: As a low-carbon 304 steel, its corrosion resistance is similar to that of 304 steel, but its corrosion resistance is more prominent after welding or stress relief.

316: With the addition of Mo, it has excellent high-temperature corrosion resistance. It is used in seawater equipment, chemicals, food processing, and papermaking industries.

316L: As a low-carbon 316 steel, the molybdenum content is slightly higher than that of 316 stainless steel, which can improve the corrosion resistance of stainless steel in acidic environments.

321: It contains Ti, which can prevent stainless steel from sensitization and improve the high-temperature service life of stainless steel. It has excellent high-temperature stress rupture performance and high-temperature creep resistance.

Ferritic Stainless Steels

Ferritic stainless steel is mainly composed of ferritic microstructure and contains 12% to 30% chromium. Its corrosion resistance, toughness, and weldability increase with the increase of chromium content. It has excellent resistance to chloride stress corrosion cracking compared to other types of stainless steel. The American Iron and Steel Institute uses 430 and 446 as its designation.

430: Contains at least 16% chromium, corrosion-resistant. It has heat fatigue resistance and a smaller coefficient of thermal expansion than austenitic stainless steel. It is used in household appliances and architectural decoration.

Martensitic Stainless Steels

Martensitic stainless steel is a hardenable stainless steel. Due to its higher carbon content, it has high strength, hardness, and wear resistance, as well as moderate corrosion resistance and low weldability. Its mechanical properties can be altered through heat treatment. It is currently mainly used in manufacturing steam turbine blades, surgical instrument parts, and other applications.

Duplex Stainless Steels

Duplex Stainless Steels

It has the advantages of both austenitic and ferritic stainless steels and has superplasticity. The matrix has both austenitic and ferritic two-phase structures, in which the content of the lesser phase matrix is ​​generally greater than 15%, and it is magnetic and can be strengthened by cold working. 329 is a typical duplex stainless steel. Compared with austenitic stainless steel, duplex steel has higher strength and stronger corrosion resistance.

Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steels (PHSS)

For a base with austenitic or martensitic structure and high Cr content, mechanical properties are primarily enhanced through phase transformation and age precipitation hardening. The American Iron and Steel Institute designates these with a 600 series number, such as 630, which corresponds to 17-4PH.

17-4PH: This alloy exhibits excellent heat treatment performance. Its properties can be altered through various heat treatment methods, such as quenching and annealing, quench cooling, or aging quenching, allowing for the attainment of different mechanical properties and fatigue resistance.。

Can Stainless Steel Be Machined?

Yes, stainless steel can certainly be machined, and there are various methods for machining stainless steel. Next, let's explore 7 common stainless steel processing techniques together.

Stainless Steel Machining Processes

Milling: Is the most commonly used process for machining stainless steel, typically employing high-speed steel (HSS) milling cutters to machine fixed workpieces. Choosing the right tools is crucial for machining stainless steel. While end mills and some face mills can use carbide as the cutter material, other types of milling cutters generally use high-speed steel, which offers higher tool durability.

Turning: Is a common process for machining stainless steel. During this process, the cutting tool is fixed while the workpiece rotates around an axis to remove material. Machining stainless steel involves high cutting forces and difficulty in chip breaking, which can lead to tool sticking or the formation of built-up edges, affecting surface quality and accelerating tool wear. Therefore, YD-type, YN-type, and coated carbide tools should be used when turning high-strength steel.

Grinding: Improve the surface finish and precision of stainless steel parts. Ground stainless steel components exhibit enhanced wear resistance, corrosion resistance, and fatigue strength, thereby extending their service life.

EDM (Electrical Discharge Machining): Uses the high temperature generated by instantaneous spark discharge between the tool electrode and the workpiece electrode to erode material. The thickness of the metal limits the use of this process.

Drilling: Drilling stainless steel requires sharp drill bits. Low rotational speed, high cutting pressure (high feed rate), and plenty of coolant are needed to complete the secondary processing, enhancing performance and aesthetics.

Threading: Is an essential process for steel parts used for fastening or screw installation. It involves creating threads on a workpiece using forming tools or grinding tools.

Laser Cutting: Uses a high-energy density laser beam to precisely cut materials, making it suitable for cutting thin stainless steel sheets.

Tips of Machining Stainless Steel

Selecting the Right Material: Stainless steel comes in many different grades, each with varying alloy compositions that result in different properties. You need to choose the highest quality grade that meets the project requirements to help save significant costs.

Selecting the Right Tool: Choosing the correct tool is crucial for machining high-quality parts. Selecting tools based on specific needs can improve cutting efficiency and extend tool life. Common cutting tools for stainless steel are carbide and high-speed steel.

Using Cutting Fluids: Lubricants have multiple uses in machining stainless steel. They not only reduce wear between the cutting tool and the workpiece, extending tool life, but also effectively lower cutting temperature, reduce the formation of built-up edges, and minimize hardening.

Using Sharp Tools: Ensuring the use of sharp tools can reduce cutting forces and achieve consistent and precise machining. When machining stainless steel, it's essential to regularly check tool wear and replace tools as needed.

Stainless Steel Machining Applications

Stainless Steel Machining Parts

Stainless steel, as a widely used metal material in industrial manufacturing, holds significant economic and engineering value. Consequently, it has become a primary material in various industries. Next, let's explore the specific applications of stainless steel in different industries:

Automotive: Due to its high-temperature resistance, high toughness, and high strength, stainless steel is commonly used in exhaust systems, fuel tanks, and stainless steel components.

Aerospace: Machined stainless steel parts are often used in aircraft fuselages and engine components.

Medical: Stainless steel's excellent biocompatibility and corrosion resistance make it a common choice for manufacturing medical instruments and implants.

Food and Beverage: Stainless steel is widely used in food processing equipment and storage containers because of its hygiene, ease of cleaning, and durability.

Marine: Stainless steel's outstanding acid and corrosion resistance make it frequently used in marine applications.

Stainless Steel FAQs

Is Stainless Steel Difficult to Machine?

Although there are some problems that may not be encountered in other metal machining when machining stainless steel, many problems can be solved by combining the operator's experience and material characteristics, so processing stainless steel is not difficult.

When Machining, make corresponding preparations in advance, including: choosing the right tools, setting the correct cutting parameters, using cutting fluids and sharp tools, which will reduce the difficulty of machining stainless steel accordingly.

What is the Cheapest Stainless Steel for Machining?

SUS409 is the cheapest grade of stainless steel and is a ferritic stainless steel (chrome steel). 409 stainless steel has a lower alloying element content, so the cost is relatively low. Due to its high temperature stability and corrosion resistance, it is often used as an automotive exhaust pipe.

Which Stainless Steels are Difficult to Machine?

High carbon steel: Due to its high strength and hardness, it is easy to wear the tool

Low carbon steel: Because it is soft, it is easy to cause the steel chips from cutting to adhere to the tool, shortening the service life of the tool

304: Easy to work harden.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Stainless Steel for Machining?

Yes, stainless steel machining needs to consider the following disadvantages:

What Surface Treatments Can Be Used to Machine Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel machining often uses polishing, electroplating, electrolytic polishing, bead blasting, surface coating and other surface treatments.


After studying this guide, I believe you have a more comprehensive understanding of stainless steel. Due to its corrosion resistance, strength and toughness, stainless steel machining parts are the preferred material in many industries. If you have a new stainless steel project, please contact DEK and let us take a deeper look at the world of stainless steel or other materials machining.

DEK is a top manufacturer in the field of stainless steel machining services. We have rich experience and advanced equipment to effectively speed up your project progress and provide you with one-stop quality services.

A prototype is the initial version of a product, used to test and verify design concepts. It is a necessary step to turn ideas into products, and can be used to discover deficiencies, improve designs, and meet consumer needs. Compared with traditional static design, prototype design is more specific, practical, and intuitive. If you want to know what a product prototype is, you've come to the right place.

Below, we will learn about the definition of a prototype, the advantages of making a prototype, and discuss how to make a prototype, as well as the tips of making a prototype to help you prepare for the transition from idea to product.

