Key Elements to Consider Before Proceeding with CNC Prototyping

Getting your product from the drawing to a tangible version is a crucial aspect of design. Without it, you have no way to test and validate your design before it’s finalized for mass production. CNC prototyping is one of the ways you can bring your designs to life. It involves CNC machining, which delivers high precision, fast, and durable prototypes of parts from a billet or block of your chosen material that is cut with a series of drill bits and tools.

Are you considering CNC machining for your project? Be sure to consider these elements before you proceed:


CNC machining allows you to make your model with almost all kinds of materials that can withstand heat and stress. Some of the most popular materials used are steel, aluminum, titanium, and plastics like polypropylene and ABS.

Machining methods

CNC prototyping can refer to various computer-controlled cutting and machining processes. It can involve different types of processes, such as turning and milling. Reputable service providers use high-precision CNC mills, sink and wire EDMs, lathes, surface grinding machines, and other relevant tools and equipment to deliver custom machining solutions.

Your project

CNC machining is used typically for building high-quality prototypes for functional testing. However, it’s also practical for crafting custom casts or molds to build prototypes for other production processes, such as injection molding. In this case, the CNC prototyping process also qualifies as rapid tooling.


CNC machines can be very accurate, but running the mill on the highest accuracy can be time-intensive and costly. That’s why tolerances are used, and these are measurements indicating the level of precision required for the prototype you’re making. In short, they represent the degree of variation permitted in the measured value or final dimensions of the part. Reputable providers of CNC prototyping services control their tolerances to DIN-2678-1 Medium for plastics and Fine for metals.

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