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Full Guide for Selecting the Right CNC Material

Why Selecting CNC Material

If you have decided to use CNC material for part production, then you have made an excellent choice. With this option, you will get several opportunities to get the perfect customized product. To begin, you must know that CNC technology is highly repeatable and accurate and offers a better manufacturing process for the production of parts and prototypes. Also, this uses a subtractive procedure that cuts material with computer-controlled tools. As a result, you will always get a professional quality product.

One of the biggest perks of using CNC technology is the versatility of the materials. This is because the machine uses steel alloy and aluminum easily. Also, you can use plastic and brass to get the best parts. You will get different finishing options after the work is complete. You will get several options such as flexibility and efficiency. Let’s explore more about CNC material and know about the material selection process in detail.

cnc material

CNC Material Selecting Process

Selecting the material for the CNC machine is easy but it will be best if you take some help from experts. Other than that you can also get an idea about it from this article. Check out the basic steps of selecting CNC material.

Find the requirements of materials

These will include the thermal, mechanical, and other needs, this will also add with the surface finish and the cost of the process. You have to check the environment as the part will interact with it.

Identify additional materials

You have to select a few additional materials that will complete the entire requirement for the project. For instance, the cost and the performance of the machine.

Select the best suitable material

In the case of two or more designs, you have to go for a compromise. However, for the selection of the best material, you can ask an expert. In case of combination, you can go for plastic and metal materials and they can be grouped just for comparison. Metals will give a durable and hard perfection, while plastic will give a lightweight finish. Other than this you have to check the durability, the temperature level, and the cost of the process with the materials.

Factors to Consider when Selecting CNC Material

The selection process includes some basic steps, and they are all important when you are working with CNC machines. Let’s check them out below.

The usage of the parts

CNC machines are still advancing and it has better components each year, Similar material are used for different products and they have varying usages as well. In the case of insulation, if you want to insulate a Breathalyzer it will be different from other procedures. You will also not get the same outcome as others. On the other hand, when you are insulating a soundproofing system it will have different use and specifications. Thus, it’s best to consider the result beforehand.

Indoor vs outdoor environment

The environment of the indoor is different than the outdoor, and it will also depend on the weather. Before starting the project, you have to check the weather and look for the moisture level. After this, you can start the work and the material will resist the effects of oxidation which causes rust.

Stress Load

In case of high stress on CNC material can break the item. When you are thinking of the materials to use for the part production, it’s important to check the stress load part. If the part gets exposed to high stress, then it will not be able to withstand the pressure and get deformed.

Dimensional tolerance

When you are looking for perfect CNC machined items, then you have to check the dimensional tolerance. This can become an automated part of the procedure, but you must not ignore the importance of dimensional tolerance. It will not only have an impact on the produced part but it will also affect the entire process. You have to know the tolerance level for the part. If you are working on old items, then it’s a good idea to look for tolerance.

Types of fastening

In the components of a CNC machine you have to use fasteners, and this is very important to choose while selecting the material. The material you have selected will have an impact on the security of the fasteners and will determine their fitness. Different material has varied properties, for instance, galvanic corrosion, brittleness, corrosion resistance, and strength. Thus, you have to select a material that offers better strength and compatibility with the part.

The best material, in this case, is stainless steel, but it doesn’t mean it will be the safest option for your product. If you are looking for a fastening method for a new part, then it should fit perfectly. If you fail to decide on the right fastener, then the part will not work properly.

Check the Operating Temperatures

The operating temperature is important when you need the parts to withstand the force of a machine. You have to ensure the melting point of the thing is lesser than the temperature of the operation. You also have to take care of the fluctuations of temperature in the function, and check if the material can withstand it. Some materials are made to tolerate the temperature, then others will expand, display the signs of warping, or might break down after some time. If the temperature is extreme, it can also harm the durability of the parts.

These details are crucial when you are using CNC items, and you can be sure of the temperature so that the parts won’t get deformed and you will get a perfect production. You have to understand the connection between the CNC material and the parts to get a perfect design.

The impact of high temperature on materials

High temperature will always have an impact on CNC machine material. Polyvinyl chloride is a plastic material that does not hold up under high temperatures, nor does PVC. Although, it has a good rating for heat resistance the working temperature is 167 degrees Fahrenheit. The stability gets lost in 280 degree, and it makes this improper for parts production projects. So, when you are looking for high temperature material look for the one that suits the best.

Stress and weight capacity for the designing of parts

Based on the things you want to do with the CNC components, you have to check the weight of the materials you have selected. Bigger isn’t always the best, and less will not give the right outcome. So, you have to check the right proportion and look for the cost too.

What Types of Materials Can Be Used In A CNC Machine

Based on the cost and properties of the materials you have to choose the best CNC product. The most suitable thing, in this case, will be,

  • * Aluminum, which holds great hardness and strength. Also, the price is affordable.
  • * You can also opt for stainless steel and this is preferred for its machinability and high strength. Although, it’s costly it’s the most used material.
  • * Brass is another material that is good for CNC machinery. It has high machinability and comes at a reasonable price as well.

An Overview of Some Popular CNC Materials

The best way to decide on a CNC material is to talk to an expert near you. Once they will know about the project, they will help you decide on the material you should use. You will also get help with the project completion and the budget. However, you can also get an overview of the popular material for CNC and decide which one will go best with the production of the part, here’s the list.


This metal has the best properties to prevent corrosion, includes electroplating items, and has better machinability. This is one of the well-known CNC materials that suits perfectly with parts production projects. This material has a sheer variety and good strength ratio which means it is suitable for most products. Experts use this material for defense mechanisms, automotive construction, and the aerospace industry.

Stainless steel

Professionals use stainless steel use this material for different projects in the industry, just because it can resist corrosion. It is used widely in almost every parts production center. You will get different grades for the projects, and although it’s costly, you will get the best finishing.


In most cases, CNC plastic material is used to get better electrical insulation and cost. Plastics are important for making prototypes when the final product is complete. You will also get different grades for the parts such as Polypropylene, Polycarbonate, PEEK, Nylon, Garolite, G-10, Acrylic.


This is a metal alloy that has good machinability and has better electrical workability. This offers low friction and is best for different applications.


After you read this article, it will be clear to you that working with a CNC machine is most adaptable and has better versatility in the matter of choosing part materials. For more information, you can always contact an expert.

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