What is A Product Prototype?

cnc prototype

Product prototyping is a process that visualizes product design ideas and logical strategies, evolving from basic sketches to wireframes to interactive high-fidelity prototypes. Each stage requires continuous testing and validation of the prototype until most issues are resolved. The purpose of product prototyping is to facilitate communication between designers, developers, and consumers. During this process, the product concept needs to be constantly revised and improved, bringing the conceptual product into the real world.

Having understood the basic definition of a prototype, let's explore the advantages of creating product prototypes.

What Are the Advantages of Making A Prototype?

metal prototype

Validate and Improve Product Concepts: By testing prototypes, design issues can be identified and improved early on, ensuring the quality and feasibility of the final product.

Reduce Development Costs and Risks: Creating prototypes helps us identify fundamental errors early. By testing and validating product prototypes in the early stages, we can reduce the risks encountered during product development and production, saving time and costs.

Facilitate Communication and Feedback: Prototypes help teams communicate more effectively. By showcasing the prototype, designers can clearly express their design concepts, make adjustments based on feedback, and gain the understanding and support of the team and users.

Enhance User Experience: Prototypes help users better understand their needs. Programmers can receive more precise requirements from users, reducing the number of reworks.

Improve Product Quality: Prototypes help the team better understand user needs, leading to the design of products that better meet user expectations, thus improving product quality and user satisfaction.

Accelerate Development Speed: Prototypes allow for quick validation of design ideas and iterative improvements based on user feedback, speeding up the development process and reducing development cycles.

Increase Marketing Capabilities: A well-designed and fully functional prototype can demonstrate the potential of the product, attracting investors and enhancing the product's marketability.

Five Main Steps of making a prototype

There are many steps to make a prototype, here are the five most core steps:

making a prototype

Start With a Product Vision

The first step is to come up with the product concept. Through brainstorming, we gather ideas and conduct in-depth research on the target market, competitors, customer needs and industry trends to come up with as many ideas as possible. We then improve these concepts and evaluate their feasibility and potential effectiveness.

Create a Sketch or Use Computer Aided Design (CAD)

Once you have the main ideas, write them down and make a preliminary version of the prototype to create a draft. Once you have a rough sketch of the product, you can use CAD software to create a 3D model of the product and make adjustments as needed, such as observing the product from different angles, adding colors and textures, and the renderings are conducive to online display and promotion. In addition, you can also use virtual simulation tools to improve the product.

Make a Proof of Concept

After you have sketched or built a 3D model, you need to create a proof of concept to prove that your product idea is feasible. A proof of concept is not a final product or a fully functional prototype, but it can demonstrate core functionality and attract investors or partners.

Make a Physical Prototype

After completing the proof of concept, the actual product prototype needs to be created, and the physical attributes of the product are key to balancing the aesthetics and functionality of the product; a physical prototype is a physical representation of the product or idea. Some common types of prototypes created include:

3D Printing: This involves using additive manufacturing technology with computer-aided design (CAD) models. The 3D model is uploaded to the printer, which uses melted plastic or other materials to create the product prototype layer by layer.

CNC Prototyping: This refers to creating product prototypes using computer numerical control (CNC) machines. It is a cost-effective and popular manufacturing process for making precise and durable prototypes, capable of producing more complex geometries.

Test the Prototype

Once the prototype is completed, it needs to be tested to ensure it meets user needs and achieves the desired effect. This is a crucial step before mass production, requiring real users to try the product and identify potential issues. Then according to user's feedback to make modifications, resulting in a final product that meets user needs and expectations.

Tips of Making a Prototype

Here are some tips for creating prototypes:

make a prototype

Understand the Purpose of the Prototype

Different prototypes serve different purposes. Companies need to know the intended use of the new product. For example, visual prototypes are mainly used to attract potential users with their appearance and do not emphasize their functionality.

Provide Accurate Representation of Parts

The main role of a prototype is to act as a substitute for the final part. When developing a prototype, the designer should strive to improve the product as much as possible.

Consult an Intellectual Property Lawyer

To avoid your product prototype infringing on existing patents or trademarks, it is recommended that you consult an intellectual property attorney to evaluate your ideas and provide professional guidance.

Sign Confidentiality Agreements with Collaborators

If you are collaborating with others to create a prototype, it is essential to have them sign a confidentiality agreement to protect your ideas from being shared without permission.

Find Cost-Effective Methods

3D printing is more cost-effective for prototyping than CNC prototyping. To save on prototyping costs, you may consider using a 3D printer, off-the-shelf components, or other methods for small batch production.

Test and Iterate

Testing is a crucial step in creating prototypes. You need to collect feedback and make improvements as needed to create a final product that meets user needs.



This article has introduced how to create prototypes and discussed various steps and tips for making prototypes. For designers, learning how to create prototypes is very important as it is an excellent way to drive product innovation.

DEK is a global rapid prototyping company specializing in rapid prototyping services for many years. We offer a wide range of manufacturing capabilities and other value-added services to meet all your prototyping and production needs.

If you have a large or small project that requires guidance, feel free to contact DEK for guidance in creating a professional prototype.


What is the Cost of Prototyping?

The cost of prototyping will be affected by many factors, depending on the prototyping method you choose, the materials used, the complexity of the design, and the number of prototypes required. Using high-precision or rare materials will increase costs, and the more complex the prototype, the longer it will take to make, further driving up costs.

How to Get A Prototype Made ?

Here are 4 ways you can choose to make prototypes. They are modeling, 3D printing, CNC rapid manufacturing and injection molding. You need to choose the method that suits you based on the needs of the project, not just considering the cost factor.

How to Know Your Prototype is Ready?

Why is A Prototype Important?

Because prototypes can verify the feasibility of products, improve product quality, reduce development costs and risks, and speed up development progress.

In the 21st century, industrial automation has led to incredible technological advancements in manufacturing, primarily built upon the use of precision machinery.

CNC machining is a common manufacturing process known for its high precision, accuracy, and ability to design complex products. Machined products are widely used across various industries. This article will discuss the basic knowledge of CNC machining, the process, advantages, materials, and applications.

What is CNC Machining?

What is CNC Machining

CNC, Computer Numerical Control, refers to a subtractive manufacturing process that uses numerically controlled machining tools. CNC machines use G-code and M-code derived from CAD models to control the movement of the machine, tools, and workpiece, removing material from a blank or workpiece to produce various parts.

CNC machining is an automated process with many advantages and is compatible with numerous metals, plastics, and composites. It is often used to manufacture complex shapes and high-precision parts, widely applied in industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical devices, and electronics. Compared to processes like 3D printing (additive) and injection molding, CNC machining requires tight tolerances. Let's continue reading to learn more.

How Does CNC Machining Work?

The foundation of CNC machining is a programming language that includes instructions. Each CNC machine has a corresponding computer system that requires CAM software to convert the 2D or 3D models created by CAD into a set of instructions (G-code) for the CNC machine to follow in order to create the final part. Once the machine starts running, the process does not require any manual intervention except for loading materials, unloading the final part, or repositioning the tool or workpiece, which greatly reduces human error.

Next, let's look at the four main stages in the CNC machining process.

1. Creating the CAD Model

Before starting CNC machining, a 2D or 3D model needs to be created using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software. Creating a CAD model is not difficult, but designing complex products requires skilled and professional designers. According to the requirements and functions of the product, designers use CAD software to create the design, including the shape, dimensions, materials, and other specifications of the part.

2. Converting CAD to CAM

CNC machines do not understand the digital design data from CAD files, so the CAD files need to be exported to CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software. CAM software has a set of tools that can convert the CAD design into G-code, which the CNC machine can read.

3. Configuring the CNC Machine

Before manufacturing, it is essential to select the correct CNC machine and perform proper setup. Setting up the machine includes calibrating the zero point, installing the appropriate tools, setting cutting parameters (such as spindle speed, feed rate, etc.), and testing the program run. Ensuring everything is set up correctly helps avoid errors during the machining process.

