The Tolerances of CNC Machining

CNC machines offer precision machining for all. No matter what type of CNC machine you use, you can guarantee that it will offer you truly exceptional machining precision.

The machine itself is responsible for a lot of precision; However, operators and programmers play a big role as well as the facility itself. Precise temperature control and good conditions allow accuracy of up to 20 millionths in some cases.

CNC machining tolerances completely depend on the type of CNC machine used to complete the project. Each machine offers different tolerances. Of course a machine operating from several different axes will allow for closer and more specific tolerances. Four- and five-axis machines can produce special design parts that require precise measurements to work. Very tight tolerances are possible.

Precise tolerances from 0.000004″ to 0.004″ are possible. (Otherwise, one to one hundred microns) Since these machines are computer numerically controlled (CNC), the possibility of production being this precise is easy. Operators no longer have to ensure that the material is placed correctly and so on to achieve this standard. Computer technology can grind, cut, sand, etc. to the dimensions specified by the program. They would be very close if they didn’t get there.

One of the great benefits of CNC machining is its repeatability of high tolerances. Since the machine is operated by computer, repetitive work is easy to do. The machine continues to run according to program specifications until the job is completed. Another job coming in the next few months that has the same specs can be done easily. It is only necessary to download the original program and the exact same specifications and tolerances will be repeated with this batch of jobs as well. Repeated and high tolerance machining is one of the added benefits of CNC machining.

Tolerance is directly related to the quality of the CNC machine. This is why you will find that different companies that offer CNC machining services can offer different tolerances. Some may offer a tolerance of 0.001″ and others will offer a variety of different tolerances. The higher the quality of the CNC machine and the program that operates it, the better tolerances you can get.

Programmers, engineers, operators and machines, must work in direct relation to each other. If all aspects are the same page, the better the performance. If you have qualified programmers and machinists, you will be able to get better performance from your machine. It takes skilled and knowledgeable individuals in the field of CNC machining to perform to the best of the machining capabilities.

If you have questions about CNC machining tolerances, check with your CNC machining dealer. They should be able to answer any questions you may have and be able to better explain the whole process to you.