CNC Machine Parts To Take The Heat
There are dozens of great ways to make prototype parts. 3D printing in many variations (in many materials) are all the rage these days (and for good reason), but sometimes you still need parts that can really take the heat. There’s nothing like great CNC Machine prototype parts when you need something for real-life stress and abuse.
Stronger, Tougher . . . Sometimes Better
This customer needed a part variation that was significantly stronger and more rigid. The design is similar to the older parts, but more robust. After analyzing the needs and available space, the design for these includes a little more material, a better distribution of material, and stronger steel.
First came the redesign and approvals. Then, the CAD files were sent to one of our local favorite CNC Machine Shops, Monson Manufacturing to be made. Just send the files and wait for the note to pick them up. I truly love having that kind of relationship. These are, of course, not complicated parts, but it’s always fun to get the new pieces, feel the heft and know they’ll work perfect.
Plus, who doesn’t love beautiful CNC machine parts?
These particular parts are in half-hard Stainless Steel 17-4 for strength and corrosion resistance. And, because 17-4 is reasonable to machine in the half-hard state. The previous version (designed by a different company) didn’t hold up, but these will. Roughly speaking, these clips are 4 times stronger — partly because of material choice and partly because of the engineering design changes. The final CNC machine parts could have been done in a high strength steel then heat treated for maximum strength, but that was not necessary. Strength is a balance of material distribution, not just ultimate material properties. And, for these it would take longer and cost more.
Finally, the choice of Stainless Steel gives the added benefit of corrosion resistance. A benefit in the given environment.
Nothing Like CNC Machine Parts
CNC Machine parts may be a throwback to old ways of doing things. There are some disadvantages compared to 3D prints — even in metal — like cost and time to machine, but it’s still the easiest way to get parts that will stand up to real world high stress and testing. Parts that count when safety is a factor.
As we think about functional prototypes and what we want to accomplish with them, materials come straight to the front. Then, the process of making them. In this case, full load testing will be done to prove the design, so material is a big deal. CNC Machine parts are one way to get the material we need into the pieces that will take the full stress and the heat.
Options other than CNC machining may work better for the situation, like this example of managing conflicting constraints. Water jet steel joining with the CNC machine parts bring it all together.
All that said, we remain fascinated by the almost daily advancements in rapid prototyping for metals. If you are not in tune, this is a fascinating and rapidly advancing field.
Pieces in Synthesis
Having good relationships with skilled CNC Machine Shops are important to us. That’s one point in this example with these simple, but critical parts. We have highlighted one, but there are many great shops in the area. We Thank You for all the great work. Our job is not possible without the help and skill of these partners.
Just for the fun of it, here is much bigger example of bringing the pieces together from many shops — CNC Machine Shops, water jet cutting, sheetmetal fab, powder coating, and many more. They make the awesome parts, so we can bring it all together.
For more on Prototyping, check out this short article on mixing technologies to create functional prototypes. There is always more to learn. Have a wonderful day.