4. Machining Execution

Once the configuration is complete, the operator can continue to perform the operation through the display panel on the CNC machine. Once the start button is pressed, the machine will select the appropriate tool and move to the workpiece to perform the cutting task as indicated by the G-code until it runs to the end of the program.

A brief history of CNC machining

CNC Turning

In the mid-20th century, with the development of electronic technology, the use of manual or manually operated machines to manufacture parts no longer meets the need for mass production of high-precision complex shapes.

In 1948, John Parsons was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force to design the first CNC machine, and in 1952, MIT and Parsons collaborated to successfully develop the first demonstration machine.

With the development of computer technology, in 1969, the first CNC machine with computer control was born, and since then CNC machining has entered a new era. 1980s, the combination of CAD/CAM technology and CNC machining has greatly improved machining efficiency and accuracy.

If you want to learn more about CAD and CAM, please continue reading below.

List of Terms Used in CNC Machining

CAD-Computer Aided Design

CAD, known as Computer-Aided Design, is a method that uses computer technology for design and drafting. It allows the creation of 2D and 3D drawings of the parts to be machined, improving design precision and efficiency. Common software includes AutoCAD (2D and 3D), Inventor (3D), SolidWorks (3D), and Creo (3D).

CAM-Computer Aided Manufacturing

CAM, or Computer-Aided Manufacturing, converts 2D drawings or 3D models created in CAD software into instructions that can be understood and executed by a machine, with the converted file being a collection of G-code and M-code instructions.

Best examples include Fusion 360, SolidCAM, and Mastercam.

What are G-code and M-code?

G-code and M-code are the core languages of CNC machining, used to control machine movements and auxiliary functions. The correct use of these codes directly impacts the precision, efficiency, and safety of the machining process.



Responsible for controlling the movement of the machine, such as path selection, speed setting, and performing fine machining. In G-code, "G" stands for geometry, and the X, Y, and Z references in G-code refer to the axes of movement. The numbers correspond to specific values for each axis. "N" refers to the line number. G-code is geometric code used to instruct the cutting tool how to move.


Manages the auxiliary functions of the machine, such as starting the lubrication system, cooling, and tool changes. M-code is used to execute non-cutting operations on CNC machines, encompassing various machine commands. Therefore, it is sometimes referred to as miscellaneous code.

CAE-Aided Engineering

CAE software, which stands for Computer-Aided Engineering, is primarily used for analyzing the structural mechanical performance of complex engineering projects and products in engineering design, as well as optimizing structural performance. Examples include structural stress analysis, multibody dynamics, and computational fluid dynamics.

DNC-Distributed Numerical Control

DNC, Distributed Numerical Control, is a system that connects multiple CNC machines to a centralized computer system for remote control and data transfer for multiple machines working together.

MDC-Manufacturing Data Collection

DMC, or Manufacturing Data Collection, refers to the real-time collection of various data from machines and operators during the manufacturing process in order to better understand the production process and improve productivity and product quality.

Types of CNC Machines

CNC Milling

A CNC milling machine mainly consists of the bed, worktable, spindle, feed system, controller, and operation panel. Milling is a machining process where the cutting tool rotates while the milling machine itself does not. The rotating tool removes material to complete part processing, typically focusing on machining flat surfaces and block-like three-dimensional features. There are many types of milling machines, including vertical milling machines, horizontal milling machines, column-type, turret-type, C-frame, bed-type, and gantry-type milling machines.

CNC Turning

A CNC lathe mainly consists of the bed, headstock, tailstock, tool post, feed system, cooling system, controller, and operation panel. In lathe machining, the workpiece rotates while the cutting tool does not. It is primarily used for machining shaft-like parts, which are parts with cylindrical or conical shapes.

EDM Machining


There are various types of EDM, including wire EDM, Sinker EDM and small hole EDM. In EDM processes, the tool and workpiece do not physically touch (both are conductive materials). Typically, the tool serves as the cathode, connected to the negative pole of a DC pulse power supply, while the workpiece acts as the anode, connected to the positive pole of the pulse power supply. An insulating dielectric fluid fills the gap between the tool and workpiece during the process.

Other CNC Machines

Advantages of CNC Machining

Accuracy and High Precision: CNC machining can realize the accuracy that cannot be achieved by traditional manual machining, and the automated process does not require human intervention, which can reduce the errors in the machining process.

Fast and efficient: With CNC machining, parts can be machined within a few days, depending on the complexity of the project.

Cost Effective: The high degree of automation of CNC machining greatly reduces labor costs, and as long as the program settings remain unchanged, the same type of product can be machined an unlimited number of times

Wide Choice of Materials: CNC machining is suitable for a wide range of metals, plastics and composites. Common metals and plastics include: aluminum, stainless steel, copper, titanium, nylon, Teflon and PEEK.

Consistency: CNC machining uses computer programming for operations, ensuring that all manufactured parts have the same appearance and function, eliminating the possibility of human error.

Rapid Prototyping: CNC machining is ideal for producing small batches of parts, allowing you to obtain machined parts in a short time. CNC has relatively low startup costs, can achieve tight tolerances, high-quality surfaces, and complex geometries, resulting in high-quality prototype parts.

What are the Different Types of CNC Machining Processes?

CNC Milling

CNC milling is the most common manufacturing method in CNC machining and rapid prototyping. It primarily uses rotating cutting tools that move along axes to remove material from the workpiece. Simple parts are usually machined using 3-axis machines, while complex precision parts are generally suited for 5-axis machining.

CNC Turning

CNC turning excels in producing cylindrical or axially symmetric parts with high precision and efficiency. It can efficiently machine rotational features such as threads, grooves, and tapers.

CNC Drilling

CNC drilling uses a rotating cutting tool to move and drill holes in a fixed workpiece. Drilling is mainly used for holes with lower quality requirements, such as bolt holes, thread bases, and oil holes. For holes requiring higher precision and surface quality, subsequent processes such as reaming, boring, or grinding are used.

CNC Grinding

Grinding is a common machining method for CNC surface grinders. During the process, the grinding wheel contacts the workpiece surface, removing material through abrasion to achieve the desired finish. Grinding offers low cutting forces, high precision, and good surface quality, making it suitable for surface machining of various materials.

CNC Routing

CNC routing is used for cutting a variety of materials, such as soft metals, plastics, aluminum, and composites. In CNC routing, the workpiece remains stationary while the cutting tool moves in the X, Y, and Z dimensions, similar to CNC milling.

Others Machining Operations

CNC Machining Materials


Metal is one of the most common materials used in CNC machining. The characteristics of different metals determine the ease or difficulty of machining them. CNC machining is the best and fastest way to process metal parts.

Here are some commonly used metals in CNC machining:

Aluminum: is the most abundant metal element in the Earth's crust and the most widely used metal in CNC machining. Its high strength-to-weight ratio and excellent corrosion resistance make it an excellent choice for lightweight parts requiring strength, such as aircraft engine components. Commonly used alloys include 6061 and 7075.

Copper: has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, making it an ideal material for electronic components, and is more costly compared to aluminum or steel.

Titanium: is a high-performance metal and one of the hardest materials. Through CNC machining, titanium plays a crucial role in strategic fields such as aerospace and medical industries.

Stainless Steel: is a corrosion-resistant, high-strength, and machinable material suitable for CNC machining, capable of meeting various complex part machining needs.

Mild Steel: refers to carbon steel with a carbon content between 0.05% and 0.25%. It has lower strength but high ductility, easy weldability, and can achieve high-precision CNC machining.

Tool Steel: has excellent machinability and can be machined into various shapes and sizes of parts. It is used to manufacture high-precision tools, molds, and gauges.

Brass: is a copper-zinc alloy with good corrosion resistance, higher strength and hardness than pure copper, making the parts made from it highly durable.


CNC machining can be used to mold plastic parts. The following plastics are commonly used in CNC machining.

ABS: is a thermoplastic commonly used in 3D printing and injection molding applications. However, CNC machining ABS is preferred for prototyping.

Nylon: is a high-performance engineering plastic with high strength, good toughness, and is not easy to break. CNC machining nylon can sometimes replace some metal materials.

PTFE: commonly known as Teflon, is a high-performance fluoroplastic with excellent chemical resistance and high temperature resistance.

Delrin: is a semi-crystalline, high-performance engineering plastic with high strength, stiffness, and wear resistance. It is widely used in automotive, mechanical, and electronic industries.

PEEK: is known as a "super engineering plastic" with excellent comprehensive properties. It has complex manufacturing processes and higher costs, making it a high-value-added material.

Acrylic: is the most excellent material among transparent plastics. It has good light transmittance, weather resistance and processing performance. It can replace glass in many fields. Acrylic has good machinability and can produce a large number of parts in a short time.

Other Materials

Material Considerations

CNC machining is compatible with a wide range of materials. However, before selecting a CNC material, consider the following factors:

Applications of CNC Machining

CNC machining is widely used in various industries, and CNC machining products can be seen everywhere in daily life.

Automotive: The precision of auto parts directly affects the performance and safety of the car. In automobile manufacturing, CNC machining of precision parts can produce more accurate and durable auto parts, such as engine parts, suspension system parts, etc.

Medical: Tight tolerances provided by CNC machining are crucial for producing high-performance medical components. It enables rapid prototyping for product testing and validation, meeting the precision, biocompatibility, and safety requirements of medical devices.

Aerospace: Due to the high precision and strength requirements of aerospace components, CNC machining can produce parts that meet strict standards, which is vital for aircraft safety. Common aerospace parts include aircraft engine blades, turbine components, and engine nozzles.

Electronics: Electronic devices require high precision and stability of components. CNC machining can achieve high precision, complex shapes, and surface treatments, meeting the requirements for precision, appearance, and functionality in electronic products, thus enhancing their performance and quality.

Robotics: CNC machining can precisely manufacture parts that meet specifications, which is particularly important in robotics because dimensional accuracy is key to building high-performance robots. Additionally, CNC machining allows for rapid prototyping, enabling quick and frequent modifications and manufacturing of complex robotic parts, accelerating the introduction of innovative robots.

Alternative Manufacturing Processes To CNC Machining

3D Printing

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a technology based on digital model files that constructs objects by printing layer by layer using materials like powdered metal or plastic that can be bonded together. It is widely used in engineering industries, especially for prototype design and the creation of lightweight geometric shapes.

Injection Molding

Injection molding is a commonly used plastic manufacturing process. It involves injecting molten plastic material into a mold of a specific shape, which then cools and solidifies to form the desired product. This process operates similarly to other manufacturing processes like blow molding, overmolding, and insert molding. It is favored for its efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and ability to produce complex-shaped products.

Die Casting

Die casting is similar to injection molding, where molten metal is injected into a mold at high pressure and high speed, and solidifies under high pressure to form the casting. The die casting process is often used for forming aluminum alloys, copper alloys, magnesium alloys, and zinc alloys. It can produce metal parts with complex shapes, clear contours, and thin walls with deep cavities.

What are the Trends in the CNC Machining Industry?

In the 2000s, the integration of new technologies such as internet technology, artificial intelligence, and sensor technology propelled the further development of CNC machining. Today, CNC machining has become an indispensable part of modern manufacturing, widely used in aerospace, automotive manufacturing, electronics industry, medical devices, and other fields, providing us with more advanced and convenient life experiences.

Whether you need rapid prototyping, small-scale production, or large-scale production, CNC machining is your first choice. In the future, artificial intelligence will be widely applied to CNC machining, with more axes being developed to create more complex geometries. Additionally, CNC machining will extensively use robots for unmanned production, driving the process of full automation. Finally, CNC machining will place greater emphasis on environmental protection and sustainability by adopting more eco-friendly materials and processes, reducing environmental impact, and lowering energy consumption.


Through this blog's discussion on the concept, process, history, advantages, machining techniques, and applications of CNC machining, we believe you now have a comprehensive understanding of CNC machining. If you still have various questions about your CNC machining project, you can contact our professional engineering team to get the answers you need.

DEK has been deeply involved in CNC machining services for many years, committed to providing you with efficient, high-quality precision parts machining services.

Additionally, we have compiled some common questions in CNC machining that we hope will be helpful to you. Please continue reading with us.

CNC Machining FAQs

What Are The Main Challenges in CNC Machining?

For the machining of complex parts, programming is difficult and requires particularly high programming skills from both the software used and the programmer.

What Are The Terminologies in CNC Machining?

Common terminologies in CNC machining include:

CAD: Computer-Aided Software

CAM: Computer-Aided Manufacturing

CAE: Computer-Aided Engineering

DNC: Distributed Numerical Control

G-code: Geometric Codes

M-code: Miscellaneous Machine Codes

What Are The Most Common Cutting Tools for CNC Machining?

Common cutting tools used in CNC machines include milling cutters, drills, turning tools, broaches, threading tools, taps, reamers, hobs, and hole-making tools.

How Much Does CNC Machining Cost?

Materials: The price differences between various materials can be significant. In the market, titanium alloys are much more expensive than aluminum alloys. Additionally, due to increased tool wear and slower cutting speeds, the cost of machining titanium will be higher than that of aluminum alloys.

Complexity: The more complex the geometry of the parts to be machined, the higher the machining costs. For example, impeller parts that require 5-axis machining are more expensive than regular square parts that can be machined with 3-axis.

Tolerance: The stricter the dimensional tolerance requirements, the higher the cost.

Surface Finish: Parts with strict surface finish requirements need special treatment, which increases machining time and cost.

Quantity: Mass production is cheaper than small batch production because bulk purchasing reduces the cost of raw materials, and the programming setup cost is distributed over more parts. The larger the quantity, the lower the cost per part.

6061 T6 Aluminum is widely known for its outstanding structural strength and toughness, making it an ideal choice for aircraft construction as well as other applications requiring good corrosion resistance and durability.

This blog will be a comprehensive guide to this powerful alloy – from its typical chemical composition to its various application areas so you can use it confidently in your projects.

What’s 6061 T6 Aluminum?

6061 T6 aluminum is a precipitation-hardened aluminum alloy, offering a good balance of strength and corrosion resistance.

6061-T6 aluminum is a subcategory of the 6061 aluminum alloy, which generally consists of 97.9% aluminum, 1.0% magnesium, 0.6% silicon, 0.28% copper, and trace elements such as chromium or zinc.

Its processing state or temper - T6 - indicates that it has been solution heat treated and artificially aged after welding to improve its mechanical properties like ultimate tensile strength (min 180MPa/ 26 ksi) and yield strength (min 110MPa/16ksi).

Typical Chemical Composition of 6061-T6 Aluminum

Understanding its chemical composition helps to appreciate further why this popular aluminum grade is widely used in metal fabrication and engineering projects.


Aluminum has a high melting point compared to other metals, such as iron or lead, making it more difficult to shape the alloy into intricate objects without sacrificing integrity.

However, this compression allows for exceptional durability in some areas, like bridges, despite being relatively lightweight.

Aluminum is perfect for applications requiring light yet sturdy objects, such as shipbuilding aircraft frame construction design supports, roofs, cell towers, etc.


Magnesium significantly increases the strength and hardness of the alloy while also improving its corrosion resistance and machinability properties.

Magnesium also helps to increase fatigue life expectancy for heavy-duty iterations of 6061-T6 aluminum components used in harsh or challenging environments such as high-temperature applications.


Silicon helps to improve properties such as strength and hardness.

When welding without filler metals, silicon present in the chemical composition affects the weld chemistry, resulting in 0.3% conforming percent of silicon that leads to improved tensile and shear strengths against those produced using other alloys like 4043 or 5183 Aluminum alloyed filler metals.

This element also enhances corrosion resistance. It promotes the development of an essential protective layer over time, known as a passive oxide film, reducing maintenance costs by extending the lifespan of materials.


Copper is a primary alloying element found in 6061-T6 aluminum. This addition contributes to the overall properties and strength of the alloy, as well as its corrosion resistance.

Copper promotes precipitation hardening, increasing strength relative to other Aluminum alloys.

The copper contents in 6061-T6 aluminum ranges from 0.15 – 0.40%, with an average value of 0.28%. By increasing copper content while decreasing zinc content, significant increases in yield stress can be obtained from 0.2-0.4% copper onwards compared to base material not containing any copper at all (eutectic composition).


Iron in 6061-T6 aluminum enhances strength, hardness, and malleability, influencing weight by increasing density.

It affects corrosion resistance, limits contaminant exposure, and improves welding properties. While adding tensile and compressive strength, it reduces workability, requiring more aggressive cutting tools.

Iron enhances weldability with arc welding, improving thermal conductivity, electrical resistivity, and stiffness compared to unalloyed aluminum grades.


Chromium makes up 0.2% of 6061-T6 aluminum’s total composition. Chromium provides improved corrosion resistance and hardness to the alloy, as well as greater strength at elevated temperatures when compared to other alloys.

Additionally, chromium contributes to increased ductility and machinability along with its many other benefits thanks to its precipitation-hardening properties.



Zinc enhances the strength, weldability, and corrosion resistance of 6061-T6 aluminum alloy.

With a 0.2% presence, it strengthens the bond between magnesium and silicon, boosting yield strength, hardness, and fatigue strength.

Different heat treatments, like T4 and T6, further increase tensile strength. Zinc improves machinability, facilitating smoother cutting than alloys like 5052 or 2024.

It also plays a crucial role in minimizing galvanic corrosion risks.


Manganese is a metallic element that forms part of the chemical composition of 6061-T6 aluminum. Its addition to an aluminum alloy has several benefits in terms of corrosion resistance and mechanical strength.

Specifically, manganese provides resistance to oxidation without embrittlement when exposed to air and even enhances strength at subzero temperatures where most metal alloys tend to become brittle.


Titanium is combined with 6061-T6 aluminum to enhance its strength, durability, and resistance to external conditions.

This alloy improves properties like material strength, corrosion resistance, temperature resistance, electrical conductivity, and machinability.

In applications like aircraft and bridges, the addition of titanium extends the lifespan by enhancing corrosion characteristics and thermal stability.

Benefits of 6061 T6 Aluminum

Physical Properties of 6061-T6 Aluminum?

Understanding the unique aspects that 6061 aluminum offers can help understand how components of this metal respond in different situations.


6061 T6 aluminum boasts a density of 2.7g/cm3, nearly twice that of pure aluminum, and denser than many metal alloys.

This high density offers advantages in engineering applications, enhancing compressive strength for tasks like cylinder walls and supporting heavy loads.

The increased mass also aids in stiffening heavily loaded members. While its lower tensile strength may limit use in exceptionally heavy projects, it proves valuable in small parts manufacturing due to low deformation under pressure.

Melting Point​

6061-T6 aluminum has a melting point between 1,080 - 1,205°F (582 - 652°C), making it ideal for controlled fabrication processes without compromising its properties.

Its high water resistance makes it suitable for outdoor use in rail coaches and bridges. Aerospace industries benefit from its strength in manufacturing aircraft components at strict processing temperatures, ensuring performance and cost-effectiveness.

6061 t6-

Thermal Expansion​

6061-T6 Aluminum expands by 0.036 mm per meter in length for every one-degree Celsius temperature increase, thanks to its coefficient of thermal expansion of 23.6 μm/m-°C.

This alloy, with a thermal conductivity of 170 W/m-K and a modulus of elasticity of 72 GPa, is ideal for engineering applications where strength and durability are crucial.

Modulus of Elasticity​

The modulus of elasticity measures a material's ability to return to its original shape after force application.

6061-T6 aluminum stands out with a high modulus of elasticity (69 GPa or 10,000 ksi), surpassing steel and brass.

Its exceptional elasticity maintains stability and predictable behavior even in harsh conditions.

Thermal Conductivity​

6061-T6 Aluminum has excellent thermal conductivity, allowing it to dissipate heat and operate efficiently in extreme temperatures quickly.

Its low thermal conductivity makes it suitable for cryogenic conditions. The material's high mechanical strength enhances machining precision.

Its popularity is due to its optimized properties for various applications, ensuring performance and safety.

Electrical Resistivity​

6061-T6 aluminum has a low electrical resistivity of 0.036 Ω·cm, making it a strong conductor for applications like electrical wiring.

Its efficient heat transfer capability also suits it for components in boilers and engines. The combination of low resistance and good thermal performance makes it ideal for power systems where safety and reliability are crucial.

Mechanical Properties of 6061-T6 Aluminum

Property Value
Ultimate Tensile Strength (UTS) 38 ksi (262 MPa)
Yield Strength 35 ksi (241 MPa)
Toughness 210 J/cm³ (140 KSI)
Elongation 8%
Electrical Resistivity 0.02800 Ωm at 20°C
Common Applications Transport frames, aircraft interiors, high-quality bicycle frames
Key Features Medium to high strength, good weldability, workability, finishing characteristics, corrosion resistance, suitability for scientific projects

Temper Types of 6061-T6 Aluminum


This temper is used as fabricated since it does not require any additional heat treatment. It generally has an ultimate tensile strength of at least 180 MPa (26 ksi) and a yield strength of at least 110 MPa (16 ksi).


The most commonly requested version of aluminum 6061, the T6, refers to the temper or degree of hardness. With T6, the industry gets peak mechanical performance with increased hardness and strength.

T8 & T9 Tempers

These tempers offer better chipping characteristics than the softer alloy tempers like T1, T2, or T3. They are harder than other alloy tempers and provide improved forming and machining ability. They also feature higher tensile strengths for greater durability.

Differences Affecting Mechanical Properties

The main differences between 6061-T4 and -T6 account for the different mechanical properties.

Increasing hardening from annealing makes the 6061-T6 alloy have higher tensile strength but also a lower modulus elasticity.

Other properties such as elongation at break, thermal conductivity, and electrical resistivity are all affected by these changes in temperature through heat treatments such as aging or tempering.


Applications of 6061-T6 Aluminum

Here’s a list of some common examples:

Truck frames

6061-T6 is used for constructing durable and lightweight truck frames, offering a good balance of strength and weight.

Ship building

This aluminum alloy is employed in shipbuilding due to its corrosion resistance, strength, and low density, contributing to improved fuel efficiency.

Rail coaches

6061-T6 is utilized in the construction of rail coaches, providing a strong and lightweight material that helps enhance the overall performance of the coaches.


Bridges and Military bridges

The alloy's high strength and corrosion resistance make it suitable for bridge construction, including military bridges, where durability and load-bearing capacity are crucial.

Aerospace industry

6061-T6 is widely used in the aerospace sector for components that require a combination of strength, low density, and corrosion resistance, making it suitable for aircraft structures.


The alloy is commonly employed in the manufacturing of tubes due to its excellent formability, corrosion resistance, and strength, making it suitable for various applications across industries.

In What Product Lines Is 6061 T6 Aluminum Available?

6061 T6 aluminum is widely used in a range of product lines, such as sheet metal, extrusions, heat treatment, and structural components.

It is commonly available for impacting industries like aerospace, automotive, construction, and marine applications.


It’s ideal for producing various aircraft components ranging from fuselage frames to helicopter blades.


Due to its ability to be formed into complex shapes while maintaining low-weight properties, 6061 T6 aluminum often finds application in car chassis design projects, both large-scale commercial vehicles as well as light passenger vehicles.


6061 T6 aluminum mostly gets implemented everywhere, starting from window frames and handrails up to automobile bridges and rail coaches.


The wide array of products fabricated from 6061-T6 includes pontoon boats, so they gain great stability and have better rigidity, showing greater resistivity than most plastics while having plenty of entry points designated mainly by military standards (MIL).

Is 6061 T6 Machinable?

6061 T6 aluminum is highly machinable and strong. Its ductility allows for colored anodizing, and its thermal conductivity aids in precise temperature management during machining.

What About Corrosion Resistance?

6061-T6 aluminum alloy excels in corrosion resistance, making it ideal for various industrial applications, especially in salty environments like oceans.

Its rust resistance surpasses that of steel bars in chloride and atmospheric conditions. Additionally, it exhibits high resistance to concentrated nitric acid, ammonia, and ammonium hydroxide.

The T6 tempering process enhances its strength, forming strong bonds with water molecules preventing rust issues caused by moisture or humidity.

The alloy's thermal conductivity ensures uniform temperatures, promoting longevity and reducing maintenance costs by preventing uneven heat distribution.

Why Is T6 The Most Popular Aluminum 6061 Grade?

T6 is the preferred aluminum 6061 grade due to its impressive strength (yield tensile strength of 276 MPa and ultimate tensile strength of 310 MPa) and versatile properties.

It enhances alloy strength, making it suitable for aircraft and engineering applications. With excellent weldability, formability, and structural attributes like corrosion resistance, it's widely used in small-scale projects (bike frames) and larger projects (truck frames, shipbuilding).

T6 is ideal for aerospace parts, offering a balance of lightweight durability in harsh conditions. Its versatility makes it advantageous across industries and budgets.


6061 aluminum is one of the most widely used and versatile alloys available, with strong physical properties and a high level of weldability and corrosion resistance.

The T6 temper offers excellent strength for manufacturing applications such as truck frames, shipbuilding, rail coaches, bridges, aerospace industry components, and tube construction.

It is also one of the most popular versions of 6061 alloy due to its superior rigidity and formability, making it ideal for various projects, including metallic fabrication.

With its diverse range of uses in different industries, which are driven by its strength, weldability, and corrosion resistance attributes, it is no wonder that this versatile aluminum alloy has become so popular among manufacturers.

Are you considering adopting an automatic mechanism for milling heavy metal parts?

Thinking of installing a compatible system for the multi-point cutting?

Don’t worry! CNC metal milling offers us the best solution to both of these issues.

Below are some questions about the process, benefits, and types of CNC milling metal.

Let’s explore the following questions:

Why Use CNC Milling to Produce Your Metal Parts?


You should use CNC milling machining for your metal parts because it’s highly adaptable to the nature of different materials.

CNC milling machines are becoming famous these days because of their increased compatibility with all types of materials, particularly with metal.

Besides the metal, you can also use the metal alloys to process them through the CNC milling metal machines.

This process’s increased flexibility and accuracy yield the best results in different items’ small and large production.

Another primary reason for using CNC Milling for your metal is the consistency of the product quality. The accurate processing and cuts will produce the highest quality of metal parts.

Compared to the manual machining processes, CNC machining and milling of the metals demands less time and energy to process the different parts.

The efficiency and speed of the CNC milling machining for metals benefits almost all manufacturers to produce various products.

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What Can Metal Materials Be Used in CNC Milling?


Metal is one of the most compatible materials that can be used for CNC Milling. But there is a wide variety of options in metal to process them with the help of CNC milling.

Some common metals that are widely used for CNC Milling are given as under:


It’s one of the commonest materials used in the CNC Milling metal because of its mechanical components. It takes less time to get machined in comparison to the other metals.

In addition to this, it is available with a long list of premium material characteristics. Thus, you can use aluminium in CNC milling to include it in the automotive, aerospace or healthcare sector.

Stainless Steel

Another common material for CNC Milling metal is stainless steel. It’s famous because of its corrosion-resistant properties.

Furthermore, with the help of CNC milling, aluminium metal can be easily used in electronic hardware and other fields of weldability.


Copper is also used in the CNC milling metal because it is available with excellent conducting properties. The high ability to resist corrosion also makes it best for the CNC milling metals.

You can use CNC milled copper in the automotive industry and heat exchangers. But make sure about the nature of the copper since it’s weak to certain chemicals.


The high melting point of Titanium makes it best to use with the CNC milling metal machining. It can be used in a large variety of industries with versatile applications.

It’s well-known for providing demanding sturdiness regardless of its biocompatible and lightweight nature.


It is the best material that can be used for the CNC milling metal because it is included in the list of most stable metals. It’s available with a considerable amount of stability.

You can use the CNC Milled brass in different applications such as medical equipment, electrical hardware or consumer goods.

You can explore DEK to get a better idea about the metals that can be used in CNC milling metal machining.

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Are Large Quantities Suitable for CNC Milling Metal?


Yes, large quantities are perfectly suitable for CNC milling metal since it consumes less time and energy to process the heavy metals in bulk.

The CNC milling metal is considered the best machining process regardless of the large quantities since it yields detailed and precise results.

It involves the use of computers. Thus, the chances of mistakes and inaccuracy are low.

Furthermore, the manufacturers and industries need large amounts of metals and plastic parts to be processed.

Thus, they prefer using CNC milling metal machining to cope with a large number of metal materials.

The computerized systems will produce the highest quality of products in less than the expected time.

Are Small Batches Suitable for CNC Milling Metal?


Besides large quantities, small batches also seemed best to use with the CNC milling metal.

You can analyze and prepare the design of the small batches by using the CNC milling metal machining since there is no chance of mistakes.

All machines can be automatically operated and programmed according to the nature of the batches, thereby yielding the properly designed metals.

The manufacturing guide is also available with the small batches for CNC milling metal machining. Thus you’ll not feel any difficulty in operating the processed products.

What are the Applications of CNC Milling Metal?


Some typical applications of the CNC milling metal machining are listed as under:

How to Choose the CNC Metal Machining Supplier in China?


You can choose the best CNC Metal machining supplier in China by the following steps:

Explore the Options

You’ll find many options for CNC metal milling factories in China. But try to look for the ones that stand correctly on all your requirements.

Cut the options and select the best manufacturer from the list.

Look for the Milling Processes

Once you have chosen and contacted the manufacturers, it’s time to visit their manufacturing sites.

You should monitor the milling process of the plastic materials at the manufacturer’s site.

The expertise of the Service Provider

The chosen CNC Metal machining supplier must be available with the versatility to cover all types of services.

The supplier should have the potential to work with all types of materials regardless of their nature.


The service provider must provide all of its services at a compatible price range that users can afford easily.

The price tags of the services by the supplier should compete higher with other factories.

You can contact DEK to get all of the requirements mentioned above of a good CNC metal machining supplier.

Does DEK Offer Custom CNC Milling Metal Service?


Yes, DEK is considered one of the best manufacturers in China, which provides high-quality custom milling metal services.

You can tell them about the type and the nature of the product you want to be machined.

For getting the best custom CNC milling metal services from the Chinese manufacturers, you have to contact them.

Approach their support team and tell them all your requirements. The manufacturer will transport the custom-made CNC milling metal services within a few days.

Does DEK Offer Small Batches Metal CNC Milling Services?


Yes, DEK has the availability of small batches of CNC milling machining services.

They don’t compromise on the quality and the accuracy of the small batches of CNC metal machining.

Moreover, they have the premium quality of machines and computerized systems which process the CNC milling machining in a well-defined manner.

Does DEK Conduct Quality Inspection on Every Part?

Yes, DEK has a plus point to conduct the quality inspection of every manufactured part during the machining process.

They have a skilled team of workers and inspectors who inspect the proper working and manufacturing of the metal parts.

Moreover, computerized machining is also done by the manufacturers for ensuring everything about the highest quality of the CNC machined parts.

In DEK, Does Each Part Has a Unique Traceability Code?


Yes, DEK has a facility to track the products with unique track codes on each part.

They use a unique code for each part of the milled metal. Thus, the movement and the progress of the metals can easily be examined.

The manufacturer can examine the products in all steps, including the material purchase, its production, inspection and even the delivery of the items.

How to Get a Quote from DEK?

You can follow the given steps for getting a quote from DEK:

How Long Does It Take For the Order To Deliver?

The manufacturer will take around 3-7 days to deliver the small batch of CNC milled metal parts, but the large ones will take 15-30 days to deliver to the destination.

However, the delivery time of the CNC milled metal parts depends on the quantity, its processing and surface treatment.

The method of delivery also impacts the time duration.

Are you looking for a reliable supplier of CNC milling stainless steel parts?

Searching for a cost-effective supplier with customized products?

In that case, CNC milling stainless steel is a technique of processing raw steel into desired shapes.

With the help of this guide, you’ll gain a better understanding of how to select the best CNC milling stainless supplier.

Let’s begin.

Why need CNC milling to produce stainless steel parts?


CNC milling is needed to produce stainless steel parts because it can generate parts with dynamic mechanical qualities.

In addition, they provide repeatability, and accuracy from the combination of stainless steel with metals.

Moreover, CNC milling can produce high-quality and ultra-precise materials efficiently with various stainless steel grades.

Also, these efficient and quality mechanical parts are manufactured with the help of advanced machining techniques and adequate CNC milling machinery.

With vast applications and versatile designing techniques, CNC milling can produce stainless steel parts with numerous industrial applications.

Whether there are highly-polished parts or heavy-duty pieces of machinery, CNC milling can manufacture these parts in stainless steel.

The stainless steel parts produced by CNC milling possess multiple functioning properties such as greater work-hardening capacity.

Also, they contain high tensile strength, malleability and resistant properties to produce robust products.

However, these characteristic properties of stainless steel parts influence the manufacturers to produce more routine parts with corrosion and rust resistance.

In addition, stainless steel parts can easily be forged, extruded, formed, and welded, increasing accessibility and ease of use.

What are the Advantages of Using Stainless Steel for Machined Parts?


The advantages of using stainless steel for machined parts are distributed all around us.

Following are some of the mechanical and physical properties of stainless steel machined parts commonly used in industrial and other products.

What Stainless Steel Series is Suitable for CNC Milling?


Stainless steel series suitable for CNC milling is the 300 series family due to its crystalline structure and production of comprehensive grade around the globe.

Moreover, these 300 series of stainless steel is austenitic and can be hardened using cold working techniques.

These stainless steel grades comprise a combination of chromium (about 18%- 30%), nickel ( about 6%-20%), molybdenum, and the rest are the major alloy combinations.

Significantly, the primary alloy combinations of the 300 series are 301, 302, 303, 304, 316, 317, and 347. Mainly, 304 grade is used widely due to its versatile resistant properties.

The complete 300 series of stainless steel are highly malleable, carburization resistant, nitriding tolerance, and have the solid tensile capability.

Due to the contribution of chromium and nickel, it is highly resistant to corrosion and rust. 300-grade series is highly temperature resistant and oxidation resistant up to 2100F.

Also, these series alloys possess Superior Creep Strength that sustains their original properties at elevated temperatures for more extended periods making them durable for use.

Generally, the 300-grade series are widely utilized in aerospace, automation, marine, food, and beverage industries.

Sometimes, specific 300 grades are used in conveyor belts, burner parts, tube hangers, oven linings, and fans due to their corrosion-resistant properties.

Is CNC milling Suitable for Mass Production of Stainless Steel Parts?


CNC milling is suitable for the mass production of stainless steel parts to ensure the production of precise and accurate parts over and over again.

Some of the advantages of using CNC milling in the mass production of stainless steel parts are:

Is CNC Milling Suitable for Small Batch Production of Stainless Steel Parts?


CNC milling is suitable for small batch production of stainless steel parts due to its immediate cost-saving, less waste material, and accurate production efficiency.

Moreover, the production of a small batch of products will streamline the workflow with highly efficient products.

Due to the high precision and reliability, the products are manufactured with fast speed through CNC milling.

The CNC milling can produce a single stainless steel part in less time because the same part can be manufactured in a single CNC machine.

Unlike other machining equipment requiring manually transporting parts from one station to another, the CNC machining process is automated with minimum operator involvement.

Due to its little to no worker involvement, CNC quickly manufactures the stainless steel parts with high speed and more safety.

Furthermore, CNC machining consists of automatic changing tools to quickly manufacture explicit quality products for small batches.

For the production of a smaller batch, CNC machining can frequently produce similar repeated parts with the same frequency and accuracy.

With proper machine programming and well-maintained technique, CNC machining can manufacture small batches’ speedy products with consistent quality.

Though the initial cost for CNC machining parts is high but can mount more significant cuts with powerful motors to flush away the mainstream work line.

Is Stainless Steel CNC Milling Suitable for Rapid Prototyping?


Stainless steel CNC milling is suitable for rapid prototyping due to following reasons:

High-Speed Production

The CNC machining process is an old method for mass production that uses software and machine applications through reliable and fast ways for manufacturing complex and rigid objects.

This speed enhances both the set-up and manufacturing time as the primary step is designing software, and then the material is transferred to the mill for processing.

Once the programmed software and stainless steel come in contact, the mill works astonishingly to convert the steel into a product within minutes.

No Fixed Tooling

The stainless steel CNC milling and turning require a single tool for rapid prototyping known as Spindles.

CNC machining techniques can create a flatter and smoother surface product of engineered parts, whether they possess complex shapes or simpler ones.

Moreover, when raw stainless steel pieces are arranged on automatic tools, they can quickly be swapped and exchanged without the requirement of complicated assistance to produce prototypes.


The CNC machining technique is a computerized method to generate accurate and precise rapid prototyping of parts.

Due to their accuracy of about ±0.05mm to 50 microns, they are widely used in stainless steel rapid prototyping commercially.

Also, the tighter tolerances and rapid repeatability have made it easier to produce parts with the exact measurements every time.

Easy Modification

By applying simple changes and amendments, it is easy to modify the design in CNC machining prototyping.

It enables the users to enhance their machining experience by testing their creativity.

How to Find the Best Stainless Steel CNC Milling Service Provider in China?


To find the best CNC milling stainless steel service provider in China, it is necessary to analyze the manufacturer’s capabilities and other essential qualities.

Typically, selecting the proper CNC milling manufacturer depends on the type of part that needs to be machined, the material used, and the properties of the metal.

China is a renowned supplier of CNC machining services around the globe due to its excellent services, high-quality, and cost-effective products.

One of the fine and trusted suppliers of CNC machining in China is DEK. They can be your best selection for the production of stainless steel CNC machining parts.

At DEK, you are guaranteed to receive reliable and durable quality products in a reasonable time and price range.

Regardless of the complexity and size of the product, the company’s skilled engineers are dedicated to producing high-performance products with equal smoothness and finishing touches.

Whether you want to manufacture a rapid prototype, small-batch manufacturing, or stainless steel mass production, DEK can be your best partner in all cases.

Does DEK Offer Custom Stainless Steel CNC Milling Service?


DEK offers custom stainless steel CNC milling services for their valuable customers with prime quality and reasonable prices.

DEK is proudly providing complete services of machining and manufacturing to their consumers with high-class precision and accuracy.

They provide efficient, customized quality prototyping and high-performance parts to their clients globally.

Also, they are efficiently facilitating almost every industry, including sports, optical, aerospace, and agricultural products.

All the custom batches are manufactured with the highest standard quality with the fastest turnaround possible.

At DEK, they are constantly modifying their techniques and modernizing production technologies to promote the growth of all the industrial sectors worldwide with high-performance products.

The quality enriched attitude is the prime motive in every individual working at DEK to maintain a strict control system and ensure the delivery of premium products.

Consequently, the consistently high production of a suitable and customized wide range of products has led DEK as one of the trusted manufacturers of CNC milling in China for years.

Does DEK Offer Small Volume Stainless Steel CNC Milled Parts?


DEK offers small volume stainless steel CNC milled parts of high-quality and competitive prices than others in the industry, making them a popular selection in China.

Additionally, they produce diverse designs with complex geometrical shapes of products using 3-axis, 4-axis, and 5-axis CNC milling machines.

For over 21 years of experience in the CNC machining industry, DEK has proved themselves as the experts of low volume plastic injection molding, Urethane casting, and precision machining.

Furthermore, the customer services team of DEK is keen on answering all of your queries and solving your problems without any delay.

They have elevated all the quality standards at cost-effective rates to help you compete with your competitors without any hassle.

Without a doubt, DEK is your best CNC milling partner to maintain quality performance without fear of missed shipment deadlines.

Furthermore, DEK confidently serves 2300 customers worldwide with quality prototypes, and customized small volume stainless steel CNC milled parts.

How to Order?

To order from DEK, it is necessary to follow the instructions carefully to get their services to the fullest.

Preferably, schedule a meeting with their representative to explain to them your requirements and the type of CNC machining product you need.

After the detailed discussion sessions, purchase your order and clearly mention which stainless steel series you want to use, the quantity, and information about other required data.

Consequently, it will help the supplier to deliver you the best product in the fastest turnaround time.

Once you have provided them with all the information, leave the rest on them. They will send your order details to the corresponding account manager for further proceedings.

From manufacturing complex prototypes to simpler CNC machining parts, all the products are produced with the maintenance of strict quality standards at minimum costs.

Furthermore, if you have any queries regarding your order or want to acquire any product, their representatives are available 24 hours to serve you with the best.

These questions will allow you to learn about the properties, applications, benefits, and other necessary knowledge so you could have the basic information before the start of your CNC milling acrylic project.

What are the advantages of acrylic CNC milled parts?


Acrylic is a widespread material because of its phenomenal properties. Its most important characteristic is its strength, acrylic is 5 times stronger than glass and also shock-resistant and shatterproof. Parts developed by CNC milling acrylic are 92% transparent as compare to window glass and polycarbonate which is 83-90% and 90% transparent respectively.

Acrylic milled parts do not deteriorate in UV light for a long period of time while other plastic becomes yellow and brittle. This makes it a good choice for many industries. Acrylic is also good at corrosion-resistant.

The acrylic milled parts are very durable and resistant which makes them very crucial for so many different applications. These applications include car lights, advertising and shop banners, light tubes and so many other products. These applications require the finest precision and unmatched surface finishing and that’s why acrylic is quite a good choice for these applications because of its strength and rigidity.

We have learned about the acrylic properties and some benefits. Below is the detailed list of the acrylic CNC milled parts advantages that can help in a number of applications in different industries.

Can the acrylic sheet be CNC milling?


Yes, acrylic sheets can be CNC milled. If you need to cut the specific shape from an acrylic sheet then CNC milling is one of the preferred methods. Especially when you require complex shapes and professional finishing.

In a CNC mill, the acrylic sheet is clamped and then processed with a computer-controlled multi-axis milling cutter. It is necessary to remember that the milling machine has a sharp blade and that it doesn’t get obstructed by the chips. Once you start milling the acrylic sheet, you can create multiple shapes from it. Acrylic is typically milled to create diagonal cuts, circles, house numbers, and other multiple shapes. Letters used for advertising and signage are frequently seen as examples of acrylic milled sheets.

Can the acrylic board be CNC milling?


Yes, the acrylic board can also be milled. CNC milling acrylic boards are used in multiple applications, the most prominent ones are cabinet doors and windows. Acrylic boards replace the glass of the cabinet door because they break in certain circumstances or when they become old and brittle.

This makes acrylic board increasingly popular and replacing glass in many applications. Glass is very difficult to handle and install where the acrylic board is easy to handle and to cut in exact size. It is also lightweight which makes it adhere to cabinets and windows.

Can the acrylic bar be CNC milling?


Yes, acrylic bars can also be milled. Acrylic bars are solid cylindrical in shape pieces of acrylic. They are durable and naturally UV resistant and lightweight. They are known for keeping their known shape and can not be bend and shrink easily.

Acrylic bars have so many applications such as sign holders, office interior objects, skylights, crystal chandeliers, glazing applications and are used for model making. It has the degree of flexibility that allows it to be shatter-resistant. Acrylic bars are made up of material that requires minimal maintenance. DEK also offers CNC milling acrylic services for acrylic bars, according to its client’s requirements.

What are the applications of acrylic CNC milled parts?


Acrylic CNC milled parts are used in multiple industries and have a number of applications. Below are some of the major applications of CNC milling acrylic parts.

Glass Alternative

Acrylic is a transparent material and has a certain level of clarity which makes it useful as shatterproof glass in many industries. Some of these industries are aerospace, automotive and optical industries, in these industries it is used under the brand name Plexiglass.

Acrylic is usually used as a glass alternative for the transparency purpose in window-like structures in submarines, aquariums, hockey arenas, etc. It is also used in the automotive industry for lighting parts as a headlamp. Lamps in optical and automotive applications are of complex shapes and require very tight tolerance to deliver the best optical performance.

Acrylic properties make it suitable for eyeglasses lenses and non-disposable contact lenses.

Medical and Dental

Acrylic is a good biocompatible material, it can be used in many medical and dental applications such as cosmetic surgery where it can be used as an under-skin filler. Acrylic is also used as bone cement in orthopedic surgeries. Its properties also make it a good choice for dentistry equipment and procedures.

Consumer Goods

Acrylic’s aesthetic appearance makes it a suitable material for a wide range of consumer products like musical instruments, consumer electronics, and furniture.

Acrylic can also be found in LCD, CDs, and DVDs. Contemporary structures and artworks use acrylic because of its easier to manipulate properties.

Below is the list of some of the components that are created from acrylic and industries that use acrylic to manufacture different products.



CNC milling acrylic vs laser cutting acrylic, which is better?

The CNC milling acrylic and the laser cutting acrylic are the most popular methods used for producing precision parts for different industries. We have to discuss the differences between these two to find out which process is best suited for our applications.

CNC Milling Acrylic


CNC milling acrylic is a contact-based cutting or milling process which has obvious advantages such as versatility and flexibility. It can precisely cut and engrave acrylic material with speed like the laser cutter to close specific fiction. Design programmed in CNC milling machines provides signals to cut and carve the acrylic material with accuracy, the computer-controlled the specific velocity and positioning, back and forth, side to side movement. In CNC milling, the efficiency, speed, and ease of use increase the productivity to improve the acrylic milled part.

Subtractive precision cutting creates less waste than other conventional cutting processes which means fewer material costs. This eventually increases productivity and decreases the lead time and saves money.

Laser Cutting Acrylic


Like CNC milling, the laser cutter is also guided by a CNC machine. Cutting is a non-contact procedure, it is a thermal-based process that uses a focused high power laser beam to cut the acrylic part and carves it with shapes and designs. In this process there is no designing tool is required. Cutting is achieved by the heat to perform the accurate cutting to acquire the precise parts.  A high-energy beam burns the material rather than carving.

Because this process uses CNC machining, it can consistently produce complex designs and shapes, intricate parts, and exceptional smooth finishes than normal drills. Laser cutting acrylic parts don’t require secondary finishing such as cleaning treating and finishing. It is suitable for rapid prototyping with exceptional details with incredible speed. Prototypes can be cut in few minutes with a laser cutter and different versions can be produced quickly for testing purposes.

CNC milling and laser cutting are both highly effective, efficient, and versatile methods used for the precision cutting of acrylic parts. Though they have distinct differences they can complement each other. So the conclusion we can take from this discussion is that the use of any of these procedures for acrylic parts depends upon many factors and applications.

Does DEK offer Acrylic CNC Milling services?


Yes, we do provide CNC milling acrylic services and we are not only offering you the service but we are offering you to be our partner. Let us provide you the finest quality acrylic milled parts that fit into your applications just right.

Over the years, DEK  has been involved in different acrylic CNC milling projects and we have served multiple clients from different regions of the world. This diversity in clients means we can handle very simple to complex procedures involving CNC milling acrylic.

Our engineer team is skilled to convert acrylic into any desired shape and size with tight tolerance and precision. Our expert engineering team is always ready to provide you with a consultation to ensure you receive the finest product that lives up to your expectations. This approach helps us to determine the needs of our customers and to deliver accurate and precise acrylic milled parts. Not only the skilled team but DEK also own technology equipment, machinery, and cutting tools to provide you with the highest quality parts.

At last, all the acrylic material used to create milled parts in DEK must pass through the selection process to guarantee ideal performance. Our technicians and engineers thoroughly check the quality of the acrylic material that er take for producing milled parts. This approach helps us to create parts that can withstand harsh conditions and provides the best results.

Let us help you produce the best acrylic milled parts, write to us or fill the quotation form so that our technical support agent can get to you.